How can we express our appreciation for your queries? It’s such an odd relationship we have involving hope, bravery, rejection and once in a while, a glimmer of something extraordinary—for all of us.
Most often, as we all know too well, our relationship ends before it can begin and we want you to know that we grieve for every “no thank you” we send. We are always amazed by your courage, your ideas, your talent and sometimes, your madness.
Sometimes we feel like psychiatrists when the query is a raw and bleeding cry for help—an attempt to work out childhood abuse, rotten luck in love, or appalling loneliness. At these times our inadequacy is so obvious and we wish we could reach out and help. But that’s not our job.
Our job is to try to find the needle in the haystack, the idea, the skill, the talent that may have what it takes to overpower a publisher’s cynical editorial board. It’s a daunting task, but one worth pursuing. Without all of you we would be nowhere and we want you to know that.
As always, we encourage you to keep trying. If we say no, another agent might jump at your idea. If we reject your book, it may find life elsewhere. Perhaps you need to rethink your premise, to rewrite your pitch and try again. Just know that we and many other agents support your efforts and really want it to work. We know how hard you struggle and we appreciate the work you do—even when we reject it so coolly.
The face of publishing is crumbling under our feet and turning into something different. We are all hanging on for our lives, trying to figure out what our roles will be in 2010. But one thing is certain. People want to read stories and good writing will never go out of style.
Happy New Year! Jon and Kae