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thescribe1313
02-14-2009, 10:16 PM
I've never ever done anything like this before, but I thought maybe someone out there could help me. I write what I think and hope may be literary novels. I submitted my fourth to 77 agents a few months ago. I've received 11 manuscript requests. This has never happened to me before, so it feels (felt) great. Now, though, I have received 8 rejections from those 11 agents. Some offered compliments and explanations for why they passed. I am running out of chances and hope. I do not want to give up, though, because I really believe this novel is publishable. I think I'm going to need a Plan B. I have no spiffy connections. I'm just a very hard-working writer who really wants to be published. Any ideas for how I might approach this? What could my Plan B entail?

stormie
02-14-2009, 10:20 PM
Welcome to AW!

First, you don't need spiffy connections in order to be published. What you need is a great manuscript. Take those compliments and explanations that your were given from the fulls and rework your ms. BUT you need a new list of agents to submit this ms. to. (That may be a hard thing to do since you already queried 77 of them.)

Second, you could send a query to publishers where you don't need agent representation.

Third, you could put that ms. away and write another, even better, novel.

ETA: One of the mods might want to move this out of the Bewares and Background Check forum and into a more appropriate one where you'll get more responses and help.

waylander
02-14-2009, 10:26 PM
Plan B involves going to some writing conferences, meeting some editors, pressing the flesh and soliciting submissions to them

CaoPaux
02-14-2009, 10:38 PM
Hmm...better for Rejection & Dejection or Roundtable? Roundtable first, methinks. Hold on to your hats.

lkp
02-14-2009, 10:39 PM
Plan B for literary fiction may also involve some short story credits.

Susan Breen
02-14-2009, 11:16 PM
You could try contests (James Jones First Novel and Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel and Dana prize and so on). Conferences are a good way to make a connection. You can try to get chapters of it published by literary magazines. For example, I know that the New England Quarterly publishes chapters of novels. And you could start to work on a new book, which is daunting but you'll have to do it one way or the other. Good luck.

Soccer Mom
02-15-2009, 08:50 PM
I am running out of chances and hope. I do not want to give up, though, because I really believe this novel is publishable. I think I'm going to need a Plan B. I have no spiffy connections. I'm just a very hard-working writer who really wants to be published. Any ideas for how I might approach this? What could my Plan B entail?

Plan B is to write another novel. I know that you have great hope for this one and that it has come thisclose, but if it isn't quite getting there it's time to put it down and keep writing. Write the next one and when that one lands you an agent perhaps you can resurrect novel #4 with his or her assistance. Just my .02.

Bubastes
02-15-2009, 09:04 PM
Hemmingways, Old man and the Sea, never got excepted...he self-published that one.

Are you sure about that? I thought it first appeared in Life magazine and then was published by his usual go-to publisher.

KikiteNeko
02-16-2009, 02:26 AM
I believe it was Gone with the Wind that had 500 rejects.


Aaaaaah!!! This rumor makes me want to scream!!! Gone With the Wind was NEVER rejected. Not once. Nada.

Wayne K
02-16-2009, 02:36 AM
http://www.aaronline.org/mc/page.do

Try this site. There are a ton of agencies who you can Query by e-mail or snail mail. 11 requests out of 77 querys makes me believe it's publishable.

KikiteNeko
02-16-2009, 02:43 AM
thescribe, I know how tough it is. I write Literary Fiction, too. But you do not, I repeat, do NOT need "connections" to get an agent. My first manuscript I had 40 agents (give or take a few) request and then reject it. When I wrote my second manuscript I had an agent within a month. I could go on all day about how much I LOVE my agent and I'm so glad I took her advice (she rejected my first story and invited me to come back to her with my second).

It's possible that this story you've got just isn't what agents are looking for right now. If agents are giving you insights as to their rejections, take them seriously. Apply that criticism to your next work. It will happen. Agents are looking for a story they can sell, not a connection from a writer who knows a mutual friend. It is a tough pill to swallow when your story doesn't sell, but your plan B, in fact your only plan, should be to keep writing. Keep improving.

Also, 11 rejects wouldn't be so bad. I say keep querying before you get too nervous. Try querytracker.net if you haven't yet.

Carlene
02-16-2009, 02:51 AM
Oy, that "Gone with the Wind" rejection story drives me bonkers too! I read, "The Road to Tara" by Anne Edwards - a biogrophy about Margaret Mitchell. In it she says that ....I think it was Putnman was training around the country LOOKING for books to publish (ah for the good old days) and a friend of Mitchell's recommended he read her book. Mitchell didn't think it was good enough! The rest, as they say, is history.

Wayne K
02-16-2009, 05:24 AM
Oy, that "Gone with the Wind" rejection story drives me bonkers too! I read, "The Road to Tara" by Anne Edwards - a biogrophy about Margaret Mitchell. In it she says that ....I think it was Putnman was training around the country LOOKING for books to publish (ah for the good old days) and a friend of Mitchell's recommended he read her book. Mitchell didn't think it was good enough! The rest, as they say, is history.
Didn't she get 500 e-jections?

darkchild
02-17-2009, 04:12 AM
Plan B is never give up the dream. regardless if u have to work on a second novel, take the compliments and reasons why agents passed into consideration, or take a break to reflect, don't forget why you started this journey in the first place.