Today, I'd like to talk a little about my Return to Rome (where I’ll again visit Michelangelo’s “Moses.”)
But first, a bit more about the book biz.
After my last post about enduring rejections from prospective literary agents, I’ve plunged back in at the deep end and continued sending out query letters. (Like thousands of novelists, I’m looking for an agent to sell my manuscript.)
At least I know I’m in good company – or, more correctly, at least I know I have a lot of company in rejection!
Literary agent Janet Reid keeps a blog that I like to read, and a while back, she posted some interesting statistics.Out of hundreds of query letters she received from novelists like me, she asked to see only 124 completed manuscripts for possible sales to publishers.
And accepted just 2.
Well, I knew the odds in favour of rejection were extremely high.
And I know I have a lot of great competition.
But, happily, some not great competition as well.
Nathan Bransford, a former literary agent who writes a very fun blog about the business, set out a few examples of why many query letters fail to win an agent’s attention.
Bad writing, of course; spelling errors in the query letter, another no-no.
But my very favourite? Writers who can’t even get his name right.
One even called him Vicky!
As Nathan kindly says, everyone makes mistakes. But screwing up the name and even gender of a potential agent seems like a doozy.
Fortunately, when I begin to despair of publishing, I can turn to trip planning. (Oh, and working on my new novel. But mostly trip planning.)
In June, I’ll be returning to Rome where I've rented an apartment in Monti, a very old area but a new area for me to get to know.
I’ve been in the Monti rione in the past, of course; I met some other Slow Travellers for lunch at a restaurant in the area in January 2008.
But I’ve never stayed there; I don’t have a favourite grocery story or café.
But I think Santa Maria Maggiore will be my neighbourhood church.