Two days ago, I sent my first query letter to a literary agent. I began working on the query letter months ago (over a year in fact). I recently decided the time had come to revisit it, along with my novel, with fresh perspective. Once that was done, I decided it was time to get it published. So I dusted off my query letter and pulled out my list of agents, a list I’d researched painstakingly when it was created.
I worked on my letter and the synopsis for days. Then I put it into an email and worked on it, again for days. When I was finally satisfied, I hit send. Eek! My stomach dropped several feet.
There is something about putting your work out there that takes it out of you. “It,” in this case is all nerve and any notion that your writing is worth anything.
Then, the worst thing happened. When I went to send a query to the second agent on my list, I opened the original to copy and paste for a beginning and found…a typo. And not a little typo either. A big fat, embarrassing typo. And by that point, there was nothing I could do about it.
“Well done self,” I said to myself.
It can take weeks or even months to hear back from an agent once you send a query. This being my first novel, I’m basing that on research. I haven’t heard back from the agent to whom I sent the typo. There is no reason I should have yet, it’s only been two days. I have heard from another who, after a mere twelve hours, graciously wrote to say he could not represent me at this time. My first rejection. Glad that’s out of the way. I can only hope the first agent has a hangover when she opens my query and misses my glaring mistake, loves the concept and asks for the entire manuscript. Or that she takes pity on me and asks for the manuscript. I’m fine with either.