In addition, there were over 100 agents and publishers who never bothered to respond to my query.
Most of these, as you might imagine, are stamp-signed form letters, but a few of them are personal replies. Others are hand-scrawled “No”s on my original query letter. One agent just returned my query letter with a big red X on it. How ’bout that shit? Pretty professional, huh? And they wonder why everyone is running to self-publishing.
I’ve mentioned this before, and I’m going to keep on mentioning it whenever I feel like it. Over the years, I’ve asked over 100 published authors how they got their first agent. Not a single one of them said they got their first agent through a cold query. Their answers were all, to a person, a variation on luck and/or insider contacts. And yet, you ask anyone in the business how to get an agent, and they’ll all say, “Write a great query letter.” They still say that today, believe it or not.