Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: Books & Such Central Valley Office
Weather: 61º and rainy
Early on in my life I learned that if I pictured the very worst thing that could happen and figured out some strategies for dealing with it I could defuse a whole lot of anxiety. There’s something very freeing about picturing yourself losing your job, running out of money, selling all your possessions and living the life of an ascetic.
This week I thought it would be an interesting exercise to examine four worst case scenarios. I’ll set up the scenario and give you some possible strategies. You can use the comment section to tell me which strategy you’d choose and why. (Hint: There will not necessarily be one right answer.) Or if you are of the shy persuasion you can note your choice at home. The following day I’ll tell you which strategy or strategies I’d recommend and why. And then I’ll set up the following day’s worst case scenario. Hopefully, by the time we’re done, you’ll have pictured the worst possible outcomes of your writing adventure and have some strategies ready to redeem the situation.
So let’s start. . .
Worst case scenario: You’ve spent years honing your craft. You’ve written a book, researched the market and set out to find an agent. You’ve crafted a query letter, polished it and sent it off to twelve appropriate agents. Three letters came back in the SASE by return mail with a form letter with some kind of variation of “does not meet my needs at this time.” Of the email queries, you received two return emails saying that the query was received and if you didn’t hear by xx number of weeks the agency was not interested. You had two nice email rejects with no specific information, just a no thanks. Five months have passed and you’ve had no further correspondence. What do you do?
A. You wait patiently to hear from the seven potentially open queries.
B. You decide the squeaky wheel gets the grease. You recontact everyone, giving more information and even a little nudge or two along the way.
C. You reconsider the query itself, the chosen recipients and the method of querying.
D. You give up. You gave it your best shot and failed miserably.
If it were you, what would you do? Please feel free to comment, choose your strategy and tell us why. If you have real world experience with this, please share.