View Full Version : Full manuscript rejection

06-10-2009, 11:58 PM
Some of you may know that about a month ago an agent asked to see my full manuscript. Well I got a form email this afternoon saying that they are passing. What really bothers me is that I kinda really that this agent was the one for me. In fact I had a very big feeling that she would say yes. I don't even know if my book is even that good anymore, this has really hurt my confidence in it. Has this happened to any of you, what did you do? I would really like to know what I should do.

06-11-2009, 12:03 AM
I've had it happen more than once, and I know how bad a form R on a full stings. The only thing to do in the face of a form rejection is to keep querying. If the agent doesn't have any critique, there's no way to "guess" why he/she rejected the book. If your beta readers felt it was ready and you felt it was ready, you have to rely on that.

06-11-2009, 12:05 AM
This happens! You must go on! Perhaps another beta?

And who knows, maybe that agent is a full on alcoholic idiot? Or got abducted by aliens the night before s/he read your manuscript?

Screw 'im! Onward and Upward! Never give up! Never surrender!

alias octavia
06-11-2009, 12:08 AM

A form R on a full stings. I just got my first R on a full a month ago, and honestly I was pretty devastated. Although this agent who rejected me did offer a small bit of advice, it wasn't really substantive enough to be useful.

A full request feels so close and full of potential. When you have a full out you fantasize about "the call" and all that good stuff. I'm sorry that this agent didn't work out for you, but just remember that the right agent for you might be just one query away. Send out some more queries. Try to stay positive.

06-11-2009, 12:12 AM
Did the agent give you any feedback? Would you feel comfortable asking for a teensy-weensy bit? Basically, whether the agent found a major flaw or, simply, was not "taken" with the writing?

My full was rejected a couple of times when I first started querying about two years ago and the agents were wonderful about giving feedback. I learned that I needed a massive rewrite. I had too many characters and too much back story.

I only recently started querying my novel again and the interest is much greater. I have several partial requests out and one full. One full was rejected a few months ago, but she was a new agent with next-to-no experience and she has decided to go with nonfiction instead. I never should have queried her to begin with.

I would certainly not give up. Querying is a learning experience. Take criticism where you can get it, but also realize that agents are only human. It's quite possible that your ms was simply not what that particular agent expected. He/she might not be passionate about that genre or might not have the connections to sell it.

06-11-2009, 12:13 AM
Ohh, do I know how you feel. An acquaintance kindly referred me to her agent--her superpower hot shot, not-taking-on-new-clients agent.

I figured that it was a long shot and it'd be good practice getting a rejection on a query, until he requested a full. Then I lost all my humility and allowed myself to admit that I rrrreallllly thought he was the agent for me. He rejected with a pretty kind letter, but basically it was a slightly personalized form R. I tried not to be discouraged, but, well, it's discouraging!

Writing a book takes forever, and until you publish one, you have NO track record to reassure you when an agent or publisher rejects you. That's what bugged me the most. I thought, "damn, I've already spent over a year on this, what if it's no good?"

I still struggle with it, but I think, if all I do is just doggedly keep on -- being sure to learn all I can during the process, keeping my eyes open and being willing to take a hard look at the MS every time it's rejected -- there's no way I'm not going to be published unless publishing stops existing. You just don't give up, just keep plodding on.

I know it STINKS and sometimes every rejection seems to take me straight back to the dunk tank of "THIS SUCKS AND I'M NO GOOD." All I can do is climb out of the tank, towel off, and get back on the bench to get dunked again, until someone finally wants to sell this book.

bottom line: keep working! By the way, a full request is a big deal. You've got that going for you. If you got one full request, you'll get more.

06-11-2009, 12:16 AM
I'm sorry. Those full rejections hurt. There's nothing like hope to really leave you crushed.

06-11-2009, 02:34 AM
I am new here. Just got a rejection from an editor who not only rejected my full, but she almost went line by line why, but kept trying to soften the blow by telling me what she still liked, etc., etc. Bummer and a half. I was actually embarrassed by this for a full twenty-four hours. I tried to remind my darn self that a couple of agents are looking at pages, that there are many other fish in the sea, etc. Pick a cliche; I thought it. Then today, I got a form letter pass from an agent. And will wonders never cease? That put it all in perspective for me. Not that it was a form letter, but that the because it was a form letter, I got riled and thought, Oh yeah? Watch me!

In other words, back in the game.

06-11-2009, 02:54 AM
Some of you may know that about a month ago an agent asked to see my full manuscript. Well I got a form email this afternoon saying that they are passing.

Lets start here.
I think we all know what an incredibly difficult business we are in, and how very much the odds are stacked against us. However, while we know this to be true, we can't allow it to stop us from pursuing our dream. This means that as we attempt to achieve success we are guaranteed to encounter rejection and disappointment. And, one thing's for sure, if we react improperly we pretty much lock in failure. On the other hand, reacting positively will at least give us a chance, and that's all we can really ask for.

So, the agent asked to see your full manuscript -- great!!
So, the agent read your full and passed -- not really all that disastrous since so far you know that your query letter works and the idea for your work is apparently needed. If the agent didn't supply any constructive comments, and you're still content without revision, continue querying. Hopefully, in the past, you queried more than the one agent you're discussing. In any event, crank out those queries.

What really bothers me is that I kinda really that this agent was the one for me.

I hear this all the time, and while there's always a "picture perfect" agent for each and every writer, frankly, the idea means little to me when one is seeking--not changing--an agent. Aren't their perhaps 10-20 "Dream Agents" for each unpublished, non-agented writer, and lots of others who would probably work out quite well? I'm not suggesting one shouldn't make a list and query the agents they think are best for them, but I am saying that one shouldn't think the end is near if their top choices aren't interested.

In fact I had a very big feeling that she would say yes. I don't even know if my book is even that good anymore, this has really hurt my confidence in it. Has this happened to any of you, what did you do? I would really like to know what I should do.

This reaction is just what I'm talking about. Suddenly. just because this one agent rejected your full you are questioning whether or nt your book is good? Sincerely, does that make any objective sense to you? I can see where you might think this if your full was turned down by 20-40 agents, but by one?

Calla Lily
06-11-2009, 03:19 AM
Been there as well. Wallow for a day (no more) and then send that puppy out again.

See sig line below, and good luck!

06-11-2009, 03:23 AM
It is miserable, but you are in the right place for sympathy. Very few writers here (are there any?) with agents and/or published work made it there without rejections on fulls or partials.

06-11-2009, 03:31 AM
I've had that happen, also had a partial request twice by the same agency (after rewrites, i sent it out again) and was sent a form "R" both times. had a full pass with a form 'r'.

keep sending it out. there's plenty of agents out there and you have to find the one who'll do your work justice. while you're querying, keep writing or continue with your other hobbies. distractions are great while you're waiting for the Rs and requests to return. :)

good luck!!

06-11-2009, 04:10 AM
Oh, blech. I've had a couple of those. The first was the most disappointing--although I was numb the day I actually got it because there'd been something else I was worried about (fortunately, that turned out all right). The agent did send a nice letter--loved the writing and the two lead characters, did not love the mystery subplot--and invited me to submit future work. But still, no means no, and it's hard not to take it personally when you feel you've come so close and missed out.

What I had to get past was the worry that if this agent didn't go for my work, nobody else would. I took a few days to look over the R letter and decide whether I agreed with any of the agent's points. Some I did, some I didn't--so I made a couple of tweaks and made myself get back on the query-go-round within the week. Since then, I've collected more Rs at various levels, including one more full R from an agent notorious for her rapid turnaround time (I got it less than 12 hours after submitting my MS electronically). But I've also gotten more requests for material and with each one of those, I feel a bit more confident. At the moment, I have 3 fulls out; I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but it seems ungrateful not to hope at all. All you can really do is keep going and try not to let the no's get you down.

06-11-2009, 05:00 AM
Rs on fulls sting, so it's okay to wallow (for a day, like Lily said). Then it's time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

Karen Duvall
06-11-2009, 05:01 AM
That's happened to me more times than I'd like to remember, and it's a huge owie. But the sting does go away eventually, and something good will happen for you later. It's hard now, but try to look on the bright side. There always is one. :Hug2: