The thing was, it was still REALLY short. 28,000 words. I wanted the book to be closer to 35k or even 45k, but I had heard that the range for middle grade started around 25k.
I think I heard wrong. I read the words of a few agents that said they *might* consider something in the mid-30,000s, but they'd prefer it to be longer.
What? You must mean mid-20,000s....
Unfortunately by this time, I had sent out all my queries. I knew I was supposed to stagger them and I did. I sent out 3-5 at a time for a while. In the first two weeks I got a partial and a full request, so I figured I'd done a good job on something. So I patted myself on the back and sent out a few more queries. And a few more.
And then the form rejections started rolling in. At first, I thought this was no big deal. I expected form rejections. Then I read about the more appropriate word count range and I started to worry. What if I was getting these form rejections because of my word count? I mean, it makes sense. I got better feedback on Shadow Bound and, according to my critique group (and family), Roses and Mirrors is way better.
I'm still deciding what to do about this. Do I requery in a few months? Do I shelve it?
Whatever I choose, I'm going back and making this book right. Some great subplots have come to mind and I've toyed with my main plot to see if I can make it twistier and more gut wrenching ('cause I'm evil like that). But I've already done some serious damage. Please. Don't make the same mistakes I did. Query slow. And