I'm back in the trenches battling to land a new agent and things are different this time. Why? For one, I didn't bring a knife to a gun fight this time. In fact, not only am I wearing my armor~see Slaying a Titan ~I'm armed with a weapon that is not only polished to a high shine, but is top of the line. And I know how to break through the defenses.
Querying is a battle where only the best are left standing. Anyone who's been at it for a while or has done it and been successful knows that it is one of the hardest challenges an aspiring author faces. So how can I have such a positive outlook? Read on and I shall share my secrets with you.
First you must write the best possible book you can, then you have to make it even better. Hone your skills until that novel is absolutely top of the line, not just good enough. Then write a great query letter. The second part is often harder than the first for some mysterious reason, yet many people rush through that part as if it isn't important. You should put just as much thought and hard work into your query as you did your novel. Send it to your critique partners. Make sure it gets across the heart of your novel. It is what gets your foot in the door. Take the time to make it excellent.
Query in waves. Send out eight to ten queries to agents that you have carefully screened to make sure they represent the type of novel you've written. Wait for responses. If you don't get a single request for material it might not be your novel, it might be your query letter. If that is the case take another look at your query letter and revise it. Don't stop at ten, twenty, or even thirty. Keep revising, keep improving, and keep going. Many successful authors have stories about the ridiculous amount of queries it took them to find the right agent. It comes down to, the right query letter to the right agent. Don't give up!