Dear Miss Snark, I
'm about 20 queries into the process on my first novel. I've had some interest: 4 requests for a full manuscript and 2 requests for a partial so far. I know complaining from here is like looking a gift horse in the mouth, but I'm about to anyway.
Although I'm getting positive feedback (The writing is great and characters well rendered, etc.) none of the agents seem to believe they can sell it. And it appears the three agents who have rejected it so far have consulted with assistants who've also agreed it isn't quite for them.
Does this mean it's advanced a little further in the process or that it's so iffy they needed a second opinion? Is it common practice for agents/assistants in one office to discuss manuscripts this way? (I realize you are a solo agent but thought you might have insight into the inner workings of agencies in general.)
I know you advise querying widely, and I plan to send out a hundred of these things before throwing in the towel, but when three well-respected agents (and their assistants) say they don't think they can sell it, does it mean no one can?
Can you sleep at night?
You are a basket of raw nerve endings, and they are all twitching.
I'd offer to share my pail of gin but no dice; buy your own. Your medical insurance will probably cover the cost of the pail and delivery.
First, you're getting good results on your query. Keep querying.
Second, just cause one agent can't sell it doesn't mean another one won't snap it up.
Third, there are lots of reasons to consult-primarily to get feedback on something from younger, hipper, groovy girls with toe rings and myspace.com websites. Is your book targeted to that demographic?
Fourth, you have NO, ZERO, ZIPPO control over what people say or why. You cannot obsess about this and keep your sanity. You need to start work on the next novel. Then, when a smart agent calls you up, you'll be just that much ahead for the two book deal.
And quit biting your damn nails too.