Back in June of 2014, I began the difficult task of sending out query letters and a 10-page synopsis of Behind the Mask, to a list of literary agents I found at WritersMarkets.com. Having absolutely NO clue what I was doing, I researched how to go about the process. And I’m pretty sure I did it all wrong, but the longer I do this, the more I learn.
So, the query letter was awful, even when I read it now, I cringe. And the 10-page synopsis, which needed to basically spoil the reader, was harder to write than one would imagine. But I was undeterred in my quest to make a fool of myself. I say that because though I felt I had a decent story to tell, I wasn’t fully confident I had succeeded in writing it.
After skimming through the names of hundreds of agents, I just picked out ones that I assumed handled fictional novels. I typed up the required self-addressed stamped envelopes, stuck in the query letter, along with the synopsis and hoped for the best.
Since I self-published both of my books you can guess what happened. However, I had heard horror stories about some of the rejections letters authors had received, even famous ones. Therefore, I was prepared for the slaughter, but surprisingly the rejections weren’t as painful as I expected. That being said, after the tenth one or so, can’t say they didn’t sting a little.
I sent out 24 in all and got back 20. Some were just my query letter sent back to me with a few words written on them, stating how they weren’t interested. Some were a standard stock robotic letter, saying they couldn’t represent me. But a few were very kind and no one told me it all out sucked. Or that I should give up writing. There was one in particular who wrote the most amazing letter and told me how she saw it as a movie, but I didn’t submit a screenplay, I submitted a novel. Two completely different things. Not going to lie, can’t say I haven’t thought about the movie version, but I’m a realist. Even though she didn’t represent me, I never forgot about her letter. The following are just three of the rejection letters, to show the difference in responses. The first one is my favorite: