When I first sent the book out, it wasn't ready. I wasn't ready. I didn't know what a query was, or who to query. I think I wasted some really good agents with a terrible query letter and a book that wasn't ready to be sent out. Knowing what I do now about good query letters, and how polished a MS needs to be before submitting, I cringe with humiliation.
After the book semi-finaled (is that a word? If not, it should be) in ABNA last year, my confidence in it was buoyed, and I spent a long time working on a new, much better query letter. But still no results. So I went back to the MS, and realized there were things about it that needed changing. I ended up writing six new chapters, and cutting out huge sections toward the beginning.
So with the new, very much streamlined version of the book ready to go, I decided it was time for a new query letter, and knocked out another one, better again than the previous one. I've only sent it out three times, so far, but with two of those three coming back as a rejection, I'm not hopeful. So my question has to be, is it the query that's not working? Or is it the pages?
It's impossible to know. While I'd much rather get a form rejection from an agent than silence, those form rejections don't tell you anything about what you need to do next. I could spend weeks working on yet another query, but if it's the pages that are getting me rejected, I'd be wasting my time.
Do I give up on this book? Do I keep going, fumbling blindly through the darkness? I believe in my book. Will anyone else?