I was impressed and reassured by the following statistics...
- J. K. Rowling received a $3,000 advance for her first Harry Potter novel. The publisher did not believe the book would sell too many copies.
- A survey of 185 professional writers revealed that more than half of them got agents and sold their books without connections.
- American agents are in a better position to sell North American rights for your book.
- Get a professional critique of your query letter before sending it out. Visit Evil Editor for a free critique.
- Send out query letters to at least 100 agents for your current book. Send five query letters at a time. If you don't get a positive response, consider revising your letter.
- While you are querying, start working on your next book.
- Visit Predators and Editors to get a background check on all editors.
- Get more information about self-publishing and e-publishing at J.R. Konrath's website and blog.