I got my knickers in a wad to send more queries today. I rewrote the first chapter and proofed the synopsis and got busy.
Here’s the funny thing about literary agents: they all want different things. Some want you to mail your stuff, others only want on line submissions, some do both. Regardless of how they want your submission, they all want different parts. ALL want the query letter, but some forbid anything else. Some want a synopsis. Others want the first chapter, or the first 5 pages of the chapter, or blood from your first born.
Some say they will reply to every query within a certain time frame, usually about 4 weeks or so, but some say 3 months. Others say, if you don’t hear from us, assume we hate you and will turn the dogs on you if you try to contact us again.
I’m OK with all of this. My first editor was a broadcast news guy who could slash my work to ribbons in a heart beat. I tell you, it toughens the skin. It’s also handy to remember that a writer is not an artist. He or she is a person trying to use words to make a buck or two just like everyone else in the world. He who pays the fiddler calls the tune, that’s what I say. If you want to buy my novel, and you feel it needs something added or taken away, I’m probably going to be cool with that, so long as the price is right.
So, here I go, looking for rejections 2-5.