I can remember it like it was yesterday.
It was July 2010. I had completed the third draft of my first novel, Slate. I had done my research about agents and prepared my query letter to the best of my ability. One Monday morning I queried three agents, then got ready for the day. Right before I left the house, I checked my e-mail and saw I already had a reply from one of the three agents. She said the novel sounded great, and to please send the full, in .doc format. I screamed. Danced around the room. An agent wanted to read my book. My dream of being a published author was about to become true.
Cut to April 2017, when I received an offer of representation from a literary agent. It wasn’t Slate my agent offered on. It wasn’t my second book either, or even my third.
It was my sixteenth novel.
That’s right. Over the course of seven years I wrote sixteen books, ten of which I queried. I had highs and lows in my querying process. One of my books received twenty requests, mostly fulls but a few partials, only to be rejected by all twenty. A couple of my books received zero requests, even after pitching them to more than 100 agents. When I started querying my first novel, I thought I was months away from my life changing forever — but such was not the case.
We hear those stories all the time. The twenty-two-year-old who gets a six-figure deal for his or her debut novel, or — gasp — maybe the first book couldn’t sell, so the major deal went to the second novel. I read stories sometimes about authors who needed to write four books, or five books, before signing with an agent.
But not sixteen.
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