Last week I sent out 7 queries, to test the waters so to speak: 4 required query letter only, 2, the first 10 pages (in my case that's the entire first chapter), and 1, the first few pages. I haven't heard back from most, other than the standard we received it and will get to it as soon as we can. I actually think that's nice because the agencies I didn't hear that from I will be paranoid about (what if it's lost in web space?) until I do.
So, I get the whole form rejection on the basic query thing. Kind of a bummer since it would be nice to know if it was the query or just not their cuppa tea. However, I can't imagine how long it would take to personally respond to over 100 queries each week. That wouldn't leave a whole lot of room to actually represent any clients, certainly not something I'd look for in an agent.
I did get a response to one this morning. And, I'd love to mention her name since it was so sweet, but I won't. It was the one that only requested a couple pages -- which was also the one I worried most about. How can you tell in 1000ish words? Of course, I know the simple answer to that: the first 1000 words need to be good enough to tell. Simple for the agent at least ;)
My first issue is this: it appeared to be a personal response, but I'm not positive. It could just as easily have been her standard form rejection. I would like to know (but I will not ask -- I've read enough agents opinions on this to know better than to reply in any form to a rejection) so I can have a basis of comparison with any others that respond.
My second issue is in direct relation to the first: If this was personal then I may need to rework the entire first section. And that's where the hard part comes in. I struggled for so long with those first pages. I even added a new beginning of which, admittedly, I was unsure . Now I am wondering if I should have just stuck with the original.
Well no one said this was going to be easy. In fact, I'm pretty sure mostly everyone said it would be hard. Harder than hard -- near impossible. Good thing I don't give up easily.
Unfortunately, out of the 7, this is the one I had hoped would show interest. And after her so nice response, I'm even more sorry it didn't work. But, life goes on, and I will hope for better reactions from others. Not like these are the only 7 agents out there that do genre romance, right? So, I'll keep plugging along.
For those of you that have queried, have you received mostly form rejections, or personal responses? Or could you not tell the difference either?