It’s one thing to understand that rejection is going to be 99% of my day. It is another to actually live the experience. Most aspiring authors read about how the terrific book from X was rejected 40 times or the wonderful book of Y took six years to get published but when it comes down to the gritty of it, you don’t know it until it happens to you. Today I faced the website of yet another agent as I wracked my brains trying to fit a complex series into a small query letter. The one thing you soon realise is that whatever you tell them, they have heard 100 times already that day. Everyone has the next best thing that is totally different to everyone else’s. The problem with this is that if really is totally different–no one is going to touch you no matter how good it might be.
Agents want to make money and they need to place their resources into sure bets. To scatter it amongst a batch of near misses means they go bankrupt and nothing gets published. Therefore they trust what they know, what appears to be selling and take few risks outside this arena. Supporting even selling genres are risky, we live in an uncertain world and like everyone else they are trying to survive it. When I approach them with something as different as my current work I expect a great deal of rejection but when after several months the count is zero for zero I have to reconsider my breakout work. Instead of sitting at home biting my nails I have moved with a MG novel. I couldn’t face the romance with such a bleak heart and will hope for the best.
So I sent out yet another query, after all who am I to deny an agency the chance to be my 20th straight rejection? Tis a privilege that.