A lot of people write several manuscripts before they get an agent or a book deal. I've only heard of a few instances where someone has gotten a book deal with their very first book.
It doesn't happen often.
I wonder if everyone starts out like I did. You write a book, think it's super awesome, query it and get nothing but rejections, and wonder why no one will give you a chance. Do you give up? Move on to something else? When do you know it's time to move on?
I say when your heart isn't in it anymore. When you can admit to yourself that it's okay to put your book away for a while. Or when all you've gotten is rejections and no requests, or have gotten requests, but they all turned into rejections in the end.
Moving on to another book does NOT mean you suck. Timing is everything in this industry. And honestly, putting a few books on the shelf can help you grow. It means you recognize that this business is hard, but you're willing to work at it. You're willing to put your baby away and start from scratch to write something new because you believe you can succeed. You'll notice your improvement with each book. It may be subtle at first, but when you have a few books under your belt and go back and read some of your very first projects, you'll be amazed at how much better you've gotten.
I'm embarrassed at how naive I was when I first started trying to get published. Which is stupid, since no one really knows how hard publishing can be until they try. I could have given up so many times, but I'll be the first to admit I'm stubborn. And you kind of have to be a little stubborn to keep going. I still make mistakes. I'm not perfect. But I've come so far and every single book I've written has helped me get to the point I'm at now. Even the books that sucked.
The point of this post is, if you're not sure whether a book is working for you, or are so sick of rejection and wonder if it's not the right time to query your book, it's okay to put it away for a while. Or in several of my cases, forever. Work on something new. Keep yourself busy. You'll be glad you did and you never know whether your new idea will be something greater than you ever imagined.
FYI **I'm doing a giveaway on my Facebook page for a signed copy of Not Your Average Fairy Tale. Check it out if you'd like! :) ** Just click here: Chantele Sedgwick