Monday, April 23, 2012

Round and round we go

I sent out a round of queries after graduating from my MFA program and got what I think is a fairly positive response: Fifteen queries, four requests for full manuscript. Two rejections with fairly extensive comments. Two just... waiting. From what I can glean from various forums, an inordinately long time. And I'm afraid to say, hey, just checking back on that? Because I'm afraid they'll just say, oh, right, sorry -- no thanks. I think it would be far better to go back to them and say, hey, I got an offer for representation, are you still interested? So that means back to querying. Which makes me despair. It's not just a matter of sending out a bunch of letters, it's research. It's time. It's sitting at my desk on the weekends when I've sit at my desk all week. It's spending at least a couple of hours on each prospective agent, honing each pitch to appeal to that particular agent's tastes. Maybe they'll answer, maybe not. And how do I know I'm picking the right ones simply based on their interests? Who are they, really? The worst part: More time away from actually writing. It's an investment when you know it will pay off in the end -- but that's the big question. Books are getting published, we know this. But the window of opportunity feels barely cracked open. It all seems so nebulous. A roundabout in the fog.


Colleen Sutherland, storyteller said...

I figure I spend about 90 percent of my storytelling time trying to get gigs. I think that an artist must accept that that is the way of things. Same thing with our short story blog. I send out hundreds of e-mails to libraries to get them interested in looking at our stories. It is slow going but eventually it pays off. I think you have to figure out how much time you have for your work and then divide it accordingly. Don't neglect your writing, but have some time for self-promotion

Purple Houses said...

You're right -- and it seems more and more necessary as writers are having to do much of their own promotions (blog, tweet, query, research, read...)

peachesandplums said...

we just had a visit from paul harding ("tinkers," pulitzer prize) and he said he sent it out, got rejected, had a random dinner with a friend that passed it on to bellevue press (the medical place), which actually published, small run and then he pounded the pavement. very strange, serendipitous and unbelievable path, but encouraging nonetheless.