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Julie Worth
04-19-2005, 06:24 AM
Today I received a rejection from the Gislason agency. This one hurt, because they’d requested the MS based on a partial, and I had great hopes, as the agency was perfect for the book. But no, the letter consisted of one short paragraph, saying “Your political thriller is written skillfully and with great verve,” blah blah blah, but they were passing. No reason given. Rejected by an ‘editor’ whom I have no doubt is actually an intern. They liked the partial enough to ask for the MS, and then they give me nothing but this drivel. Like they've tons of manuscripts stacked up next to the wood stove, written skillfully with great verve. Got to burn them though, because verve was last year. Now they need stuff with ragged edges, stuff without all that damn verve. Bugger!

Bugger bugger bugger!

dragonjax
04-19-2005, 06:49 AM
Sorry, Julie! (I'm trying not to laugh about the verve being so last year comment, because it's not polite to laugh when providing encouragement, but heavens, you're very funny in the face of rejeciton!)

Yeah, it stinks when our hopes run high. In February, LUNA Books requested my full manuscript after reading my partial. I was in heaven. And a bare month later, I received a form letter rejection. :Shrug:

Can't take it too seriously. It stunts your growth otherwise. (I did mention that I'm not even five feet tall, right?)

Best of luck with your next submission.

((passing the box of virtual chocolates))

Jamesaritchie
04-19-2005, 06:49 AM
Today I received a rejection from the Gislason agency. This one hurt, because they’d requested the MS based on a partial, and I had great hopes, as the agency was perfect for the book. But no, the letter consisted of one short paragraph, saying “Your political thriller is written skillfully and with great verve,” blah blah blah, but they were passing. No reason given. Rejected by an ‘editor’ whom I have no doubt is actually an intern. They liked the partial enough to ask for the MS, and then they give me nothing but this drivel. Like they've tons of manuscripts stacked up next to the wood stove, written skillfully with great verve. Got to burn them though, because verve was last year. Now they need stuff with ragged edges, stuff without all that damn verve. Bugger!

Bugger bugger bugger!



It's a standard rejection with standard wording. These are the kind you just have to develop a thick skin to get over.

soloset
04-19-2005, 06:50 AM
They'll be sorry, the lousy jerks. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, they'll look up and sigh, and say, "Dangit. Nothing I see now has any verve. If only..."

But it'll be too late, because you'll be a multi-zillionaire with a huge contract and won't need them any more.

It stings now, but just think how you'll be laughing then!

zeprosnepsid
04-19-2005, 09:38 AM
"Verve" is standard wording? I don't even know what "verve" means =)

(looking it up in the dictionary) Oh, oh -- that was nice of them.

Good luck to you though. At least they asked you for a partial so you at least know that your query isn't totally awful. But it is a downer when you have your heart set on an agent.

Jamesaritchie
04-19-2005, 11:06 PM
"Verve" is standard wording? I don't even know what "verve" means =)

(looking it up in the dictionary) Oh, oh -- that was nice of them.

Good luck to you though. At least they asked you for a partial so you at least know that your query isn't totally awful. But it is a downer when you have your heart set on an agent.

Yes, "verve" is standard wording at several agencies and publishers. A pretty common word, too. I've seen it many times, and I've used it on form rejections myself.

There are two basic forms of standard rejection slips, ones that simply say, sorry, not for us, and the ones that use nicer, complimentary langauge. Neither mean anyone at all actually read your work beyond the first page.

Then you have the super-duper form letter that's computer generated, but reads like it was personally written by the agent or editor. It has you name, the story title, and probably some nice compliments about your writing. But it doesn't mean anyone read past the first page, either.

Unless a rejection asks you to fix something and resubmit, or unless it's at least partially handwritten, odd are about twenty to one that it's simply a standard, form rejection and should be completely ignored.

Writing rejections takes far more time than most agents or editors have, so most, regardless of how they are worded, are simply form rejections.

zeprosnepsid
04-20-2005, 12:54 AM
Can't you at least let us believe?
You're bringing me down man, I don't want your reality.

eldragon
04-21-2005, 11:50 PM
on the other thread. Don't these people understand the costs involved with sending manuscripts?

Printing, postage, mailers and hopes?

That's why it seems to me like they should at least tell you "what" it is about the work they do not like.

"MMMM. I love this chocolate bar. So gooey and rich, it's perfect tasting. But, I don't want it. Not now. Not ever."

Torgo
04-28-2005, 11:49 PM
When you send an unsolicited manuscript, you're on the publisher's or agent's dime. They get thousands of manuscripts a year; giving feedback on them all would be a full time job. I'm afraid it's not up to an editor or agent to improve your work's quality or marketability unless they think there's something in it for them.

Also, rejecting manuscripts is a horrible job, precisely because editors realise that the hopes of the writer are bound up in their writing. Sometimes, saying nothing is the kindest thing they can think to do. Worse than that is saying a lot of nice things about a rejected manuscript and not saying why they don't want it - so I agree completely that these are 'bad' rejections.

Vomaxx
04-29-2005, 01:57 AM
Sometimes, saying nothing is the kindest thing they can think to do.

They should think more. Not replying to mail is one of the rudest and inconsiderate things they can do. If an author submits something, he wants a reply, not silence. And I seriously doubt that any agent has ever refused to answer a query or a requested partial out of "kindness." An impersonal rejection is not unkind. Authors expect them.

Torgo
04-29-2005, 02:59 AM
I'm not talking about not replying; I'm talking about a straight form rejection with no comment at all. Sorry if I was ambiguous. The point I was trying to make is that in this imperfect world authors are not entitled to free advice from editors or agents.

priceless1
04-30-2005, 12:24 AM
Today I received a rejection from the Gislason agency. This one hurt, because they’d requested the MS based on a partial, and I had great hopes, as the agency was perfect for the book. But no, the letter consisted of one short paragraph, saying “Your political thriller is written skillfully and with great verve,” blah blah blah, but they were passing. No reason given. Rejected by an ‘editor’ whom I have no doubt is actually an intern. They liked the partial enough to ask for the MS, and then they give me nothing but this drivel. Like they've tons of manuscripts stacked up next to the wood stove, written skillfully with great verve. Got to burn them though, because verve was last year. Now they need stuff with ragged edges, stuff without all that damn verve. Bugger!

Bugger bugger bugger!


Julie, I'm sorry about your rejection. It sounds as though you recieved the standard rejection letter. Like others have said, publishers aren't in the biz to give critiques, but to find that one ms that resonates with them. If I've gotten to the point to where I've requested someone's full manuscript, then I always provide critiques as to why it's being rejected.

I've had partials knock my socks off only to have the story fall apart with the remaining work. Oddly enough, it's equally frustrating to the publisher to read a manuscript that fails to meet the mark after loving the partial. It's a crazy business, no doubt.

Julie Worth
04-30-2005, 01:07 AM
If I've gotten to the point to where I've requested someone's full manuscript, then I always provide critiques as to why it's being rejected.


And that's what irritated me. The other day I got a letter from Bobbe Siegel in response to my unsolicited submittal, which she normally doesn’t like. She was kind enough to tell me exactly why she stopped reading. That sort of thing is incredibly helpful. I deleted the first eight pages of the MS because of what she said, and it’s better, much better. With Gislason, on the other hand, they solicited the MS from a partial, but then sent me a form rejection, pretending it wasn’t. Of course, maybe one person read the partial and another the MS. Maybe the second one didn’t get past those first eight pages. Still, it wouldn’t have taken much effort to say that.

mommie4a
04-30-2005, 01:13 AM
Julie, don't let the letter stop you. Maybe give you give yourself a break in the action, a pause, a blip, but then get it right back out there. Especially if YOU believe in it. That really is all that matters at this point.

priceless1
04-30-2005, 03:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by priceless1
If I've gotten to the point to where I've requested someone's full manuscript, then I always provide critiques as to why it's being rejected.



And that's what irritated me. The other day I got a letter from Bobbe Siegel in response to my unsolicited submittal, which she normally doesn’t like. She was kind enough to tell me exactly why she stopped reading. That sort of thing is incredibly helpful. I deleted the first eight pages of the MS because of what she said, and it’s better, much better. With Gislason, on the other hand, they solicited the MS from a partial, but then sent me a form rejection, pretending it wasn’t. Of course, maybe one person read the partial and another the MS. Maybe the second one didn’t get past those first eight pages. Still, it wouldn’t have taken much effort to say that.
I guess what this tells you is that publishers and agents are varied in in how they operate. Some will take the time, others won't. It doesn't make them jerks. It's just simply how they do business. And this is a very tough business and a thick skin will help you sleep better. Always remember, it isn't personal. I know it is to you, but honestly, we're all just out there doing our thing and we attach no emotion behind the decisions we make. Hang in there!

Julie Worth
04-30-2005, 07:34 PM
Some will take the time, others won't. It doesn't make them jerks. It's just simply how they do business. And this is a very tough business and a thick skin will help you sleep better. Always remember, it isn't personal.


“You gotta get thicker skin,” the agent said, pulling the letter opener from my lung. “Most of ‘em, wouldn’t of been more than a flesh wound.”

“Well, thanks for the advice.” I noticed pink froth bubbling from the hole in my chest when I said that. It was sort of interesting—maybe there was a short story in it—a really short one. “You didn’t like the material, I guess.”

“Oh, I liked it! Very skillful, great verve. But everyone’s got verve these days. You got to have something that really grabs me. Of course, this is a subjective business.”

The pain was excruciating now, but I figured it was because I was new to the business. “You don’t have a cell phone, do you? Maybe you could call an ambulance?”

“Sorry, hon. I’m a literary agent, I’ve already spent too much time on this.” She stood. “Next time you’ll be satisfied with a form rejection, won’t you?”

It was getting dark then, and just before I slipped away, I saw her peeling the stamp from my self-addressed envelope, the envelope she’d never used.

priceless1
04-30-2005, 11:28 PM
“You gotta get thicker skin,” the agent said, pulling the letter opener from my lung. “Most of ‘em, wouldn’t of been more than a flesh wound.”

“Well, thanks for the advice.” I noticed pink froth bubbling from the hole in my chest when I said that. It was sort of interesting—maybe there was a short story in it—a really short one. “You didn’t like the material, I guess.”

“Oh, I liked it! Very skillful, great verve. But everyone’s got verve these days. You got to have something that really grabs me. Of course, this is a subjective business.”

The pain was excruciating now, but I figured it was because I was new to the business. “You don’t have a cell phone, do you? Maybe you could call an ambulance?”

“Sorry, hon. I’m a literary agent, I’ve already spent too much time on this.” She stood. “Next time you’ll be satisfied with a form rejection, won’t you?”

It was getting dark then, and just before I slipped away, I saw her peeling the stamp from my self-addressed envelope, the envelope she’d never used.
LOL. An author with a sense of humor. Gad, it's just like peanut butter and jelly; they just go together. I hope your bleeding didn't ruin any carpets.

maestrowork
04-30-2005, 11:50 PM
With Gislason, on the other hand, they solicited the MS from a partial, but then sent me a form rejection, pretending it wasn’t.


That happened to me with the Vines Agency. They requested a partial, then the full ms. within a week (via email). I was so psyched. Then they read it over Thanskgiving (I still think the assistant didn't read it at all -- who actually read ms. during Thanksgiving weekend?) and send me an email that smelled just like a form rejection: "While it is well written, I can't relate to your characters."

It was a huge disappointment, but I moved on.

Branwyn
01-19-2006, 03:05 AM
Bittersweet Symphony~ The Verve:e2violin: :Guitar:

popmuze
01-20-2006, 01:45 AM
The main thing I always wonder about whenever I receive a rejection is how much of the book the agent or editor actually read, especially when the rejection is laden with otherwise wonderful adjectives and the comments seem to apply to the entire manuscript.

One editor made comments about the impact of my story not being strong enough. But I know she'd only seen two chapters. I've read a lot of books that don't kick in until page 100. Another admitted to reading 100 pages. One agent answered my email by saying she'd read 40 pages and skimmed some more. One provided a letter from his reader where she said that the writing was eloquent, the characters fun, and the plot held her interest throughout (which gave me the idea she might have actually read the whole book, maybe the first person to do so).

The ones that sound like form rejections or use vague words I figure didn't really get past the outline, or maybe the first few pages.

Julie Worth
01-20-2006, 02:24 AM
Today was one of those four rejection days. Though one was a nice note, saying the agent was full, and another from the Evelyn Singer agency, which has had my query for a couple of years now, on a book I self-published months ago. A note saying that the agent was dead. And I always thought I’d be the first one to go!



On the plus side, I got three requests for material in the past week. One for the ms, and all from big NY agencies!



Hooha!

smallthunder
01-22-2006, 11:59 AM
“You gotta get thicker skin,” the agent said, pulling the letter opener from my lung. “Most of ‘em, wouldn’t of been more than a flesh wound.”

“Well, thanks for the advice.” I noticed pink froth bubbling from the hole in my chest when I said that. It was sort of interesting—maybe there was a short story in it—a really short one. “You didn’t like the material, I guess.”

“Oh, I liked it! Very skillful, great verve. But everyone’s got verve these days. You got to have something that really grabs me. Of course, this is a subjective business.”

The pain was excruciating now, but I figured it was because I was new to the business. “You don’t have a cell phone, do you? Maybe you could call an ambulance?”

“Sorry, hon. I’m a literary agent, I’ve already spent too much time on this.” She stood. “Next time you’ll be satisfied with a form rejection, won’t you?”

It was getting dark then, and just before I slipped away, I saw her peeling the stamp from my self-addressed envelope, the envelope she’d never used.

Julie -- I am thinking of getting this bit (above) lithographed onto nice parchment and then mounted over my desk -- thanks for the humor!

I am delighted to hear that you've now received three requests for material in the past week -- and all from big NY agencies -- because I am sooooo rooting for you. I want to become the charter member of the first of your many fan clubs ...

Cheryll
02-03-2006, 12:44 AM
“You gotta get thicker skin,” the agent said, pulling the letter opener from my lung. “Most of ‘em, wouldn’t of been more than a flesh wound.”

“Well, thanks for the advice.” I noticed pink froth bubbling from the hole in my chest when I said that. It was sort of interesting—maybe there was a short story in it—a really short one. “You didn’t like the material, I guess.”

“Oh, I liked it! Very skillful, great verve. But everyone’s got verve these days. You got to have something that really grabs me. Of course, this is a subjective business.”

The pain was excruciating now, but I figured it was because I was new to the business. “You don’t have a cell phone, do you? Maybe you could call an ambulance?”

“Sorry, hon. I’m a literary agent, I’ve already spent too much time on this.” She stood. “Next time you’ll be satisfied with a form rejection, won’t you?”

It was getting dark then, and just before I slipped away, I saw her peeling the stamp from my self-addressed envelope, the envelope she’d never used.


Damn, that was funny!

Keep plugging, Julie. Sounds as though you have the stuff to make it. :Thumbs:

Cheryll