Disclaimer: This post is not a happy one.
This month has been a difficult one. I've received a couple rejections, no biggie. I've launched into another read-through and revision of my novel, and so far the edits are very minor. It's made me wonder if I should even bother, but I'm bothering.
I've received suggestions from beta readers on how to make my MS 'better'. The suggestions would require me to rewrite 3/4 of my novel. But it has got me to thinking. What if only a handful of people really like my novel the way it is? What if it would be more 'marketable' if my MC was twelve years old instead of seventeen, and facing boarding school and an evil stepmother instead of an arranged marriage and a wicked cousin? The book wouldn't be my book, but maybe it would be 'more like Harry Potter'. It wouldn't reach the audience I had originally intended, but maybe it would be more appealing to a wider audience. It wouldn't be so 'girly'. But what's wrong with a book aimed at girls, with an MC who doesn't fit the mold of a typical teenager?
The form rejections don't help either. I've tried researching each and every agent, but when the only hint of what they're looking for is that they represent YA, the possibility of rejection is great. I'm considering the buck-shot approach, to hit as many agents who rep YA or illustrated MG as possible. Maybe if I query enough agents I can find one who reps a book like mine.
What do you do when people suggest you change your book drastically to make it more appealing? What do you do when you just can't find the right agent, and reading writer success stories only makes you depressed?