In any area of life, there are times where careful decisions must be made. They can't be made quickly or lightly, and sometimes it's foolish to even discuss it in a public forum. Over the last few months, I've had several of those decisions that I've had to make. And one of those decisions is still up in the air (so I won't be discussing it here).
A lot of people have talked about what not to discuss on one's blog. And as a general rule, I try not to talk about the querying process because it's so easy to give the wrong impression on a blog. If, for example, I mention every time I receive a rejection, I could easily come across as a whiner, a bitter writer, and maybe (depending on how I discuss it) a rude young man who "thinks he's smarter than the industry." The fact of the matter is, if I query an agent, I'd be thrilled to work with them. And when they reject my work, I can't take it personally or take out any frustration on them, in any medium.
But now that I've set my book aside, I feel a little more comfortable discussing the process. IN A POSITIVE LIGHT!
You see, after receiving so many rejections that I lost track, I took a final look at my book. I made several very big changes to the manuscript, gave one final push to see if it would attract the attention of agents, and came to the conclusion that something about my manuscript (NOT the agents' taste, opinions, etc.) is off. That's a tough decision to make, and not one I make lightly. I love my book, and I could picture myself purchasing this book if someone else wrote it and had it published.
But agents know a lot that I do not. Both about the industry in general and the market my book is geared toward. And I genuinely respect their opinions. If I didn't I wouldn't query them. (And, as a matter of fact, there are a few out there with whom I don't agree, and I won't query them. BUT I WON'T BAD MOUTH THEM, EITHER!) Since "industry insiders" currently don't see a market for my book, I've decided to set it aside. At least for now. As I said, there is another decision that's still up in the air, and it is in regards to this book, but I won't discuss it for many moons.
Why would I make this decision? For one, I understand that many many books have received hundreds or thousands of rejections before getting that coveted "Yes!" And I am confident in my book. But because of my day job, I don't have a lot of time to work on my writing. Whether it's pitching one manuscript or writing another, I have to pick. And I usually only have enough time to do one or the other.
I have a project that I'm working on now, and I love it. The other book isn't going anywhere, so I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. A good friend of mine told me that he's thrown out more than a dozen manuscripts because he "knew" they just wouldn't sell. I don't know if mine won't sell, but at the moment, I'm spending too much time trying to push it into a market that's not really open to it. So my final, carefully considered decision is to move to the next project.
And then I'll return to the world of querying, send out letters to agents who may be interested, and repeat the process as often as necessary.