so, i have been searching for an agent for nearly a year now. I'm on my fourth or fifth revision of my query letter. I keep trying to think of what it is about my letter that agents don't find appealing, and i can only come up with a few things. First and probably the most obvious, is that my letter just isn't written well. I know that this is most likely the case, but even after reading through the entirety of QueryShark's archives, and looking up 'queries that got to yes' on agentquery, I'm failing to see what mistakes i might be making in the novel summary. I suppose that i could be overestimating how well-written my novel is, but even my most brutally honest of friends and family tell me that that they love the story, and my writing style is better than that of many books they've read. I've lost track of how many times i've gone through my novel to edit; the first chapter is as polished as i can make it. When i'm asked to include those pages, i know i'm offering up some of my best work. The second problem i see is that i have no published works, nor any writing background. Aside from my love for reading/writing, i don't have anything relevant about myself to tell the agent. How important is this section of a query letter? should i just omit it entirely? Or should i write about myself as a person and why i enjoy writing as opposed to why i'm 'qualified' to write? And lastly, i'm marketing my novel as YA Fantasy, though I understand that it's a bit long for a first time novel- a little over 120k words. 120k, to me, seems reasonable. After all, the first Harry Potter novel was around 80k, and I flew through that when i was in 6th grade. I understand it's more of a publishing thing; more words = more pages = more money spent on printing. But is this so much of a deal-breaker that it could deter agents from even asking for pages? I suppose this is more of a rant than an actual request for help, and I realize that the most likely scenario is a combination of all three of my problems. I can understand how an agent might not want to take a risk on me. But I've made it this far, and i'm refusing to give up. I'm desperate for advice. Preferably something other than "go get a degree," or "frankenstein your current novel into a shorter, simpler story." Self-publishing is an option, but that is a very distant last resort. Anyone have any suggestions? At this point i'm so frustrated, i'd even settle for a few words of encouragement.