Rejection, rejection, rejection...

Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by deadrats, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Medazza

    Medazza Active Member

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    2nd rejection of the week, my research was out. The agent is focussing on kids books
     
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  2. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    You're no outsider. You've been with us for some time now. We love having you around.
     
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  3. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Just don't wait 10 months before you follow up like I did with my last book lol. Yeah now I'm just worrying what if the rest of the book isn't good enough and how do you edit it fast enough, just one last time, before you send it?
     
  4. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Contributor Contributor

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    As for submissions, I was more consistent this year.

    I didn't submit constantly or every month but I did keep sending them out throughout the year.

    I got more rejections than any other year.

    I remember reading somewhere that writers should aim for 100 rejections a year. I am far off that but getting better at having the self-discipline to send stuff out.

    Just got a 6 month rejection from Carve magazine.
     
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  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @Zeppo595 or anyone else -- Want to aim for 100 rejections in 2021 with me? I think I might have gotten 100 rejection in a year in the past, maybe. It's kind of hard to tell using duotrope because if you search by year it only goes by the date you sent it out, not the date you got a response. And even when I've tried to do the math I think I've been off. Once a story is accepted and you withdraw it from other places, you've got to factor in that those aren't rejections. And the more submissions I make the more complicated the rejection counting seems to be. It would probably just be better to count them in the thread. So, I'm going to keep track next year as I go, aiming for 100 rejections. Something like "A 90-day form rejection from The New Yorker. (1)" "A 20-day personal rejection from The Georgia Review. (2)" and so on along the way. Who's game for really amping up submissions by aiming for 100 rejections? I made right around a hundred submissions in the past year. Not everyplace I submitted to is on duotrope, though, most are. And I probably withdrew about a dozen or more submissions when I sold stories. Anyway, I've read about people who aim for these high-rejection counts. I've posted links to a few essays written about it. I've always aimed for sending out at least one submission a week and have always surpassed that on average. To get a hundred rejections, will mean submitting more. It can't hurt. Who's in?
     
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  6. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Senior Member

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    I would usually but I’m planning to do a lot of work on my novels in 2021 so I probably won’t be writing as many short stories!
     
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  7. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, agent passed in the end :( He said he really enjoyed it, just didn't love it, and it's down to how hard it is to sell a new writer. He said he'd be happy to discuss future projects with me, and that he would not be surprised at all if another agent does love my book. So he advised me to write my new book (which I told him about briefly; he said it sounded great with three exclamation marks lol) and in the meantime, to continue sending my novel out to agents. So, it does seem like he sees promise in the book and that it isn't anything about my book that was "wrong". I did ask, and he said if it was something I could have changed, he would have told me.

    Sigh.

    In the meantime, submitted my full manuscript to a small publisher who made a full request. I'm also waiting till January when another agency reopens for submissions before I act upon the referral I got from still someone else.
     
  8. Medazza

    Medazza Active Member

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    Sounds positive!
     
  9. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Life is Dynamite Contributor

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    is 4-5 months a long enough timeframe before reaching out to publications as to whether or not they are interested in your work?:superconfused:
     
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  10. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I did it within 2 months as soon as most beta feedback had returned. Honestly I did not give it a final pass after I'd implemented the beta changes. Either it's good enough or it isn't - no amount of tinkering with line editing is gonna change that. And as for developmental changes - those are not the sort of thing I could honestly say I can see objectively even 6 months later because I know the book too well. I'd need an editor for it. In other words, line editing won't affect my chances and I wouldn't manage developmental alone.

    So I just sent it out. I mean, no successes yet but I've only been querying for 1.5 months. The agent who passed encouraged me to continue querying and basically implied he expects me to be successful in finding representation based on the full that he read - in short, the quality of the book stands, I believe. And I'd only waited 2 months and only because I was waiting on beta readers.

    But yeah even I probably wouldn't do it before at least a 2 month gap.
     
  11. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Life is Dynamite Contributor

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    ah! Oooh, I meant a place that already has your work but has left you on "Received" for 4-5 months (submitable) :)

    what you said is helpful to me for my novel manuscript, though. I'm not ready to send that out all yet.
     
  12. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Aha I see. Yes, 4-5 months is long enough (though I think some wait 6 months - but I see no harm in following up at 4-5. If they like it, they're not gonna reject it to spite you because you dared enquire after several months). I left it 10 months one time, WAY too long, just to hear it's (obviously) a rejection. Mind you, by following up, I got myself a contact that allowed me to submit my current novel in full outside of their open doors period unsolicited, when normally the only time they take unsolicited submissions was during their open doors. I sent it several months after the period had ended.

    So, follow up. In my experience, following up has worked out very well for me. The agent who'd most recently passed on my full actually only even requested the full because I followed up - he hadn't even read the query until I did that. He replied he'd been snowed under and was sorry lol.
     
  13. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    No, not long enough at all. It could depend on the place somewhat, but I tend to think it's best to wait more like nine months to a year. Good news takes longer than bad news. Try to keep that in mind that waiting is a good thing (or at least it can be). Also, if your submission still says "received," it means no one has touched the file yet. I would just wait it out. If you can see they've got it, there's not much more they can tell you. You want to come across as professional as possible. I really say just wait. Write more stories. Send out more submissions. They will let you know when they get to it.

    I don't follow up all that often, and I would say the majority of the times I have I never got a response from that. But eventually they always let you know if they are interested. I have maybe two of three submissions that are around the two year mark. I tried following up with one of them in the summer, but never heard back. I can see that these submissions are "in-progress" on submittable so I know they've got them. If you want to message me the name of the publication, I can tell you if I've had experience waiting on them and how long it took and that sort of thing. I've tried and continue to send my work out to many places and have for years so I feel like a lot of these places I do know a little about what to expect. But, honestly, in my opinion, it's just best to wait it out.
     
  14. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 40-day form rejection from The Baffler.
     
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  15. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I have to say that I believe line editing and editing of any kind to be an extremely important step to be done before submitting. Honestly, it does affect your chances. I've never sold something that wasn't perfect in my mind before submitting. That's not to say it was perfect, but there weren't any problems that I could see. In my experience, your work does need to be that good to get accepted. Of course, there is still going to be work after acceptance or representation, but things like line editing really should be done. Problems at that level do stand out and can make your work come across as sloppy or careless, especially things that the writer should have been able to fix on their own. No matter how good a story is if it looks like it will be a lot of work on the editor or agent's part, they are probably going to pass. I'm not saying this to discourage you, but there's a lot of competition out there and your competition should very well be taking these steps. When I worked on the publishing side of things, stories that needed a good amount of editing were rejected and usually not read to the end. You really can't count on an editor to fix things. An editor doesn't want to fix things but rather help you make them better. If you know there are problems to the point you couldn't even get through it again, chances are it's a problem. I really wish the best for you, but if this round of submissions does not come back in your favor, you might want to spend some more time with it before continuing to send it out. All that time and effort really does make a difference.
     
  16. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 38-day form rejection from Story.
     
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  17. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah I edit as I go and reread my scenes about 4-5 times before I move on, and I also have an alpha reader who reads after each chapter is done, and I make adjustments and correct typos and the like as soon as she comes back with her comments (usually within a few days). Then I reread the whole book once myself. After this, I sent it to 5 different beta readers, including one who's an English tutor and two who are traditionally published authors. And THEN I start querying.

    Honestly, at that stage, anything that hasn't been spotted, I just won't on my own. I'd need to go and hire an editor to polish the rest.

    The agent who ultimately passed read a sample of 6 chapters before requesting the full. Honestly if my line editing was bad enough, he'd have noticed and not bothered. He probably also wouldn't have told me to keep sending the book out either - he would have told me to get it edited. Assuming he was genuine with his feedback, of course, but why wouldn't he be?

    When I say don't tinker it to death seeking perfection, I am not implying sending a rough draft of course. Your prose needs to be clean. I just happen to do a lot of it as I'm writing. More can still be done, but my weakness has always been structure, not the line-by-line. The next thing I wanna do to step up my game is to figure out better how to maximise emotional tension - that, I think, is why the agent passed. It was lacking towards the end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
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  18. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Senior Member

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    :)
     
  19. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    Well done.
     
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  20. AnnGG

    AnnGG Member

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    It has been a while since I dropped in. So Matt is gone and we are all buying the latest Pushcart Prize collection? OK. Is there already another forum set up to discuss that?

    2021 is coming and I am trying to set some goals for myself as far as submissions.
     
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  21. AnnGG

    AnnGG Member

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    I am coming up with submission goals for 2021. How big is your stable of pieces that you are sending out for submission? Approximately how many publications are on your target list? I thought about it and I think I could try for 100 rejections in 2021
     
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  22. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Life is Dynamite Contributor

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    rejected from a journal i honestly thought i had a chance with
     
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  23. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Life is Dynamite Contributor

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    going to try my hand with the big dogs because, why not.... Sewanee Review and the Georgia Review.
     
  24. HeathBar

    HeathBar Active Member

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    Got a gift subscription to Three Penny Review for the holidays, so looking forward to that. Still trying to find the right voice for my MS, so will probably hold on submitting anything until I feel like I've made more progress. But will continue to read, read, read in the meantime! I enjoy watching the updates on this thread - very inspirational.
     
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  25. Medazza

    Medazza Active Member

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    I’m holding back seeing rejections. I’m determined to chase up my full MS but think I’ll wait till next week.
    Partly because I fear I’ll just get rejections and partly because I don’t want to encourage rejections by pressuring an agent. That said 2 of them have had the MS for over 6 months so they really need to get their act together.
     
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