Facing the Challenge of the Agent Query

Keep calm and query on

I worked on my agent query letter yesterday.

I am finding it truly difficult. It’s not just the logistics of paring my novel-in-stories down to 100-200 words that give enough info to pique an agent’s interest but without giving everything away—though that is challenging.

It’s also the idea that I am committing to sending these 60,000 words out into the world. Once they are out there I have no control over how people react or respond. That’s a little ( okay…a lot) unnerving.

There’s also this other piece of the puzzle that dawned on me yesterday. I don’t like asking for things. The query letter is all about asking an agent to take time out of their already hectic schedule to read my book. I am asking them to help me get it published.

I understand it’s their business and they are in the market to take on a book they feel passionate about and they have a vested interest in getting it out into the world. But it still feels like I am asking for a favor.

So, instead of letting all that stop me like it has before, here’s what I did:

I felt all the feelings: nervous, scared, excited, vulnerable with a little bit of guilt and dread thrown in.

I breathed through it all (thank you yoga).

And I revised my letter. I read other successful query letters and decided what fit best for my voice and the voice of my story and I just did it. It’s still not quite right but it is getting there.

I’ll let it sit for another day and read it again with fresh eyes. Meanwhile, there’s this YA novel that I am about 40K words into…

 

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