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Thread: The Daily Rejection

  1. #3551
    I should be writing, not on AW.:-) kenpochick's Avatar
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    I may start doing that.
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    "Time isn't a straight line. It's all... bumpy-wumpy. There's loads of boring stuff. Like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays. -The Doctor

  2. #3552
    Come on you stranger, you legend, Devil Ledbetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drachen Jager View Post
    Those are always the easiest to take. Usually by that time I have them marked as 'reject' anyhow.
    So true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachen Jager View Post
    Unless an agent specifically says 'query letter only' or 'no sample pages' I'll send along the first few, just to make things easier.
    Same here.
    "Dude, sucking at something is the first step toward being sort of good at something." --Adventure Time

    My dog can say "I love you."

  3. #3553
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin emanny86's Avatar
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    Question Interesting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil Ledbetter View Post
    So true.

    Same here.
    If an agent doesn't ask for extra material, how many pages would be appropriate then?

    And is that what simultaneous submission means: a query with extra material?

  4. #3554
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin emanny86's Avatar
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    By the way, got some rejections lately; One was from last year and five email queries from a few weeks ago. I think I feel more comfortable with snail-mail, feel like it is actually getting read. Is this mutual?

  5. #3555
    Queen of Catastrophes Carleree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emanny86 View Post
    If an agent doesn't ask for extra material, how many pages would be appropriate then?

    And is that what simultaneous submission means: a query with extra material?
    If an agent says to only send a query letter, then just send the QL. If she/he says paste in 5 pages, that's what you do. Read the guidelines.

    Simultaneous means you are submitting to more than one agent at a time.

  6. #3556
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin emanny86's Avatar
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    @Carleree, What I meant was: if the agent fails to specify on whether you should or should not add extra-material like the previous post by Devil Ledbetter was speaking on.

  7. #3557
    Queen of Catastrophes Carleree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emanny86 View Post
    By the way, got some rejections lately; One was from last year and five email queries from a few weeks ago. I think I feel more comfortable with snail-mail, feel like it is actually getting read. Is this mutual?
    I can't speak for the others, but I prefer email queries because you hear back sooner. Sending in a snail mail query does not guarantee you'll get a response. I sent out twenty-five snail queries for one of my other books, included the SASE and only received 5 replies. The response from email queries was much higher.

  8. #3558
    Queen of Catastrophes Carleree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emanny86 View Post
    @Carleree, What I meant was: if the agent fails to specify on whether you should or should not add extra-material like the previous post by Devil Ledbetter was speaking on.
    If there is nothing saying a rejection is guaranteed if you paste in extra pages, I'd go with five.

  9. #3559
    Professor of applied misanthropy Drachen Jager's Avatar
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    I agree, three to five pages, pasted into the body of the mail, beneath your query. Choose a cut-off point that's as dramatic as possible to help encourage those requests. Never cut off mid sentence and try to avoid mid paragraph. Remember, with different fonts and sizes, five pages is somewhat subjective. If you have a really good moment five and a half pages in, then include the extra half page.

  10. #3560
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Hreynolds's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've also heard the five page suggestion from agents.

    On a different note: I am sad. I know that's a little silly, but as this is the Daily Rejection thread I thought I would mention that I have been rejected (very nicely, with lots of constructive criticism) but I am still sad. Somehow it feels worse since it was my first full and there were all sorts of changes suggested - probably changes I should take into account.

    Well - c'est la vie? I suppose on to draft one hundred.

  11. #3561
    Professor of applied misanthropy Drachen Jager's Avatar
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    Two things.

    Take heart, not every full gets feedback. The fact that yours did means the agent actually read it. It means you're not far off the mark.

    E-mail the agent back and ask if they're open to a re-sub once you've made the changes. Often an agent will look at it again if they've gone through a full and given comments. Just make sure that if you do the next version shows some really significant improvement.

  12. #3562
    DJ, I recognized your MS title in the list of YAtopia pitch contest winners! Congratulations!

  13. #3563
    Professor of applied misanthropy Drachen Jager's Avatar
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    Well, I was just a runner-up. I'm not sure if that means anything or not.

    In other news though, I just got an e-mail from an agent saying she's "loving" my book. She goes on to ask for a synopsis and another week of exclusive because she wants to run it past one more person (which seems odd because the previous two week exclusive expired a week ago, and she's the lead agent at that agency).

    It's good news of course, but I can't figure out exactly what it all means. "loving" implies she's not finished reading it yet, as does the request for a synopsis (I think, unless she wants it for marketing purposes).

    I'm off for the next two weeks on a sailing trip anyhow, maybe it'll be all worked out when I get back.

  14. #3564
    It sounds very promising either way. Here's hoping for good news!

  15. #3565
    practical experience, FTW
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    Need to do some commiserating I just received a rejection from an agency I was really hoping for. It's a biggie, and I made it through the agency's first couple of layers. This one hurt though, probably because I was so close. The feed back was outrageously positive. They even went so far as to say they've never seen anything like it. Alas, the characters were the downfall--lack of a connection. I know this says a good deal about my MS, but I'm still wallowing. I'll continue to query, but I'm starting to feel I'll always land just 'this close'. Like fourth place in the Olympics. Sigh.

  16. #3566
    Ouch, Kmarshall, those always hurt the most. But for such a huge agency to praise you so highly, you obviously have something really special. Here's hoping for better news soon!

  17. #3567
    practical experience, FTW
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    Yeah, but thus far, they're the only ones who have. The reason, I think, is because of their size. They're able to take risks, whereas some smaller agencies can't. I don't fit into the nice neat categories agents are looking for. It's not UF, or dystopian. It's fantasy, but not swords and sorcery. I think that produces big headaches for the agents. A classic example (and I am in NO way comparing my work or situation--just illustrating by example) is how agents passed on Harry Potter because they didn't know if it was YA, Children's, fantasy, or what. When I query, I target agencies who specifically say they want fantasy. Maybe I just need to go broader. I've avoided YA, because my protagonist is 28.

  18. #3568
    commaholic and adverb junkie EagerReader's Avatar
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    *waves to everyone*
    Back on the rejection wagon with a brand new manuscript! Ding! Round three! And two rejections to report thus far.

    So sorry about the R, Kmarshall. Those 'oh, so close' ones are tough to take. I hope it's just a case of being darkest right before dawn and something breaks loose!

    Drachen, that's great! I hope it does fall into place for you! I don't think agents throw the love word around all that often--sounds promising! Good luck!

  19. #3569
    practical experience, FTW
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    i think the oh so close ones hurt the most. Now, the form rejection from those who have not read the manuscript mean nothing- but when a top agent loved it but could not take due to conflict of interest, it was like winning the lottery of agents but then losing the ticket. kmarshall, just keep having faith- you are right Harry potter did not fit a mold it broke it. I just worked with an editor who was so literal she did not get my ideas. Then , now working with an editor in NYC who get it and is not that literal- Some people have vision and some do not. Keep going.

  20. #3570
    practical experience, FTW
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    This agent definitely GOT it, which is part of the disappointment. I continue to query, though. It's just one of those weeks where it's tough to stay positive. Fortunately, it always passes.

    I should add that I worked with a fabulous editor who was head over heels for my story, and that's when it was, shall we say--less than polished. If only she was an agent
    Last edited by Kmarshall; 07-30-2011 at 02:46 AM.

  21. #3571
    starry sunrise Windcutter's Avatar
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    I don't think feeling sad is silly at all. Three rejections within 24 hours here. I'm not sad, though, more like frustrated, and I think I finally figured out what gets to me.

    You can say: I lost because the other guy ran faster than me. I lost because his queen ate my king. I lost because I couldn't solve that math problem in ten minutes. You can analyze your situation, find the precise reason, and then start looking for the way to improve your performance.

    Here, once you move past the basic mistakes, you don't really know why you are losing. Another guy's query seems to be worse than yours, yet he's getting requests and you don't. There are better books than yours, yet they fail utterly when it comes to getting an agent's attention. Even if people are nice enough to write you little notes, you can't always rely on them. One agent says she loves your style, another says your style is awkward. One agent loves your character and hates your plot, another one loves your plot, but can't connect to your characters. The book you thought was your best one doesn't get a single yes, and then something you scribbled as a way to entertain yourself gathers two full requests in the first week of querying. Experienced agent sells your book to a big publisher in a great deal, and then it flops like rotten fish. No one can say anything for sure.

    And sometimes it's just personal differences. A recent example: a very nice agent says, I love your plot, but unfortunately your book itself just didn't click with me, it's too visual and it has too much action. Eh, I think, those were supposed to be good things, no? But then I read a book the agent reportedly loved and called "high octane action"... and what I'm reading is a slow, introspective book that has no action whatsoever until chapter twenty or so. It wasn't a bad book, but "high octane" is the last thing I'd call it.

    It's just so chaotic and irrational.

  22. #3572
    Goddess of Rationalization Hathor's Avatar
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    I'm seeking advice from you all.

    Short story: agent requests my book proposal; writes she likes the idea, but the parts of the book not included in the proposal (the proposal has two chapters in full, with summaries of the rest and assorted other info) may need rewriting; we talk for an hour and she requests a three-week exclusive for reading the remainder of the book.

    Three weeks past, and another agent has requested pages. I email agent #1, saying that exclusive has passed and another agent has made a request, but that I am willing to grant a short extension if needed. However, I ask that she let me know. (Whereupon, I lose phone service for a couple days and the phone company ran a voice mail recording -- only we don't have voice mail with them and so have no way to access any messages. So I actually sent a second email explaining this.)

    Now six weeks have passed since I granted the three-week exclusive. I haven't heard a peep from agent #1, and agent#2 has repeated her request for pages.

    So what do I do?

    1. Tell agent #1 that exclusive is over. She should know this, but maybe the "please let me know" part of my email didn't make enough of an impression on her.

    2. Tell agent #1 I will wait to hear from her up to a specified day in the very near future. If I don't, the exclusive is over.

    3. Tell agent #1 nothing. Send the pages to agent #2. Continue to wait on agent #1, saying nothing more to her.

    I suppose I could nudge agent #1 again, but that seems excessive. I've emailed twice already.

    I've been going nuts waiting on agent #1. Of all the agents I've had email or phone exchanges with, she seemed to understand my book the best. I don't want to aggravate her or seem like a pest. But I want an answer, even if the answer is she needs more time...

    I'm not as jazzed (yet) about agent #2, because it is only a few pages being requested. At this point, she's read nothing but my query.

  23. #3573
    practical experience, FTW oshun55's Avatar
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    Hathor,

    You gave #1 what you promised. Time to move on and send the pages to #2. You waited long enough. ;-)
    ..........
    www.ifeoshun.com (Author of YA modern fantasy Blood To Blood)

  24. #3574
    please hold.... pollymilton's Avatar
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    Yes,
    I'd say to let her know that agent 2 has expressed interest and let her know that you are submitting to #2. This is a business, and she is not holding up her end.

    I am excited to hear of another nibble for you. Keep us posted.
    P.

  25. #3575
    Agreed, Hathor, you did what you signed up for. If you'd feel better letting her know, maybe send her an e-mail reminding her that the exclusive is over and you'll be sending out the manuscript again.

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