Publishing is brutal. It’s the first thing you learn as a new writer, and it’s a lesson reiterated at every step along the way. From drafting to critiquing to querying to subbing. Brutal. All of it.
Previously, my record on receiving a rejection for a query was thirty minutes from the time sent. Thirty minutes. I know what you’re thinking. How can anyone make up their mind so fast?
(The simple answer, of course, is that these kinds of responses from literary agents are part and parcel of the job. It’s their career. They can’t spend all day on one query. It’s business.)
And I totally get that. Time is money. And just like I can tell whether or not I’m going to enjoy a book by the back cover copy or by perusing a random page in the middle, agents know what they’re looking for, and when they find it, there’s no question. So thirty minutes? That’s fast, but I get it.
This week, I received a rejection eleven minutes after sending a query. I’m not sure I even had time to get my hopes up in thinking this agent might have been the one for me.
No, really, I don’t think you understand how fast that is. You can’t even watch half an episode of My Little Pony in that time. (I’m a parent. MLP is how we measure time around here. What of it?)
All of this to say, hang in there, querying writers. I know exactly where you’re coming from. And as many times as we lament about long wait times* for query responses, I’m not sure the alternative is really any better.
*Long wait times being six weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks, a year, or more…