I just need to vent, and what better place than R&D? :p
I've been querying my first novel since October 2011, and have had the frustrating experience of making revisions to both the project and query that *reduced* my response rate. The trouble is, I really like the revised manuscript/query! I look back now on what I was working with late last year and think, if anything, I queried too soon, when the manuscript was not polished enough.
I got a few partial requests and a full back in October/November, but they all ended up as polite Rs, with no real feedback. So I revised, re-did my query, had the new query run the gauntlet in SYW. My new query has had 2 form Rs and, over the course of 3 months, 24 no replies.
I don't get it. The query is not full of holes or errors, I am targeting agents that rep my genre (historical fiction/LGBT), I really did read 95% of the QueryShark archives, I follow submission guidelines ...
From a lot of the agent blogs/Twitter handles I follow, the general logic seems to be that most queries are rejected because they are poorly written, don't follow guidelines, are in a non-represented genre, or just plain boring. I don't think my query is any of those -- and my opening pages have been revised and revised into pretty good shape.
I've got the querying blues. I have been working on my next project, but it's been a disappointing start to the year. Blah. OK, thanks for listening, moping over.