The game plan should be to keep them to a minimum. Me, I guess I'm a masochist because not too long ago I e-mail over 40 queries to book agents about my book Sarah Of The Moon.
I thought the queries were well written and insightful but I knew I was in trouble when the first rejections hit my inbox within minutes of my mailings. That's right, I was receiving rejection letters on queries sent two minutes previously.
The funny part was that they were saying things like: We've read your query letter, and the attached first 3 chapters of your book, and found that your novel, though it has potential, is not what we're looking for at the present time.
Let's skip right to the obvious. They didn't read my book excerpt and they probably did not read my query. There's a good possibility the agent never even opened my e-mail.
Things didn't get any better after that. After the initial first wave, the rejections began to trickle in one or two at a time. The wording rarely changed. The agents were always apologetic but still the book was not in their best interests.
Here's the bottom line, and the reason I'm not doubting my writing ability and even my manhood, the agents, are far as I can tell never read any of my stuff.
There I said it. I firmly believe that 99% of unsolicited e-mail queries are never read, at least all the way through.
Self-published authors are not top priority with book agents who must be absolutely certain a book has best seller potential before they begin pushing it to publishers.
It's tough out there in the book business today and agents know it.
So if you are trying to beat the odds, and who isn't, then the best of luck to you. But make sure you have a thick skin and a large ego. Both will take a hit in the days that follow.