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View Full Version : After how many rejections did you decide to rewrite your book?



write2livelive2write
07-31-2008, 02:12 AM
After how many rejections did you decide to rewrite your book? I'm starting to think perhaps my book doesn't have an original enough idea. So far, 12 rejections for me.

Red-Green
07-31-2008, 02:16 AM
I'll have to get back to you. I've got ten rejections so far and no plans to rewrite.

Karen Duvall
07-31-2008, 02:28 AM
I got about 40 rejections before I got an offer of representation. So I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet if I were you.

dawinsor
07-31-2008, 02:50 AM
I rewrote the query after a few rejections. Then I rewrote the beginning after some partials didn't turn into fulls and some agents gave me feedback on why they were turning me down. I never did rewrite the book.

scope
07-31-2008, 02:53 AM
If you are convinced that your work is as good as it can be, that a rewrite won't make it better, and see no reason why an agent would not want to represent it, I see no reason for doing any rewrite because of a lack of positive response. As objectively as you can, be you own harshest critic and ask these questions of yourself. If you believe in your work as is, just keep submitting. It's a dog eat dog publishing world - unfortunately - and it can take a very long time for success to come.

IHeartWriting
07-31-2008, 03:26 AM
Karen

Did you count query rejections in that number? Or is it based on partial/fulls?

Curious minds want to know! Okay, my feeble brain does....

Good luck as you go out on sub, btw!


I got about 40 rejections before I got an offer of representation. So I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet if I were you.

Karen Duvall
07-31-2008, 04:28 AM
Karen

Did you count query rejections in that number? Or is it based on partial/fulls?

Curious minds want to know! Okay, my feeble brain does....

Good luck as you go out on sub, btw!

IHeart, that's counting all rejections: queries, partials, and the 2 fulls that got rejected just before the offer came in. I still had 4 fulls under consideration at other agencies and 3 or 4 partials. Like Xiao, I blasted the agentsphere with queries in batches and got my offer within 4 months of starting the process. If I were to do it over again, I wouldn't change a thing. :D

Thanks for the good luck wishes!

SherriC
07-31-2008, 04:42 AM
1st time posting here...hi.

I sent out a batch of ten queries and got form rejections. I got some needed feedback from a friend and re-wrote the query and the entire book. I think I sent out about 40 of the new queries before getting a request for a partial, resulting in an offer of representation.

This was my first novel, so I felt like I was feeling around in the dark. The whole process ended up taking about two years from the first query sent to the day I signed.

jannawrites
07-31-2008, 06:02 AM
Huzzah! Comments in this thread give me the oomph to keep on keepin' on. I'm at 11 rejections, and just sent a new batch of my new, improved query. I'm at just about a month into my search. I feel like, in my gut, a rewrite of the book itself won't be necessary. Now I may have to add to my word count eventually, but I shouldn't have to do a major overhaul.

Good luck to us all!

ChaosTitan
07-31-2008, 08:04 AM
I don't recommend a manuscript rewrite unless you've collected a fair amount of manuscript rejections (either partial or fulls). Especially rejections that come with repeated comments like "The story wasn't..." or "The plot didn't...." or "I stopped reading after..." And only when those comments point out the same weaknesses over and over.

cate townsend
07-31-2008, 08:10 AM
I've decided to write my first book based on some comments from an agent and beta readers. I only queried about 20 agents, though, before I decided I wanted to rewrite. You shouldn't decide to rewrite on the number of rejections you receive - you should rewrite based on a gut feeling that the story needs work.

Surf these forums for a while and you'll see how vastly different everyone's experience has been. As for the book I am querying now, I still feel it's good as it is even after all the rejections I've received. I wouldn't rewrite it unless several agents pointed out the same problems or an agent considering representation wanted some revisions.

MsJudy
07-31-2008, 08:15 AM
I got about 30 rejections on my first book, not a single nibble. Still, the rejections weren't really the reason I shelved it. Over the months I was querying, I also worked on other projects, attended workshops, read lots of books, and learned what I'd done wrong with that book. The rejections only confirmed what I was already figuring out for myself.

I got my first rejection on my second book today, but I feel much more confident about this one and don't plan to quit until I've queried everybody on the planet.

cate townsend
07-31-2008, 08:19 AM
I got my first rejection on my second book today, but I feel much more confident about this one and don't plan to quit until I've queried everybody on the planet.

A true member of AW. Go, JudScotKev!

Karen Duvall
07-31-2008, 08:26 AM
I got my first rejection on my second book today, but I feel much more confident about this one and don't plan to quit until I've queried everybody on the planet.

YEAH!!!! *fist punching the air* :box:

GJB
07-31-2008, 09:33 AM
For what it's worth. I rewrote my first novel after about 20 rejections, rewrote again taking it back closer to the first version after about 15 more, and rewrote it a third time after another 20 or so. Some bad editor advice there. Along the way, got lots of requests for partials and fulls, and two of the agents asked for the full rewrites of later versions after having passed on a full of the earlier version. In the end, it ended in the drawer with nary an offer.

But...I wrote my second novel once, changed nothing, not one character, one scene, one chapter, one plot point--just polished and polished and polished some more. That one landed my agent on the second round of queries. But....the "perfect" house for it recently asked for a mild rewrite and resubmission, and I have not breathed since. That rewrite was more of a cleaning out of non-essential details and slight POV shifts in a few scenes. So...I don't know what that proves. Maybe, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Here's to good rewrites by us all. g.

triceretops
07-31-2008, 10:15 AM
I think the most I've done is to revamp the frontends of three books and rewritten the queries. That's about all the investment I'll allow myself. Now, if an editor from a big house suggests more extensive rewrites, then I'm apt to go that route. But...if I've received 100 rejections on a book, and I know the writing/style/voice/pace/tone and structure is solid, then the only thing left holding it back would be a cliche or weak premisis. In short, if the concept sucks, I'm dumping that dude. All the rewriting in the world can save a tepid concept.

Tri

IHeartWriting
07-31-2008, 03:46 PM
Interesting to read your stats Karen, thanks!


IHeart, that's counting all rejections: queries, partials, and the 2 fulls that got rejected just before the offer came in. I still had 4 fulls under consideration at other agencies and 3 or 4 partials. Like Xiao, I blasted the agentsphere with queries in batches and got my offer within 4 months of starting the process. If I were to do it over again, I wouldn't change a thing. :D

Thanks for the good luck wishes!

Nakhlasmoke
07-31-2008, 04:08 PM
I sent over 50 queries, and got 3 offers. Most of the rest were form rejects or radio silence.

I did tweak my query during the time, but didn't rewrite the manuscript.

Toothpaste
07-31-2008, 06:52 PM
I don't think I've ever re-written anything because I got rejected. I've rewritten things because people made really good suggestions. I think you as an author know when someone makes a good point about your work, and when they don't. Or at least we start to hone those sensibilities.

As many have suggested it may just be a matter of your query, or there may be something fundamental in the story telling. Only you know who to trust, and what rings true to you. Remember too that even if you have a viscerally negative reaction to a critique, it doesn't mean that after a while of thinking it over, the person didn't have a point. You can still feel angry about a good idea.

MsJudy
07-31-2008, 07:09 PM
Only you know who to trust, and what rings true to you.

That is so true! I've found that to be a problem on the other side, too. Beta readers who LOVE what you've done, wouldn't have you change a thing, it all works just fine as it is--when really, you could make it even better.

Finding the critiquers who really, really know what it will take to sell the book is very hard.

write2livelive2write
08-01-2008, 05:23 AM
When I got my first few rejections, I was really depressed. But the more rejections I got, the less dejected I feel. :D Hey, if I can't sell this book, I can just write another one! It's not like I've wasted my time or something, I am getting better on writing along the way!

Still a lot of agents left to query anyway ...;)

Jackfishwoman
08-02-2008, 12:50 AM
For both my manuscripts (one already published, one still looking for a home) I received contradicting rejection letters. One rejection would say this & that was a problem and another would say they love this & that but X & Y was a problem. Opinions very so much it is difficult to nail down what should be changed/revised.
So I wouldn't jump to re-writing unless you are consistently hearing the same criticism.
It is such a subjective business!

Karen Duvall
08-02-2008, 01:36 AM
I sold my first two books and a novella on my own without an agent, so that's certainly an option for any author. But being with a small press isn't my ultimate goal and I'm not satisfied with staying at this level. So that's something for you to consider. Are you just looking to be published? Or are you looking to launch a career as a published author? There's a difference.