It really is. If you're querying right now, you're playing a game, one where you don't have all the pieces.
If you're feeling down about some rejections you've received recently, try to remember these things (these are the pieces you don't have to play with):
1. You don't know the agent's full client list. They may have a client that writes similar books to yours. They may reject you for this.
2. They may have just picked up an author with a similar plot line to your book. They may reject you for this. (This totally happened to me. I could name names. I won't.)
3. They may only be looking for a certain genre right now -- and you don't know what that is. They may see that yours isn't what they're looking for and reject you. Does it suck?
But like I said, it's a piece you don't have, that you can't play with.
4. They may have just sold to an editor that they would pitch your book to. They can't sub every book they have to the same editor, so they may pass on yours.
This is sucktacular too.
5. Timing is king. And unfortunately, you have no idea if it's on your side or about to checkmate you. So, uh, good luck with that...
So what can you do to stay in the game?
1. Write the best book you can.
2. Don't give up.
3. Whine to your writerly friends.
4. Work harder, learn more, write better.
5. Write another book.
6. Try, try again. (Okay, this is the same as #2. But it bears repeating.) Basically, I'm saying to send more queries. Each one is like a shiny new piece, a new opportunity, that could be the card that says, "Go directly to home, collect the $200, you're a winner!"
What do you think? What pieces of the game are you missing? Will you keep playing until you win? I hope you do. If you feel like throwing in the towel, send me an email, okay? Okay.