manuscript request

Where I’m at Part 2: my agent submissions for Prosorinos

While still maintaining a grueling pace as a teacher, I managed to send Prosorinos, my first novel, on submission. I queried 14 agents. Here are my stats:

form letter rejections: 8

requests for partials: 3

requests for full: 1

no response: 2

I queried eleven of the top agents representing science fiction and three young agents building client lists. One of those young agents I actually queried in a pitch session at a conference (as opposed to mailing the query), and she requested one of those three partials. She later rejected it saying the subject matter was too dark for her.

That leaves one full request and two partials. One agent starting her own agency (she had worked at one of the big houses in New York) asked for a partial. We exchanged a couple of emails leading to a request for the full. It took many months of waiting to hear (as I remember it, close to a year) before I sent her an email requesting an update on the manuscript’s status. She did not respond. A little time passed and I emailed again. Again no response. To this day I have not received a response from this agent who had my full manuscript.

One of the partials went to another young agent. I followed her on her blog, over time learning that her personality might not be ideal for me to work with, so I didn’t send a follow-up. It didn’t matter. After one and a half years (yes YEARS) she sent me a rejection.

The part that slays me is that the other partial was requested by a very successful and highly regarded agent. She requested the partial exclusively, but since I already had a partial and a full out to other agents, I never did send her my sample chapters. Back then, I was a noob in every sense of the writing word, and I didn’t know how to handle the situation other than to continue waiting on the agents who had my stuff. Knowing what I now know, I would have done things so differently.

The consequence is that I never sent out Prosorinos to other agents. I had waited so long and lost so much confidence that I decided it would be best just to write another novel. A shorter novel more easily sold. I figured Prosorinos would still be there if I could attract an agent with my new novel. Thus, Wishstone was born.

On to next post . . .

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Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.

— Steve Prefontaine