After I finished my first novel, A Lost Woman, I literally had no idea what to do next. So, like I teach my students when they (and sometimes I) don't know something, GOOGLE IT! I was completely naive to the world of publishing as I combed through websites giving information on how to write a query, what agent is right for you, how to get published, types of publishing deals... each website only sparked more questions than answers. Then came the webinars. The ones that taught me how to write an effective query and then those on how to find the right agent for you. This was definitely a case of too much information does not mean you got good information. It took hours of time to figure out which websites held updated and safe information on various agents who were looking for new authors. Then I had to start studying. One by one I went down the list, studying each agent to see if they could be the right fit from my story. Honestly, if they were interested in my genre, they got a query from me!
At the time, I believe it all. So I wrote a query and sent it out to agents.
Again, I was naive. With no connection or knowledge of the world of writing and publishing, I was, in a sense, lost at sea. I couldn't even see the ships as they were passing me by, which -news alert - they were! After a few months, the rejection letters started to trickle in, if they came at all. Suddenly, I realized that all my "hard work" (not nearly hard enough come to find out later) had left me with no results. No feedback. No information. No nothing.
Finally, just as I was about to give up hope, a light flashed in the distance. Suddenly, I had a sliver of information. But it wasn't a ship in the distance ... it was a bird. One that went tweet, tweet.