Let me just go ahead and say: querying people to see if they want your book is really, really disheartening for most of us.
Unless your book gets picked up in the first, let’s say, ten queries sent off to agents and publishers, you’re going to get the sinking feeling that your book isn’t that good. You’re going to start to question your choices, your vision, your writing ability, and your creativity. This questioning can be healthy; it is the self-reflection and self-doubt about the quality of our work that makes us want to improve it and make it the best that we can. We should probably use the opportunity to take another look at our polished manuscript and ask, “Is there something I can do to make this better?” Like I said, healthy.
By the time you get to the fiftieth rejection, that question probably won’t be the healthy kind. You’re most likely straying into defeatism and despair by this point. And I’m not talking about those who are too gung-ho about finishing the first draft and sending that out, or people who don’t follow submission guidelines. No, I’m talking about people who did everything right and still open up every email with a grimace because the preview showed them that the first line starts with, “Thank you for your submission. While…” You know the rest.
If that’s you, keep writing. Keep working, keep improving. Because that’s me, too. That’s what I’m doing. The alternative is not writing, and that seems awful.
Write your story!
-J. E. Ayers
Jeff Ayers writes books that are pretty good.