Even Good News Can Make Me Itch

So this morning I saw I had an email back from one of the agents to whom I still have active queries out (no names; it seems unethical to say who they are here).  I had a mixed reaction to seeing the email there; all I could see of the message was the same generic way most rejection emails begin, and my heart sank a bit.  This agent is, for reasons I won’t detail here, high on my list.

“Well, let’s get it over with, anyway,” I said, and clicked the link.  “Thanks for sending, yeah, ok, I really enjoyed, ok, wait, what?”

It’s not a rejection.  It’s a request for a synopsis and several chapters, what the publishing industry calls a “Partial.”  So I’ll send that out later today, when I’ve had a chance to compile it and make sure my synopsis isn’t terrible.  That’s the part that makes me itch, because so much relies on my getting it right–or at least mostly right.

What happens after that?  Well, first I wait 4 to 6 weeks.  Then there’s most likely two options:

  1. She still likes it, so she asks for the rest of the book, what they call a “Full.” Then I wait a few months while she reads it and decides if she can work with me or not.
  2. She doesn’t like the rest of it, and sends me a rejection; if I’m lucky, it will tell me some part of why it wasn’t for her, and I’ll look at how I can change it.

There are other, less likely options, but those are the ones most likely to occur.  I’m hoping for option 1, but if that doesn’t happen, there are lots more agents out there.  One of them is for me.

Finding an agent is a lot like dating, only without the messier bits.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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