We’ve all read about successful authors who racked up 100, 200, or more rejections before they were published. Some of those rejected books went on to become best sellers or even win prizes. What I’ve wondered is how different the book the first five agents rejected is from the version that finally sold. How much revision do you do, and when?
If you come across an agent’s or editor’s advice that strikes home, usually concerning things to avoid, do you immediately go back to your manuscript and search for those little sins? I call that tweaking. My manuscripts can always be improved—I’ve never picked one up that I haven’t found something I now think could be said better. But at what point do you say Enough? If no one is interested, when do you put it on the shelf and begin querying the next one? Or do you ever give up entirely on it?