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popmuze
03-09-2006, 10:38 PM
Just got a rejection on my novel in which the agent said he really enjoyed the book, the main characters are great, the scope was wonderful; the whole thing was wonderfully written.

Not a negative word until "I just don't think I could sell it."

Seems I've written a book on a topic that's anything but hot.

He also recommended a publisher that specializes in novels on my subject. Only thing is, they don't pay advances. On the plus side, you don't need an agent to approach them.

Nevertheless, I can't help feeling encouraged. Maybe a stronger agent with better connections could think of a place to publish this. I myself can think of several (agents and publishers).

aruna
03-09-2006, 11:01 PM
Congratulations - that's a brilliant rejection; bitter-sweet, but you're on the right track.

I'm in a similar position. The book itself has won a lot of praise, just that the subject matter is just not trendy enough. So I too am considering a small, specialist publisher.

CaoPaux
03-10-2006, 01:21 AM
I agree that you're on the right track. As I quipped elsewhere, fifity rejections is way too early to give up, especially if you continue to refine the pitch letter and ms as you go.
:snoopy:

Celia Cyanide
03-10-2006, 01:56 AM
I love it that you "can't help feeling encouraged," as if that were not the preferable way to feel. :)

I would feel encouraged, too. Way to go!

clara bow
03-10-2006, 03:04 AM
Sounds encouraging. Keep up the good work!

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 03:12 AM
So, did he say what was hot? And why on earth would he read it, knowing that it wasn't hot? Mysterious, these agents.

triceretops
03-10-2006, 02:06 PM
Popmuse, I think that is a great indicator that you have a lot on the ball with that manuscript, aside from the fact that it doesn't fit His needs, and he's not passionate about it. Keep submitting and hitting the markets/agents. Good luck.

Tri

popmuze
03-10-2006, 06:15 PM
Actually, he may have been "somewhat" passionate, but maybe not established enough to know he could sell it.

My question is, since it's so close, should I go back to this guy and try to plead my case, offer him some of my contacts and ideas on how to sell this thing?

I will say we'd had a pretty good email rapport when I first submitted it, and he quickly read a previous non-fiction book of mine and said he loved it.

Birol
03-10-2006, 06:38 PM
No. He rejected it. Move on to the next name on your list.

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 07:00 PM
No. He rejected it. Move on to the next name on your list.

I agree. His comments seemed designed to prevent you coming back with it: It's well written but not a hot area. So don't bother rewriting and resubmitting.

But, sure nuff, he'll be delighted to take it on if you find a publisher.

popmuze
03-10-2006, 08:23 PM
Julie,

Actually, that's what I meant. About a year ago a different version of this ms. was read by someone at a top publishing house who said in her mostly positive note that she'd love to see a rewrite once I found an agent.

So I figure, I could call this guy, ask him as a one-shot, if he'd submit the new version to the editor, claiming he's my agent. If she takes it, obviously we both win. If not, I could continue my lonely quest for an editor or an agent.

Anyway, in either case, I didn't get the feeling from his note that a rewrite would be needed or would solve the one major problem--that no one wants to read --or at least buy-- a fictionalized biography of a rock star.

On the other hand, on my very short list of potential agents, I still have a full out with one guy and 5 pages with someone else.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
03-10-2006, 08:38 PM
Can I ask which Publisher friendly to non-agented-submissions this rejection letter recommended?

(Congratulations, by the way!)

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 08:39 PM
Julie,

Actually, that's what I meant. About a year ago a different version of this ms. was read by someone at a top publishing house who said in her mostly positive note that she'd love to see a rewrite once I found an agent.

So I figure, I could call this guy, ask him as a one-shot, if he'd submit the new version to the editor, claiming he's my agent. If she takes it, obviously we both win. If not, I could continue my lonely quest for an editor or an agent.

Anyway, in either case, I didn't get the feeling from his note that a rewrite would be needed or would solve the one major problem--that no one wants to read --or at least buy-- a fictionalized biography of a rock star.

On the other hand, on my very short list of potential agents, I still have a full out with one guy and 5 pages with someone else.

Funny that she said she'd reread it, but only after you found an agent. But perhaps that was to ensure that it was good enough this time around. So yeah, that ought to work. I'd email the guy with that and see. Nothing to lose, I suppose, unless the other agent came back immediately, wanting to represent you.

Celia Cyanide
03-10-2006, 10:00 PM
Anyway, in either case, I didn't get the feeling from his note that a rewrite would be needed or would solve the one major problem--that no one wants to read --or at least buy-- a fictionalized biography of a rock star.

Um...having a hard time wrapping my head around that one. I guess it depends on which rock star, but I think most people find rock star's lives fairly interesting.

popmuze
03-10-2006, 10:03 PM
That's what I meant. I'm torn between emailing the first agent and waiting for the second to check in (which could be months).

On the other hand, the first agent isn't going anywhere. I'm sure whenever I got back to him with the name of a friendly editor, he'd be willing to shop the ms.

In fact, he said I should get back to him down the road if and when he becomes a more powerful agent.

popmuze
03-10-2006, 10:06 PM
"Um...having a hard time wrapping my head around that one. I guess it depends on which rock star, but I think most people find rock star's lives fairly interesting."

That was my feeling exactly. But the gist of the message from the agent was that he and his colleagues couldn't think of any on this topic that actually sold very many copies. Non-fiction maybe, but not fiction.

I guess there's always a first. As opposed to J.A. Richie, I'd rather see it published and then worry about how many copies it'll sell. Agents, on the other hand, live on their percentage of the advance.