1. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    Rejection over and over

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Suffering-is-Beauty, Mar 28, 2013.

    So just checked my email and yet another rejection letter. That makes more than I can count. I know it takes a long time to get an agent to actually sign you, but its getting a little frustrating. I kind of wish that they would send you a personal F-U rather than the obvious copy and paste technique. It's just irritating. I've been thinking about sending a new query letter to the agents, and was curious how long I should wait before sending it to those that rejected me. Any ideas?
     
  2. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    First of all, no matter how bleak things get, don't give up. Second of all, i think you should just tweak you're query letter a little bit until you notice a better opinion on it. It doesn't matter how many publishers reject your work, it only matters how many times you've TRIED and how you didn't GIVE UP.
     
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  3. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    Yeah I don't intend to give up any time soon, but its still disheartening. I just got my self published novel into a retailer, and have another one interested so I shall see how well that goes before I light my writing on fire or anything drastic like that. Of course even if that fails I probably will keep at it but hearing no over and over really sucks. I guess I'll tweak my query letter and send it out again. squeaky wheel gets the grease I hope.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're not getting tons of rejections, you aren't sending out enough queries. So at least you're getting some work done! As far as re-querying the same agent, I wouldn't do it unless I had created something very different from what I had previously sent. If it's for an entirely new novel, that's different. I don't know how long you've been querying or what research you've done, or any other information to surmise whether you're doing anything incorrectly. It's a tough road, because you're seeking to develop a relationship, so the agent needs to feel a certain connection with you, AND really love your work, AND believe he or she can sell it.

    Hang in there!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you'd like to find out whether the problem is the query letter itself, you can send it to me and if not as good as it needs to be i will be glad to help you improve it...

    that said, it will do you no good to requery the same agents... if you waited maybe a year or more and had a much better query to send, that might be ok, but if the problem is the book, not the query, then that would be a waste of time and postage...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the OP's query letter was enough for the publisher to even open her MS, would they tell her that's where her problem lies? "Sorry, your QL was crap so we didn't bother!" I'm sure like the OP says, a little more honesty would be a lot healthier - at least she'd know where she needs to improve.

    Has anyone been rejected with anything other than the usual copy and pasted BS? Such as... You know what? We really loved it up untill....... and then it went down hill...? Or - I really struggled through the start but it gathered pace and I ended up liking it, please go back and rewrite the first chapter, give your character more.... and come back to us ?
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Resending in work that the agent has already rejected one isn't gonna get you into anyone's good graces. Rather your name will be forever remembered as the author who annoyed the hell out of the agent and make her prejudiced against you. They've rejected your work, you've had your chance - move on to other agents. If these agents didn't even get as far as reading your samples, there's no point re-querying unless you're doing it for a new piece of work. Even then I'd give them a breather to forget about you first - you don't wanna come across as someone who's doing too many projects and not focused enough.
     
  8. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    Yeah that's what I'm saying. Most of the time they only want a single page query letter, and then reply with some stupid "due to our large amount....It wasn't quite the right fit for us". Just tell me it sucks and be done with it. we are writers after all. Rejection and criticism is pretty much the only way any of us get better.
     
  9. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Most agencies have a policy for submitting your work again. Just follow those guidelines on their websites. Most of them require a re-write and waiting 2-3 months. But each one is different.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is not necessarily the case. Very often, agents will reluctantly or sadly pass on a query that they did think was good -- either they already think the genre is too crowded, or it's not what they usually read or sell, so it's not the type of book that can really make maximum use of that particular agent's skills and contacts.

    I'm not an agent, but as an example -- I virtually never, ever read fantasy. Whenever, for some reason, I've been forced to read something even close to fantasy, (for either a book club, or a critique group) or anything that has fantastical elements, it is always very tough for me to do it. I feel like I slog my way through, and I have to force myself to finish it. Sometimes, I can recognize that the writing/prose is excellent, or that the characters are unique and I could see them appealing to many people, but I personally would much prefer to read something else. IF I were an agent, it would be very unlikely that I'd take on a fantasy book, especially one that came to me via the slush pile. That wouldn't mean that I thought the idea/synopsis/query letter/excerpt sucked. It would just mean that I was not the right person to represent it, and you, as the author, would be better served by finding an agent who loved fantasy, and loved your m/s.
     
  11. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    When dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, or MS's during your day/week, would you have time to send personalized answers to everyone? I think not, which is why it's form letters. There's just so many queries they get that it can be overloading in many ways. Accept that this is how it is and then move on.
     
  12. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    getting bored with busy editors excusing lack of time for sheer bad manners. If a writer can spend a year on a book for someone the least that someone can say is - it's crap!
     
  13. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    agreed. obviously they don't have time to send a whole page of suggestions and critiques, but they could easily reply with something simple

    Bad query-not interested
    Good query-not a good fit.

    its quick and just as easy as a format document. plus you don't have to read three paragraphs just for them to say that they appreciate you thinking of them and their sorry they can't work with you.
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seriously? You'd be satisfied with this?

    It's not bad manners, it's lack of time. Agents and editors need to do things that earn them money, just like you do. They also deserve time to spend with their family or on hobbies. They don't owe you a critique or advice. If you want that you can find some that will do it for your money. I also disagree that someone telling me my writing was "crap" would be polite, professional, or satisfying.
     
  15. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bad query-not interested
     
  16. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    Yeah your right, and no it wouldn't really be that satisfying for any other reason than being something different from what they normally send. I'll stop whining and just re-write my query letter.
     
  17. slamdunk
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    slamdunk Member

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    I can understand the frustration but its really not their work to help you out or teach you anything. They could do that but its not something they have to do. Lets look at it like this: what have you done for them? Nothing probably, but they should do you this favour?
     
  18. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Even professional writers still receive rejections. It comes with the territory.. As writers, we must work to build a thick skin and stay moving forward, doing what we can to prevent our success from making us believe we're invulnerable, or from believing our rejections are signs that we should be, as Mark Twain once said, "...sawing wood," instead.

    Better yet, ask yourself, "Would I still write if 'publication' ceased being a possibility, entirely?"
     
  19. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Let us say an editor or agent receives 50 queries or submissions a day. Beyond reading and considering them, if they were to write a personalized email rejection for each, say it would take an additional 90 seconds to compose--wouldn't want it to be 'generic' in any way, but specific comments on what didn't work, and maybe even a line as to why and how to fix it.

    That would mean almost nine hours a week would be spent in replying to hopeful authors. Is that really an efficient use of an editor's/agent's time? Their job is not to encourage or provide mini critiques of hopeful author's works, especially those they will likely never cross paths with again. It's to find authors they hope to represent/publish and work with them.

    If you were represented by an agent, or an editor was working to bring your novel to publication with a publisher, would you really want them spending on average one day a week writing comments to author submissions they're rejecting? As a business owner--if you were a publisher, would you want your employees doing that? If you were an agent, and your income and livelihood depended on representing works--getting them published, would you spend one day a week in the office, commenting individually to authors you will not represent?

    Some editors and agents do have blogs or other outlets where there take the time to address issues and remedies for submissions they commonly get and reject.

    Rejection is part of the process. And not every hopefull author will find a publisher. One can always self-publish, and avoid that form or rejection, and take it from the readers when a piece languishes largely unread, or worse, read and earns harsh reviews.

    On the other hand, maybe those agents and editors are missing the boat, and the self-pubbed piece will take off. The odds are long but, if one really believes in their work, and invests the time and financial resources into preparing a self-pubbed work so that it's of the same quality (cover, editing, layout, marketing) as traditionally published works, and see what happens. The self-publishing author is risking his/her own investment (in time and money) that a publisher normally would in bringing a work to publication).
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    liz and terry are right...

    something else those who're complaining about no personal response need to consider is that the good/successful agents don't have time to read all the queries that come flooding in daily, because they're working their tails off to snag publishers for their current clients, so they have assistants who open the mail and take a first look... and only the queries that are well-written and have a potentially marketable ms to offer will get passed on up the line to the agent... all the rest will be 'round filed' and the writer gets sent a stock rejection notice...
     
  21. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It really is not necessarily always the quality of either the query letter or the writing. Sometimes agents are not taking on any more clients, or the genre or "feel" of the work is not right for them. My mother's friend has had many novels published over the last 30 years, in fact she lived off her writing. When her agent died, she had problems finding another agent and in the end she self-published. I've had a couple of personally written rejections which made helpful suggestions, so not all agents are villains. It obviously wouldn't hurt to get some help from an experienced writer or mentor like mammamaia, though, so that your QL is as good as possible and the MS correctly presented, etc.
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sure. But if you keep on getting endless rejections, it's certainly worth taking a closer look at your queries. Like any other aspect of your writing, you should strive for continual improvement.
     
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  23. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    http://www.mzbworks.com/why.htm

    A link to why editor's reject stories.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what is that?... not a good idea to post a link without saying what it is or why we should go there...
     
  25. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    What she said.
     

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