At least if you’re not Nicholas Sparks, who, according to his website, mailed out about three meticulously researched queries, got an agent the next morning and a million dollar advance before dinner. Not that I’m bitter or anything.
I thought editors would be snapping up my book, reading a couple pages and immediately launch into a bidding war, complete with movie rights.
But that ain’t how it happens–after you spend all that time querying to get an agent, what does he have to do to attract the interest of an editor? He queries! No freaking way! Yep, that’s the process. But he generously sought my input in constructing the query, advising me that no, my novel was not a “contemporary suspense,” but in fact a “commercial mainstream” (which actually translates into a larger audience). Fine by me, but if I had gone into with the intention of writing a commercial mainstream novel, it might have come out differently. Whatever!
So we get the query down to where we like it, and he gets some bites right away, from big time editors at Kensington, HarperCollins, Penguin, Viking, etc. Several ask to see sample chaps, several more ask to see the whole MS. I’m stoked beyond belief. This all happens within a couple weeks in early November, by the way.
Then December hit, and my agent told me the industry pretty much shuts down until January. Lotta shopping to do, apparently. I try to forget about it. January rolls around and the two editors who have been sitting on the MS for months both come back in the same week with praise-filled rejections. Hopes dashed. Beer consumed.
So we start again. Meanwhile, I’m mapping out…Book #2.