Querying Woes

I'm about as deep into querying as you can get right now. The biggest news is that I got two full manuscript requests a few weeks ago. Everyone was so excited - friends and family, husband - but the news has gotten stale and it sucks to have to keep telling everyone, "No, haven't heard anything yet." Other queries are being rejected through simple expiration. Those are the most disheartening because you don't even know if anybody read or even received it.

One thing I've noticed is that in the two cases where the agent response was a good one, they used my actual name. One of them even referenced the title of my book. All of the rejections I've received sans one have been addressed "Dear author" and none of them have said anything personal. That alone kind of sucks because it leaves me wondering why my novel was rejected.

Is my query letter bad? Is the pitch incomplete? Is the genre not something you actually represent (despite one website or another saying you do)? Did you just not like the premise of the book? Does it seem inappropriate for the age group I've written it for?

I don't have a clue why a single agent has rejected my query.

I know that all this is just part of the game. I've researched the publishing industry like crazy. I've read author blogs and autobiographies and articles and interviews. I've read agents' and editors' blogs. I pay for a subscription to Publisher's Marketplace and I scan Publisher's Lunch everyday to see if there's any news that might be relevant to my querying process. I've read through the sad, sad threads of other neglected queriers on Absolute Write.

So that's my update. Not crying-sad, but definitely sober. While I'm waiting for this querying thing to wrap up, I've started to write the next book. I think it will be far better than the first and I'm very excited about it, although anxious about how much time it will take. In characteristic Dani Fashion, I want to finish it like, tomorrow, so that I can query it and increase my chances of securing an agent and a deal because THAT would mean the fruition of a dream - that I can keep writing because it will be a job, and not just a hobby.