Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Questionable Query Toughness

This month I'm participating in the A to Z blogging challenge and posting every day in April (except Sundays) with the corresponding letter of the day. The theme I chose for this year is 26 Days of Gratitude. I'll be posting about people, places, things, and events in my life I'm grateful for. Today is the letter...

So, I'm grateful for queries...Haha...NOT!

I wish I could say that I enjoy writing queries or that I love the query process, but that would be a lie. However, I AM grateful for what this whole query process has taught me about myself.

I'm tougher than I thought.

When I received my first rejection from an agent, admittedly, I MIGHT have
shed a few tears. But now, I've developed tougher skin. I don't take it personally. I look to other famous authors who have trudged through the query trenches and sent out dozens upon dozens of queries until there was an agent who was finally willing to take their project on.

For example, did you know that bestselling author Meg Cabot received a mail bag full of rejection letters from agents and 17 rejections from publishers before her first novel, Where Roses Grow Wild, was published? All in all, it took her three years of sending out queries to agents before she got an agent, and then one year for her agent to find a publisher willing to take on her project. Now that is dedication!

Also, J.K. Rowling, the author of the famous Harry Potter series, received 12 rejections from publishers before her agent was able to secure a deal with Bloomsbury Publishing. I bet all those publishers are kicking themselves now!

So even though I'm NOT thankful for the query process in and of itself, I'm thankful it has made me stronger. Rejections may come, but they aren't gonna stop me from reaching my goal. And THAT is something to be grateful for. 


  1. So true. I think the process of querying separates those who are serious writers from those who are dilettantes. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

  2. I can't even tell you how many editors and agents I queried--but I started out writing romance and you didn't have to have an agent for Harlequin and other "category romance" lines. I had SO many close calls in the 90s, where editors seemed like they were about to buy my work. One Harlequin editor even used my ms. at a conference to demonstrate what she's looking for...but she STILL didn't buy it. I shed many tears, believe me!

    I read your comment on my blog--it's so funny. My minor in college was psychology and I took all the relationship courses. I was fascinated by the dynamics of relationships. Labeling emotions, all that! For my freelance writing business, I often send proposals for jobs that involve writing about marriage and I've even ghostwritten for a few therapists. I probably could have pursued a career as a therapist by serious Master's level psychology courses are really hard, or so I've heard!

  3. Yes, querying definitely takes fortitude! Every author sitting on a shelf has faced rejection at some point or another, and that is always a great thing to keep in mind. And here's to one day that no being a yes! =)

  4. It's never fun, but has to be done. And you're right you can't take it personal. But somewhere out there is a publisher or agent for you. And you won't find them if you quit.

  5. It's a necessary part of the author learning process. It's the ones that get an agent and a deal without much effort that makes me scratch my head, which I still see happening. :)

  6. I'm with you. The query process is painful, but it prepares you for the future--publisher rejection and even unfavorable reviewers. At least no one publicly sees a query rejection, eh?

    True Heroes from A to Z

  7. AMEN! Querying is TOUGH. I'm in the middle of it now, and at this point, the query rejections don't sting nearly as much (although yeah, it sure did the first time)...but the manuscript rejections still stink. But this is a great message, and a great post. Hang in there!!

  8. I have received so many rejections on various stories and mss that I feel like my skin should be as hard as the tortoises' shells. It's not, but it should be. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

  9. Never known this query process...but I hope I get to start this process rejections do make you stronger and I'm happy you are taking them in your stride!


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