I have recently completed my third novel, but have yet to find an agent. So, my question is regarding past manuscripts that were rejected during the querying process by prospective agents. Do I mention these in my query?
I would love to inform any potential agents that I am in it for the long haul. I have learned that agents are looking to build a career with an author and while my day job does not include writing, the longterm goal is definitely to quit my job and write full time. How do I tell an agent that I am serious and this isn’t just a whim or hobby? Is that something you can casually reference in a query?
You do not need to mention former dives into the query pool; it's better if you don't. I don't care about your learning curve, I care about whether I love this novel and think I can sell it.
You do not need to tell me you're in this for the long haul, or that you want to build a career. I assume that from jump. I also know that what you think now isn't what you might think in five years.
My ONLY concern is the here and now. Tell me about this novel in an enticing way, and send me a novel that makes me want to get on the phone and pitch it to editors, and we'll let everything else fall into place.
Your underlying assumption is that you have to pitch me as an author I want to work with. It's exactly the reverse. I assume you're someone I can work with until you provide evidence to the contrary.
Evidence to the contrary are things like intransigence about edits; annoyance at the glacial pace of publishing (well, EXPRESSED annoyance, we're all perpetually annoyed); or somehow conveying that you think I work for you rather than with you ("hiring an agent" is a phrase that makes me cringe.)