Some of you probably know the feeling. On the outside, you're like this:
But on the inside, you're more like:
|I'm not really sure what this has to do with querying, but for some reason I feel like it fits.|
And you're wondering, what are my book's chances? There are a lot of other books out there. How do I know mine will get anywhere?
You really, really want to hear back from that agent. It's like this picture, below. Ron is obviously the writer and Harry is the average human being.
Because why are we doing this anyway? Writing? What? Fabricating things that aren't real onto nonphysical pages with nonphysical ink on a screen...and then emailing that nonreal thing over a nonreal wire to somebody that, for all you know, isn't even real to begin with?
|No, it's Sparta.|
But then you're all "Is it madness? IS IT? But Annie, just because it's happening in your head doesn't mean it isn't real! Dumbledore said it, so it must be true." And I agree with you. Writing is a nonreal and real thing. It's both. It's reality inside not-reality inside reality. It's realityception.
Of course, there's always the possibility that I'll become as popular as Suzanne Collins or somebody like that. Because, obviously, my book is awesome. What else? So then, the query process should be more "Chill out, everyone. I got this."Unfortunately for us, publishing is competitive. My imaginary calculations have shown that I have a marginally higher chance of selling more copies than Harry Potter than I do of claiming the Iron Throne. (Except that your chance of selling more copies than HP constantly decreases because more books are published, but your chances of claiming the Iron Throne increase because George R. R. Martin likes to kill off all his characters all the time. Red Wedding, anyone?) Publishing may be coming, but first, rejection is coming. Brace yourselves...rejection letters are coming. When you play the game of queries, you win or you...don't win. I don't think any of us will die.
But you'll keep at it anyway, because, let's face it, you really want to get published. And so the games begin.
|What kind of scary thing did I just volunteer for?|
I've done it, though! I've gotten the book out the door, and that's the first step. Many writers never reach this point, so I'm ahead of some people. I've accomplished the book and the query, at least.
Sending your much-loved book out into the world is a bit scary. It's like you were hogging it all to yourself, and suddenly now others have access to it.
All of you wonderful followers (and random non-followers...who should follow because it makes me happy) should wear your pajamas inside out or carry your rabbit's foot or four-leaf clover or whatever good luck charm you have, because I'm told there's also an element of luck in this. It's true--not only do you have to have a good book, but you also have to find the agent who just so happens to like your good book.
Ultimately, I'm hoping I can at least get a partial request or something. It'd be nice if someone was:
Except they'd be about a million times less creepy about it.
If not, well...