When I first started sending query letters out to literary agents years and years ago, I really didn’t know how to write them and I thought that quantity would be better than quality, so I had received many, many rejections and wasted so much postage.
These days, I still don’t believe that I write the perfect query letter, but I hand pick the agents and I customize the query to that agent after doing sufficient research. Have I landed one, yet? No. But I have received personal feedback from some of them and that can be very valuable also.
Case in point – I’ve had Pam Ahearn on my radar for some time now. I queried her early on and then years later apologized for that attempt and tried again. Ms. Ahearn has responded most recently with a letter telling what she liked and didn’t like about the first 75 pages of a detective thriller. Although it was a rejection, she gave me the inspiration to change some things that I’ve been scared to up to this point and low and behold, the book is better. The flow is better and the action is better and she will welcome a re-submit.
Building the relationship is what will get me an agent. Letting them know that I will always be around and that I am willing to work with them and change things up. I have to think that way, or I may as well quit.