Shotgunning It

Remember I said I was going to focus on submitting more this year? Well, what with one thing and another, until this week I hadn’t submitted anything since December. So I settled on a bold goal. This week, I would submit five queries to five different agents.

Since I am submitting to agents in the UK, I send my submissions in at night so they’ll be in the agent’s inbox in the morning. I started Sunday night and have sent in a query each night until tonight. Five agents, four different novels.

Last year, I concentrated on querying one particular novel. Now I think, why not try several? I have plenty to choose from. The reason I didn’t do five different novels is that some of my completed manuscripts are sequels, so obviously not suitable for a first query.

Here’s my reasoning: if so many ultimately successful authors had to be rejected over a hundred times before being accepted, I’ve got to be a lot more proactive than I have been. What if it takes two hundred rejections? I don’t expect to live long enough to make it through that many at the rate of one or two a month.

So I sent out five queries this week. Next week I’ll focus on my curriculum and some other writing tasks, and then maybe do another shotgun week with five more submissions. What have I got to lose? All they can do is shoot me down . . .

I’ll let you know if I hear anything back. So far, even agents who brag about always responding within a certain timeframe haven’t responded at all. I did get one rejection, which frankly is better than the silence. The suspense is in not knowing when the “right” person will receive one of my queries.


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