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5thBananaSplit
09-19-2013, 04:25 AM
This has probably been asked a million times. I know. But I'm new here, and couldn't find what I was looking for in a search.

So, I've refined my query, my synopsis, and my first few chapters, and I think they're as good as they're going to get. How many rejections should I take before I get a clue that there's just no market for what I'm selling?

Siri Kirpal
09-19-2013, 05:24 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

How many agents/publishers are you willing to work with who rep/publish your genre? That's the number. With the caveat that the agents anyway won't all respond.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Kerosene
09-19-2013, 07:17 AM
It's not about counting rejections as much as finding that certain agent/publisher that's perfect for your work.

If you're wondering if your book is marketable, collect some beta-readers that are interested in your genre and ask them what they think of it.

wampuscat
09-19-2013, 07:14 PM
Have you had beta readers? That might be another indicator of whether you're ready as you think you are, and also of the marketability.

There are many stories here and elsewhere about authors who queried 100+ agents before finding the right one. Just don't be so eager to get and agent that you'll accept any agent. That is, you want to find an agent who is an enthusiastic about your work as you are, etc.

Aggy B.
09-19-2013, 07:29 PM
Have you started querying yet?

I would look more at how many positive to negative responses you get and be less concerned with actual number.

If it's less than 1 in 10 (requests for more to number of queries sent) then you should consider reworking the query letter and maybe polishing those opening chapters some more.

If it's 1 in 10 or higher then you should stick with it until you have more data to put into the equation. (FREX: Are you getting partial requests but not full requests? Or full requests and then fast form rejections?)

Undercover
09-19-2013, 07:37 PM
Yeah I don't think you should cap yourself off at a certain amount. It all depends on your responses too. Have you started querying and are getting rejections? If you haven't started the process, you may get interest right away. Some may ask for a revision. It's best to start the process first and perhaps reevaluate the situation after so many responses. Whether you want to continue querying, take a step back and revise the query or the ms or go further with a beta or something like that. All this is entirely up to you. Best advice I could give, research, research, research. Make sure the agent is reputable. You can go to places like Predators and Editors or here in the Bewares and Background Checks. There's a world of information there.

So basically it all depends.

Thedrellum
09-19-2013, 07:39 PM
I queried over 140 agents with my most recent novel before finding an agent to represent me. As Aggy B. implies, though, there were partial requests and full requests scattered throughout that number.

As long as you still believe in your work (outside of the influence of rejections) I'd say to keep submitting until you exhaust your options.

And good luck!

Putputt
09-19-2013, 07:40 PM
It depends on the genre, subject matter, and how polished your query and MS are. On average, I agree with Aggy that anything lower than a 10% success rate warrants an edit or two.

The best advice I can give is to get up to 50 posts and post your query up on QLH. Pre-QLH, I had a 10% success rate. Post-QLH, my success rate was close to 30%, despite the fact that the book had already been shopped to editors by my previous agent.

5thBananaSplit
09-21-2013, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the input. I really like the 10% benchmark. I'm at 5% right now, but I really wasted my first ten or twenty queries. My first letter just wasn't right at all. I'll have to see how I do with my latest new-and-improved query letter before jump to any conclusions.

I've had a pile of readers look at it too, and the response was really overwhelming--even the responses from my old MFA colleagues who really like to not like things. So, I think I've got something worthwhile. I just need to get better at pitching it.

quicklime
09-22-2013, 12:27 AM
get 50 posts and try subbing in query letter hell; if the query isn't as good as you think, all the tries so far are potentially wasted opportunities

Phaeal
09-23-2013, 09:45 PM
Well, you're going to have to go over 400 rejections or so to beat some of us here. Which is the point, right?

;)

robjvargas
09-23-2013, 10:06 PM
This has probably been asked a million times. I know. But I'm new here, and couldn't find what I was looking for in a search.

So, I've refined my query, my synopsis, and my first few chapters, and I think they're as good as they're going to get. How many rejections should I take before I get a clue that there's just no market for what I'm selling?

One more than the number it takes to get that first acceptance?

That sounds flippant, I suppose. But it isn't. Not really.

Some writers abandon a story never to return. Some shelve it for a week or month or year and get fresh eyes on it, finding whatever missing element they didn't see before (or the market's changed, and it was the type of story being out of favor).

I don't think it should be a matter of how many rejections you get. We're well served, I think, by just a hint of denial in that.

Writing is so subjective, that I think more often, it's best to shelve it and return later.

MookyMcD
09-27-2013, 09:17 AM
My limited experience with querying (once in my life, starting about six weeks ago), yielded unexpected results. Long story short, I've had a great response rate from a group of agents I expected to tank with and a pitiful response rate from the group of agents I was better targeting as prospects. My focus on characteristics that I thought would bring me good results somehow (and I have no idea how) backfired. Scattering your queries among different types of agents (who rep your genre) is something I've not seen discussed much in my research, but I stumbled into it blindly and am glad I did (basically raising a 1 in 6 response rate to a 6 in 12 response rate).