Author Topic: Fifteen Requests for Fulls and Partials...but when will the offer ever come?...  (Read 1624 times)

Offline richardclin

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I think my subject line says it all for me. I've been in the query trenches now 2-1/2 months. I know it's not long, I'm thankful for the requests, but with six declines, four R&Rs, and the rest pending, my spirit flags at times. I just don't know when or where the light at the end of the tunnel will appear...or will it ever...

Offline AVA_writing

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First, amazing on getting that many full/partial requests. Congrats!

Second, waiting sucks. It is purgatory...I feel for you.

Third, all I can do is give you the same advice I was given and am taking. I have a friend who worked at 2 of the big publishers and has been extremely helpful. She basically told me to time box myself. Give it six months and if that doesn't pan out, just self publish to put it out there and go on to the next one. For someone like myself who needs some certainty, or light at the end of the tunnel, the time box is helping. I am starting month 3, and feel good about the progress/rate, and know I am doing all I can. If that is not enough, I will start the new journey to self publish and learn from that as well as I write the next one.

Good luck!


Offline slightlysmall

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That is an incredible amount of success in and of itself, especially with four R&Rs. If the R&Rs are generally requesting the same kinds of revisions, it's probably good to make them and likely whatever that thing is has kept there from being an offer so far. If they're all different, it's hard to say what will happen.

My last book got 16 full requests and 0 offers (and 0 R&Rs, so take that for what you will). Every rejection was "I loved this, but not enough to rep it," or with conflicting feedback about why they were passing. That said, I queried that book 18 months ago and I now see things I would do differently with it.

Whether you end up with a final offer or not, that should be a request rate that you're proud of and count as a win, for sure.

Offline richardclin

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Thank you so much for your kind encouragement, AVA_writing and slightly small. I wrote the post in a moment of self-indulgent wallowing but do appreciate the empathy very much. This is a highly first-world problem, but it's nice to know others have been there and overcome with a flourish one way or another.


I just received my 16th request, so I'm collecting requests like they are baseball trading cards. Just hoping to land that rookie card of Honus Wagner (the world's most expensive baseball card). But you're right, if I don't, life goes on in so many other meaningful ways. Although I don't want to break any record for most number of requests without an offer, if that's eventually my claim to fame, I guess there are worse ways to notoriety.


And you are right, Ava, many authors in our wonderful community here who never got an agent or had one or two but weren't able to sell their work have gone on to wonderfully productive and satisfying careers self-publishing. I just need to remind myself not to send out query letters at 3 am when the mood can get a bit melancholic. Under the light of the sun here in Shanghai, I'm ready to prepare my next query letter...and get going on the next project. I just hope I have another book in me...    :)

Offline Viddiest

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Hi Richard, I wondered what happened to you and how you were going.

Sixteen requests is absolutely incredible. And four R and Rs. You've got something good going there. I agree with slightlysmall. Try to see if there is a trend in the R and Rs that you can focus on. I've now heard back from most people who had my fulls (2 remaining), but in my case, the feedback is similar so I know what I need to work on. I am interested to hear if you are willing to share, what kind of feedback you received. I know waiting is the hardest part, but I've shifted my focus from "why won't they like my novel enough to represent it" to "Is my book really as good as I can make it?" and it's helped me to focus on the writing itself- and as I see it getting better now, it is helping to lift my flagging spirits because not only is the book better, it probably has a greater shot at success as well.

Keep at it.

Offline richardclin

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Dear Viddiest,


Thank you, my friend, for checking in. You always raise the spirits with your optimism and fresh perspective.


Yes, I too am trying to view all the work and results from the R&Rs in a positive light. As you mentioned, they are indeed enhancing the MS and better positioning it for success. This may be why requests for submissions have been accelerating of late.


That said, I do very much appreciate slightlysmall's thought to look for any discernable patterns in the feedback and request for R&Rs. The simple answer is, the craft and concept seem fine. But it's a bit too YA in tone for memoir and a bit too reflective at times for YA. So I've bitten the bullet and gone full-speed ahead into YA, as it's more fun to write for me, I can inject fictional elements to add a bit of color, tension, and drama now, and appears the best path for me to get this MS published. To publish a memoir these days you either have to have a surname everyone can recognize (like Obama or Gates), or be someone who doesn't need a surname (like Beyonce), have a huge author platform, or have experienced something quite extraordinary. A high school memoir on romance and race, no matter how compelling, seems a difficult sell according to the agents who have gotten back to me with feedback or requests for R&Rs.


Hope your R&Rs are going well, Viddiest. And wish you wonderful luck and success in your month 3 of querying, AVA!


Sincerely,
RCL