Larry Jordan

Everyone is related, and everything is connected.

Questions are Being Answered

Nov 16, 2022 by Larry Jordan, in The Way
I am beginning to query agents, in hopes of finding someone to represent me and my book to the big publishers. It is common to query 100 agents and receive 99 rejections. (You only need one offer.)

This reminds me of looking for work after college. I sent 100 letters, and I got 99 rejections. For a long time, I kept the letters. The worst ones said something like "After an extensive and fair process..." FYI, if you do not pick me, I would rather hear that it was a cursory and unfair process!!

One memorable letter said something like, "After an extensive and fair process, we selected Joe Smith. Signed, Joe Smith." Cold.

In the publishing industry, it is common not to receive a response. If you receive a response, it might take six months, and it might be a form letter, with no explanation. When I sent my first query to an agent, I received a response, I received it in one day, and the agent took the time to counsel me:

"This is above my theological pay grade, so to speak. There might be one or two publishers who would even attempt doing this (Convergent or HarperOne, if the author’s platform was huge) and perhaps the Broadleaf folks. I so appreciate the look, but I’m going to pass."

That did not even feel like rejection. Then, the form letters came. My book is about spiritual practice, and my practice, particularly my Zen practice, provides some pespective. In my regular mind, I am dying an agonizing and painful death by 100 cuts. In my Zen mind, questions are being answered.

As Julian of Norwich, an English mystic said, "All will be well."