You may remember a month and a half ago, I was talking about how elated and excited I was when I received an e-mail from a real New York agent asking to see my whole manuscript. That agent was rated by Publishers Marketplace as the No. 2 agent nationally in my genre, which is memoirs.
Last month in this newsletter, I included an animation of a very frantic and ecstatic Kermit the Frog flailing his arms around. But alas, as my friend Susan the developmental editor has pointed out, your first response is unlikely to turn in to the home for your book. And, a month later, the agent wrote back and declined.
However, since that decline happened, I got another response from a different agent, this one also a real New York agent, but not as prominent, asking for several sample chapters. So I sent those off as well.
But the second time getting the response from the Real Agent was not as exciting as the first. Now, when I hear from an agent, I feel more like this guy:
Yes, please, tell me more, I’m very glad to hear from you, yes, I’m happy to send you whatever you’d like…
At present the score is:
- 94 queries sent this year
- 4 requests for additional material (1 rejection in that group)
- 27 form-letter rejections
- 41 ignores (it’s been 8 weeks and they haven’t written)
My writer friends assure me that this is normal and that I shouldn’t give up and self-publish until I hit 200.
A few other publishing updates
- I’ve mentioned before that Pediatrics paired me up with a doctor to write about how families and doctors can learn from each other. It’s still cooking.
- Last letter I told you about an article I submitted to a religious journal about the spiritual and emotional journey of being in antepartum, wondering if the child can survive. My wife refused to read it, saying “I don’t want to think about that!” Well, apparently neither did the editor of the publication that shall remain nameless, as seven weeks went by with no response. So I sent it to another journal, and that editor wrote back immediately and said, “It’s received and I’ll respond as soon as I can.”
- I entered my manuscript in to a writing contest with the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association. I got back all kinds of interesting and encouraging comments from the reviewers, which I summarized in this humorously exaggerated blog post. But…. in the end, I didn’t place. Sigh.