I hear feedback very similar to this comment quite a bit:
Publishers and editors are looking for diverse stories written by diverse authors, yet when we submit our queries to Bookends’ agents all we get is “not the right fit” or “didn’t feel strongly enough to request pages”. This dismissal of our efforts is based on a query letter only since we are not allowed to submit even one page of a manuscript. I really hope that publishers and editors are aware of this policy which does not help get diverse manuscripts into their hands.
The belief, I believe, is that editors don’t know what they’re missing because agents are too dismissive. If only we could rid the world of agents so many good books would be published.
Did you know that editors will reject a book based on a query, even if it’s from an agent?
Did you know that readers reject a book on query all the time? They just call it cover copy.
Did you know that writing to a market that many are looking for, like diverse books, still requires a compelling story idea, great writing, riveting characters, and a plot that keeps us reading?
There is no easy way into publishing. My suggestion if you feel your query is getting rejected unfairly is to quit blaming the reader, and instead take a very serious look at the query you’re writing or possibly the book to see what else it might need to grab the attention of readers.
BookEnds is very serious about finding more diverse authors. I think you’ll see that in the sales we’ve been making and the books we are representing, but taking on a new client requires a strong belief that it’s a book we can find a good home for.