1. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    How not to handle Rejection

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by ChaosReigns, Jul 28, 2016.

  2. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I'd been rejected 319 times (which seems an exaggeration to me; are there really that many agents covering one genre?) I think I'd be bitter, too. I would hope, however, that I would be content to bitch to my wife about it (my usual strategy) rather than airing my grievances in public.
     
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  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Truly cringeworthy.

    It certainly is frustrating to find an agent whose interests appear to align so completely with one's own, and for whom one's work appears to be a perfect fit, give the pitch one's best shot, only to get a boilerplate rejection (or worse, crickets). But the fact is, once an agent has turned thumbs-down, it's done. Let it go. Accosting an agent at a pitch conference after (s)he has already rejected you is sort of like running after the jury outside the courthouse after the verdict's been rendered. Nothing good comes from it. Pitching or re-querying an agent who has rejected your work is okay if there has been a major revision to the work, such as a major reduction in word count or correction of a major flaw. But it should be done with professionalism and respect.
     
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  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It took me about 75 rejections to decide that, as with Brutus, the fault lay not within our stars, but within myself. I'd had three requests for the full ms and three more for 100+ pages, and...crickets. Clearly, there was nothing wrong with my pitch. Had to be the ms. So, I called timeout, got with my consulting editor, identified some weaknesses, and am now working on a major revision. We'll see what happens. And, in the end, if I still can't sell it to an agent or publisher, I'll self-pub.
     
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  5. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    I got rejected 4 times and then self published.

    There's nothing wrong with me, its you!
    I'll make my own publishing company... with blackjack and hookers!
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting business model.
     
  7. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There is so much wrong with that blog, from him insulting her appearance to him thinking she should remember his query among the thousands, literally thousands, she probably gets a month.

    I don't understand how, in the age of the internet, querying authors can be so clueless. How can they get to the stage of discovering an agent's contact details without stumbling on query advice in the meantime? But it happens, in droves, because MOST queries an agent gets are from authors who clearly haven't read up on how to do it (and how not to do it).

    But... I shouldn't complain. It means your query stands out in a positive way just by using correct English and following simple sub guidelines. I should be thanking the morons.
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It just makes me sad when old white men do stuff like this. Reminds me of my dad, I think - not evil, just living in a different world and unable to comprehend this one. Damn.
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hmm. I read that entire link. The fellow in question did not come across at all well (although he does seem able to write coherently,) and he totally lost me with his focus on how the young woman looked, how she was dressed, etc. That might be a result of his frustration, or a glimpse into why he's not been very successful. Bad attitude? I'm not inclined to like him, judging by this presentation, or be the slightest bit interested in whatever the hell he has written.

    That being said, though, I do wonder about pitch conferences. I'd love to know how effective they are. That is: how many people have a successful pitch conference experience and then go on to be taken on as a client by the agent they pitched to? Perhaps the percentage of successes is high, but I suspect it's not.

    Why? Simple, really. A writer is a writer. Talking glibly about their writing in a face-to-face situation isn't really a reflection on what their writing is like. I know I can talk the hind end off a donkey, but I would struggle doing this face-to-face. I'm much more comfortable writing. That's why I'm a writer, not a public speaker. Giving me a few minutes alone with an agent in order to persuade them to represent my book is not something I would find easy to do. And again, it's not a reflection on my writing ability.

    I'm not inclined to blame agents for this little game ...at least not blame them TOO much. Perhaps if they were in their offices reading queries and MS submissions rather than earning money sitting having a chat with some poor wannabe, they might launch a few more writers into the game, but ...not my call.

    It's the people who organise these events that I would like to gently strangle, or sit in my rocking chair and rock repeatedly over their long furry tails. These events bring in a hell of a lot of money, create a lot of hope, cost an arm and a leg to attend ...and produce ...what? Real results? Do they actually do this? Has anybody here on this forum ever had a work published based on a pitch they made at a pitch conference? Or know of anybody who has? I'd be curious to hear about the experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Jan, I think the key question is not how many are taken on as clients (because that depends on factors beyond just the pitch/query), but rather how does the pitch conference compare with regular querying in getting a significant piece of your work read. My own experience (so, not a scientific sample), is that querying via e-mail (about 75 queries) has resulted in one request for the full ms and no requests for significant chapters/pages. Pitching (a total of 8 agents and 3 editors) has resulted in two requests for the full ms and three requests for significant chapters/pages. So, I'm inclined to trust the pitch conference as a method, as long as it's being run by a legitimate organization with legitimate agents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
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  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I got my agent (and significant interest, including a couple offers from other agents) just with e-mail.

    It probably depends a lot on author personality, probably a lot on agent personality, and maybe somewhat on genre? There are some genres that seem a lot more networking-oriented than others, at least in my limited experience.
     
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  12. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    There is a certain type of sexist guy (and I'm not bashing men here, I realize this is a tiny minority of men, and also there are female equivalents of the same thing) who is obese, unemployed, has an off-putting personality, is slobby, etc. but then only has interest in dating "level 10" women, instead of people on his own level. And then, when he gets rejected, he makes excuses like "It's because I'm under 6 foot" or "It's because I was too nice" (lol). This guy is the writer equivalent of this. Also, he brings up her appearance several times -- "pear shaped girl in a formless frock" and "tent-like A-line dress."

    Also, the passive-aggressive bit about agents getting "abusive" when you call them on the phone? Agents have a listed preferred method of contact, typically their email, and the only proper approach is following the guidelines the agent prefers. This makes me think that he regularly calls agents to hound and harass them, and/or guilt-trip them after rejections.

    I got gross vibes from the whole thing.
     
  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There are so many factors at play in the pitch vs email query debate. Data is sketchy for obvious reasons but it seems clear that pitching face-to-face gets a much higher request rate than 'cold' queries. You have to consider that it's much harder to say no to someone in person than via email, because agents are generally nice people who like authors and don't like rejecting them. Based on no evidence at all I assume that accounts for the different request rates, and I'd wager that the actual conversion rate into offers is similar for each type of query.

    One advantage of F-2-F pitching is that often agents who are closed to queries will accept them from people they've met at pitches. Is that worth the money? For me, no.
     
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  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I looked at a few of the other posts on this author's blog. Seems like he's not exclusively snippy toward younger women, at least - he's bitching about every agent who's rejected him! A few quotes that boil down the attitude:

    'However, as I re-traced my steps and dug deeper into Pete, I found both an air of elitism and a whiff of insecurity that would render him uncomfortable associating with an outsider as far outside as I am." - and then goes on to track down "Pete"'s own novels and ridicule them.

    "This much explanation is both unusually loquacious — compared to most of my rejections — and typically superficial. "

    "In a somewhat turgid and self-congratulatory bio, he boasts of his ability to grasp, analytically, what makes other people laugh while he stands apart and rubs a reflective chin."

    etc.

    Too bad.
     
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  15. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    It's like the person who constantly complains about their boss on facebook, and posts negative comments everywhere on Linked In, and wonders why they never have any luck getting invited for interviews.

    How clueless and idiotic can these people be?
     
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  16. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    To be fair, a lot of it has to do with the need for work to be seen. This guy has obviously tried to get noticed through talent, it hasn't worked, now he's trying to get noticed by being provocative.
    Which is totally working by the way, because here we are, talking about it.

    Now if this spreads around enough, maybe someone, someone who actually likes what he has going on, will take notice.
     
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  17. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    True, but even if he does get published, he'll forever be known as an unprofessional douche.

    I mean, would it really be a good thing for book fans to look you up and be like "Wow, this guy/girl is a total asshole"?
     
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  18. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    I doubt they really care about peoples impressions of them, people can easily erect self defense mechanisms to reason away critiques on character.

    Plus, unprofessional douches make great money. Look at Kanye, Paris Hilton, Trump.
     
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  19. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. No matter what your think of him and his approach, he's certainly shit in his own nest here. Naming the agent was really really stupid. Really stupid.
     
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  20. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    You might be right, but I sure hope not. My expectation is that he is indeed blacklisted. If somebody should take him on, based on his naff behaviour, can you imagine the number of other people who would try the same approach?
     
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  21. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Well, at least one, any tips on how to start up a blog?
     
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  22. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's a really small industry, and agents and editors DO care about personalities. There's not enough money in publishing to put up with "diva" behaviour like in films and music. Nobody wants to work closely with a jackass.
     
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  23. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    He may not get published, but it's pretty easy to turn a following, even ironic or anti, into profit. People do it all the time, get on you tube and say terrible things, get their video mentioned in the bigger channels through, "Hey, look at this asshat!" and then they start to pull in money through the angry mob that comes to yell at them. If they're good, they even start up a group of their own that makes more videos, and other forms of media, and grow the brand.
     
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  24. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Sure. And ghostwriters probably do work with celebrities they despise because they know the resultant "auto"biography will sell. So if that's his goal... good strategy.

    But he ain't gonna get his book published this way.
     
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  25. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    I'd say he's probably not going to get published this way. But just like there's asshat writers, there's bound to be publishers just like them.

    Maybe some guy, who got turned down by this girl.

    "You know what?" Hic- Crap. Got some of my drink on the keyboard again, "This old white guy has some valid points on that harlot, lets see what else he has to say!"
     

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