This year I finished a novel that’s been in the works for three years. Once I had finished and edited it a couple times, I (very nervously) gave it to some family members to read/edit. For context, my parents are in the publishing business and have been for decades. All my beta readers (seven of them) are well-read, a number of them very well-acquainted with my genre. Despite my anxiety, every one of my beta readers has loved the novel and been extra complimentary about it, asking me when the next one will be available. It’s been flattering, particularly since it’s my first novel, and I had incredibly low expectations for positive feedback.
Having said that, I’ve submitted the novel to dozens and dozens of agents. Over the course of the last three months, I’ve racked up 37 rejection emails. Thirty-four have been form rejections. Not one agent has requested more material (though the submission for many requires anywhere from 10-50 pages). And those are just the agents who took the time to respond.
What am I missing here? If any of you have any insight given my experience with beta readers and submissions, please do share. I know rejection is normal. But the fact that no agents have asked for more material despite my readers all loving it has me scratching my head a bit.
Thanks for your help!