Friday, October 30, 2009

Dealing With Rejection

Sent out my first Query letter for my first novel, the one I wrote last year for NaNoWriMo. I've edited it 4 times through, and had it critiqued a couple times. I was pretty sure the story had a glow of its own.

I've got to hand it to the Agent. The email submission I sent was after hours and yet, the agent got back to me in less than 30 minutes with a form rejection email.

I've got mixed feelings about that. Disappointed that my submission was rejected, but grateful for the agent's quick reply.

I know that if I sent a request in and it took six months to get a rejection letter, that would be six additional months before I could send my story on to the next agent. (This is assuming I got a rejection letter at all - Some agencies state that if you don't hear from them in 6 weeks, they aren't interested. I guess that means, 'No News is BAD News').

Rejection is definitely a part of life for an aspiring author such as myself, so it's something I'd better develop a thick skin for, because I'll see a lot of it, most probably, before someone picks up my book and runs with it.

A form rejection really doesn't give me much to go on. This is unfortunate, but it's what most authors have to deal with EVERY time they get a reject. As Rachelle Gardner's Blog states in one of her posts, a form reject is almost ALL an agent has time to send out.

According to Rachelle's Blog, the agent's time is mainly spent tending to the needs of writers currently on their client list - sending out queries for their novel, researching publisher fits, matching requests from publishers with novels they currently are marketing, I suspect much like headhunters do in the business community when employers ask for a worker that fits certain requirements.

Many agents must spend their 'after' hours reading over manuscripts to see if they are gripping, compelling, and well-written. Their initial contact with a writer (the Query Letter) is in a stack a mile high, and they sort through the stack looking for a little gem in the pile of rocks.

This isn't to say that your manuscript is one of the 'rocks', but it might not be a gem to them.

After all, according to the 2009 Writers Market, the MAJOR publishers produce only 100-200 books a year. But agents are inundated with thousands of ms a month.

So, if your query letter isn't stellar, you'll probably not get a request for a partial.

But when faced with the inevitable rejection letter, the BEST thing an author can do is realize that this rejection is NOT a rejection of you as a person, or even of you as an author. Or, for that matter, even your ms as a viable sellable book.

So, I'll be re-examining my polished ms for some spots on it, create a cleaner Query letter (no, I didn't even get it critiqued, so I probably had that coming to me anyway) and send my query out to the next agent on my list.

Meanwhile, as NaNoWriMo approaches in just a day or two, I'll be continuing to write. Which is what you should do too, when you face a Rejection Letter - Send your query on to the next agent, and keep writing.

1 comment:

  1. Keep on writing, Chris. One step forward, two steps back. :)