Well, it's that time all us writers love. Time to steel ourselves and develop a love/hate relationship with either the postman or the 'You Have Mail' sound on our phone/computer.
Yep, it's time to play Hunt The Literary Agent! The rules are quite simple. You send off the first few chapters of a work you've poured your heart and soul into and ideally receive a 'We love it' reply but more often than not, receive plenty of 'Not for us'. Or even worse, all you receive is silence. I know that editors and agents explain this as a lack of resources on their part and I completely understand how understaffed magazines and publishing houses, etc are these days. It's just so frustrating not knowing whether you should hang on just a little longer to see if you get a reply, or if your enquiry has been binned weeks ago!
When I was going through this process several years ago, it was the case that you could only apply to one agent at a time. I am sure there are still some agents that prefer this, but from what I've read, the norm is now to send out several enquiries at a time which at least means that you can cover more bases in one go.
I did eventually secure an agent that first time round which was an amazing feeling. I can still remember the phone call! Sadly they weren't able, in the end, to get a publishing deal for me and after a few years we parted ways due to them moving back abroad, and us also being on the move abroad.
So, having spent the afternoon yesterday with The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook I now have a short list for the first batch of enquiries. It would be so nice if this was the only batch of enquiries I have to make - all we can do is hope!
In the meantime, I just have to write the 'intro' letter. I swear that such things as this, and synopses, are more difficult than writing an entire novel!
Good luck to anyone else currently on the same safari!