I got rejected again last week. It was a follow-up to a query I'd already sent out. Most of the letters or emails I get from agents are very polite and encouraging, saying they're too busy to take on new clients right now. I don't know if it's because they like me or because they're extra-polite Canadians. This particular agent was the second one to tell me I might do better querying American agents rather than Canadian ones. Interesting--I'd thought the opposite since my novel is intended for a Canadian audience. They're agents. They probably know what they're talking about. Maybe I should listen to their advice.
I'm querying some American agents now. And I'm changing my approach in a few other ways, since I've learned a few things. I've found agents from books I enjoy and researched them thoroughly. I wasn't a slap-dash, carbon-copy-to-any-old-agent writer before, but I could still have done better.
Before submitting this time (to an agent found through online research), I'd already read three of the books he represented. But they were all from the same author, so I read three others (all by different authors), found the similarities between those books and mine, and mentioned those similarities in my query.
I've read enough how-to-write books that I held no illusions about being rejected. So I wasn't (terribly) disappointed, and my self-esteem wasn't crushed. I've learned some stuff, so now I really can get published! Soon, now, or yesterday would be good.