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Thread: Novelist with agent-ache

  1. #1
    cigale
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    Talking Novelist with agent-ache

    Hello, fellow writers...just found ur great web site and decided to join. Thank all of u for welcoming me I have been writing for years now without much success, unless publishing articles in trade mags is called a success. I have a great 3-part novel...family saga. Been working on researching the sucker (historical family saga) I think the novel is excellent, and I am a very modest person At the very beginning of 2005, I decided to hire an agent (everyone said I should) Wrote my query letter, licked the envelopes and took them me-self to the post office. Came home and waited with confidence... Rejections began to come...and I began to count them. From Jan. thru March...I counted and counted...April came...I stopped counting rejection slips.
    In May I didn't even go for my mail. In July I stopped sending queries and by Sept. stopped writing all together and used my Laptop strictly for playing online games and talking dirty with the guys in chatrooms. The agent community made me Now, with all of u as my witnesses, I wish to take THE REJECTION PLEDGE for not counting, not giving up and not stopping my writing career. Incidentally, if any of u that published their first novel care to give me some tips, I sure would appreciate....
    P.S. What does anyone think of James Fry's "Million snotty lil lies mixed with urine and blood" Waiting...Cigalou (name of endearment for "Cigale")

  2. #2
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    You hired an agent? What or who would that be?

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    writing isn't the place to give up ever

    You only gave the agent search barely 6 months. Not long enough for even a well published author. I have one book published, and searching for an agent for my second. I've been querying agents every month since August 2004. I'm getting close to 130 names on my list. A lot of agents are going to reject your query simply for the fact that they are too busy or they don't think your subject matter is something they can represent or feel strongly enough about to advocate it to a publisher. It's got little to do with you as a writer, and it says nothing about your writing. If you get the chance to send some material to an agent and it still gets rejected, hopefully you'll get some comments, but even then, it may be they just don't feel your writing suits their abilities to sell it. Remember--they make a living on selling books to publishers, not critiquing the work that comes across their desks and helping writers become better writers.

    My best advice is to just keep writing, always, and when the urge strikes you to submit queries to agents again, do it. But make sure that your work is the absolute best it can be BEFORE you write to them. (A killer query can't hurt either)

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, write a new, different, better novel.

  5. #5
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Meanwhile, write a new, different, better novel.
    Better advice that that, you won't see.

    Also: cultivate some friendly readers who won't automatically praise everything you write. Run everything past them. They're invaluable.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  6. #6
    I Heart Mac Absolute Sage Lauri B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim
    You only gave the agent search barely 6 months. Not long enough for even a well published author. I have one book published, and searching for an agent for my second. I've been querying agents every month since August 2004. I'm getting close to 130 names on my list. A lot of agents are going to reject your query simply for the fact that they are too busy or they don't think your subject matter is something they can represent or feel strongly enough about to advocate it to a publisher. It's got little to do with you as a writer, and it says nothing about your writing. If you get the chance to send some material to an agent and it still gets rejected, hopefully you'll get some comments, but even then, it may be they just don't feel your writing suits their abilities to sell it. Remember--they make a living on selling books to publishers, not critiquing the work that comes across their desks and helping writers become better writers.

    My best advice is to just keep writing, always, and when the urge strikes you to submit queries to agents again, do it. But make sure that your work is the absolute best it can be BEFORE you write to them. (A killer query can't hurt either)

    Good luck.
    Tim, you've been rejected by 130 agents for the same work? Maybe you should consider revising it.

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad
    Tim, you've been rejected by 130 agents for the same work? Maybe you should consider revising it.
    Indeed. Are you getting any feedback at all, Tim? What's the breakdown of "no thanks" at query, request for partials, etc?
    ICAO
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  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I certainly didn't want to imply that 130 agents have rejected my novel after reading portions of it. About 20 or so have requested partials of that 130, meaning the others were rejecting simply the query for the multitude of reasons that agents reject projects, e.g. too busy, not the right project, not the right genre, not the right market, etc., etc., etc.

    I already have revised the novel based on the feedback I've received from the few agents that read it and bothered to give any feedback...and so the search continues.

  9. #9
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Cool

    Tim, there's always the SHARE YOUR WORK FORUM here at AW, and you'll have to place a short chapter or partial of a first chapter according to your genre. But I have found great support and honest feedback in that process. The multiple critiques on my second book query here actually lead to me landing an agent because I used the critique right down to the letter. So what does that say?

    Triceratops

  10. #10
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim
    ... meaning the others were rejecting simply the query for the multitude of reasons that agents reject projects, e.g. too busy, not the right project, not the right genre, not the right market, etc., etc., etc.
    Tim, do you feel your queries need to be better targeted to the agents who handle your kind of work? If you're getting responses that indicate the agents don't handle your genre, you're scattering your queries too broadly. There are several threads on this board on how to effectively search for agents, with links to good resources outside AW. Maybe they'd be helpful.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  11. #11
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Cool

    Uh, oh. I just realized something else from your post. I hope you didn't tell the agents in your query that this was a "fictionalized memoire". If you did, there might me some promblems with genre placement. What genre is this? Is this family saga? Historical? contemporary memoire? Just curious.

    Tri

  12. #12
    Wibbly-Wobbly. Timey-Wimey.
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    Ah, I had something to say here but it had to do with not actually having read your post carefully. Never mind. Whoops.

  13. #13
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Meanwhile, write a new, different, better novel.
    That's what I do. I'm now on lucky No. 7.

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