As of today, I have sent out nine queries and received nine rejections. I’m still way ahead of the game, so to speak. Dr. Seuss received some 70 rejections before getting published. Anna Frank’s Diary had apparently been rejected by 16 publishing houses. Even Gone With the Wind did not make it on the first try (38 rejections). One of my favorite writers, William Saroyan, kept 7000 rejection slips. Now there’s an exercise in keeping faith in one’s self and one’s work!
Nevertheless, I feel quite bummed. This last rejection letter doesn’t even have a name attached to it. It makes me wonder, behind the form letter and the agency’s letterhead, did anyone even read the ten pages I’ve attached to my query?
I find a disturbing similarity between querying and the process of trying to meet someone on an internet dating site. How I present myself, the words I choose, are used to decide whether the ME behind them is worthy of meeting. In the case of a query, this ME is my novel, which just so happens is a novel about a princess. A big turn-off, apparently, in today’s vampire, fallen angel and dystopia-infested publishing world.
To end on a high note, my boyfriend Dar and I have recently moved in together. Dar and I met on match.com. In fact, Dar loved the packaging I came with. He wanted to meet the ME behind the photo and the few strangely-chosen words. So I have to believe that somewhere out there is an agent, or a publisher, who would be similarly excited to have a princess book, light and sweet and cheery and heartening. Somewhere. I’m sure.
I found the well-loved authors I mentioned above and others like them on this website: