After I finished writing The Thieves' Guild, around about the year 2000, I began looking for an agent. I sent out about 20 query letters and ultimately I received some kind of response to most of them. There may have been one or two that were ignored.
Last June, I began looking for an agent again. I ultimately sent out 40 query letters over the next five months. I received a few positive responses. But here's my gripe. Of those 40 query letters, one in four has never received a response at all. Silence.
It gets worse.
Fifteen days ago, I began sending out 42 email queries for my new screenplay. Of those, I have received just one response, and that one was within an hour of my hitting the Send button. He said, all I'm really looking for right now are fast balls over home plate - easy sales. The others have not responded at all. Silence.
Just one of the many joys of being a writer - the golden silence provided by impossibly high walls.
Update: Edited and redacted. Still no response on the screenplay queries, and one response on a previously pending novel query. Hurray for them, it only took six months to send me a form letter.
Also, I should note that short story markets sometimes have even longer waits, though not as many just never respond at all. I have several stories that have been out close to a year, and one that has been under consideration for more than two years. I don't even count that one anymore, but they still haven't responded.
And then there was the time, back in 2002-2004, when a major publishing house kept a novel of mine for 745 days before I finally got fed up and pulled it from consideration. Funny thing is, in addition to ignoring my query emails, letters, and phone calls, they also never responded to my withdrawal letter, so technically, the novel is still under consideration. That's six years and one month since I first sent it to them. So what am I complaining about, right? It could be worse.
Speaking of, last year I extracted a novella (Ananke) from that novel and got it published at Theaker's Quarterly.