After 300 agent rejections, in spite of your revisions? Based on your critique group's feedback? Or is it "just a feeling"? When is it time to hang it up and start trying to sell the next one? How do you know?

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My third novel got me an agent. I think that's when I realized the first two were practice novels.

It's hard to be objective about your own work when it's fresh. Stick the manuscript in a drawer for a year, start working on something new, then read the one-year-old. You'll know right away if you should pitch it or...pitch it. ;)
This is really sound advice. Out of my writing friends, I have two sorts: Those who have polished and polished that book for years and years, racked up the rejections, polish it again, then send it out again. Then repeat this formula for years and years. Only a couple of them ever made the jump from published to unpublished.

And the other sort are those who get a handful of rejections, fix it, get a few more, then move on and start the next project, and after a handful of rejections, move on to the next project. Invariably the Move On group are the ones who ended up selling first. They also seem to be the ones who end up having the longest career. They are willing and able to change and morph as needed, and let go of a project if necessary to rev up their careers.

Probably only a few authors have no Under The Bed Book. The rest of us have one or more. I pull mine out every now and then, dust it off, and realize it's right where it needs to be. It could probably be fixed, but I could write a new book way faster. And probably way better.
Thanks all for the great advice. I asked because I was tempted to try to get it published online (an opportunity exists), but I don't feel I've exhausted all possibilities yet. Last year's version garnered 30 rejections, but I've since rewritten and I do think it's a stronger work... (hopefully) soon to be made still stronger with another revision. After this, I'm done! I am sort of noodling around on two sequels (which could as easily be standalones; they don't depend on the events in this book), but the only reason I haven't committed is my insane schedule. At least the ideas are coming, though!

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