Dear Miss Snark,
I've written a satirical novel about George W. Bush and my query letter to agents has had a slew of instant form rejections. I'm puzzled since it seems like a pretty commercial premise -- people have made plenty of money making fun of Bush in every other genre and medium. The folks doing the rejecting haven't seen a writing sample in most cases, so the problem is not that it sux. Could the problem be that mainstream book publishing is just too slow -- is it pointless to try to sell something that will no longer be topical in two years or so? Should I give up and trudge directly to iUniverse, or are small presses sometimes faster and therefore a better prospect?
President Bush, for good or ill, will be out of office in about two years. The Republican convention is set for September 1, 2008. The campaign, and thus our interest, starts in Iowa in January 2008. That's 13 months away. That's a heartbeat in terms of publishing.
Once he is out of office, no one will care about a novel satirizing him.
Small presses aren't eager for things that have no back list.
You're a day late and a dollar short.