Sunday, July 24, 2011

When no news is definitely not good news

No new news to report in the finding an agent front.  I cannot begin to describe how excruciating this process is.  Michelle & I sent out our first batch of ten query letters on July 2nd and got three requests for the manuscript.  We've heard back from one of those three people, and obviously it was a no, or I would certainly have something to report.  Then two weeks ago we sent out a second batch of ten query letters, but we haven't heard back from any of those agents yet.  July is a busy month, and the agents we just queried have an average response time of 3-4 weeks when they give positive news, so this doesn't mean that we won't be getting any more requests.  Going a few weeks without hearing anything from anyone, though, has been trying, to put it mildly.

Notwithstanding our anxiety about hearing back from agents, we're plowing ahead with the second book of the series.  We already had a good idea what was going to happen in the next book (we have a plan for the entire 4-5 book series, actually), so it hasn't been that difficult.  We're in the home stretch of outlining the book, and I'm really happy with it so far, although it has been slightly harder to outline than the first.  There are continuity issues to contend with as well as decisions about what we want to reveal when.  I think we've struck the right balance between revealing a lot of new and interesting information while still leaving a lot of grist for later books.

It's hard, though, working on book two when we're still in limbo regarding book one.  I still feel good about what we produced.  All of our beta readers loved it, and one of the agents who requested our manuscript said that she "greatly enjoyed [our] beginning" so I hope she feels the same way about the rest of the book when she finally reads it.  (I'm hoping that the fact that we haven't heard from her yet is because she hasn't had time to read the book.  That's not an impossibility because her average response time when she agrees to represent a book is close to a month from submission.)

The other night when Michelle & I were working, I really started to think about about what it would be like if our book didn't get published.  When you spend this much time with your characters you honestly come to love them as if they're real people, and the idea that they would never get put into print can only be described as akin to the idea that your child would never get to be born.  Maybe that's a bit of hyperbole, especially since I don't have any children yet, but I'm sure Michelle would feel the same way and she does have her share of lovable rugrats. 

I've been saying for weeks that I have a feeling that after we finish outlining book 2 we're going to start hearing back from people.  Since we will be finishing that tonight, I guess my premonition is about to be put to the test.  Let's hope that this premonition is as prophetic as when I told my roommate in New Orleans that I just had the strongest feeling that she wasn't going to be in school in the coming semester with absolutely no reason to believe that until a week later when Hurricane Katrina hit.  Maybe I'm good at predicting cataclysmic life changes, and this certainly would be one for us, although hopefully one without such devastating consequences.

1 comment:

  1. No worries, it will happen. Yes, waiting is tough. Rejection is harder. This is something I struggle with as an artist on a regular basis. Just keep trying! You believe in your book, and someone in the right position will too! It only takes one publisher and there are many. Worst case scenario, you completed something amazing that most people could not muster up enough devotion for and you gained the experience. That means your next book will be even better. :D