View Full Version : My First Rejection (Moved from novels)

07-07-2009, 11:47 AM
Hello to you all. This is my first post, but I've been rummaging around these forums for a long time now, just soaking up information and reading about all of your experiences...and now I have one of my own.

I got the shoot-down on my very first ms, but I'm just wondering if it is a fairly standard response. It was actually a very nice shoot-down, and he had some encouraging words, but even those seemed kind of vague. All in all, I am very thankful to him that he responded quickly. It was but a week and a half before I had a definite response from him, even if it was a pass. I've read some of the stories on here about people waiting anywhere from six months to a year just to hear "No."

He said he read it, and "enjoyed reading it". But was "not enthusiastic enough" about it to offer representation. "I think you are a good writer" he also said and pointed out that his opinion is one of many possible opinions within the industry and referred me to the AAR website.

Now - I don't know. I guess I'm wondering: Is this standard, or does he really mean all of that? Or have I just happened to get rejected by an agent who has some of the nicer form letters telling you you just got shot down?

Many thanks,

- Me

07-07-2009, 11:51 AM
It's a standard form rejection.

Anything below "I thought character X was strong, but plotline Y detracted from the story" is a form rejection.

(Don't give up hope, though. A form rejection doesn't mean that the person didn't like your writing -- it just means that he or she gets so many submissions each day that he or she can't possible give personalized rejections to every MS. I've heard some agents and editors send form responses to everyone, even those who came close and they liked.)

07-07-2009, 12:08 PM
Thanks, Exir.

That's more or less what I thought, but seeing as how this is my first real foray into the process, I figured I'd ask.

But, whatever - like I said, at least I know without having to wait months and months. Can do another polish and prep it again for more submissions.

07-07-2009, 12:09 PM
Welcome. It's a good time to read the query letter to yourself as though you just received it from someone else. Would it make you want to read more? Would it make you, a publisher, want to sink your money into it?

07-07-2009, 12:51 PM
Yep, that's what I was thinking. Obviously it's kind of a downer - but right now I feel like I have so much non-pressured time to really look at all the details that will go into my next submission. It's kind of liberating, actually.

07-07-2009, 02:37 PM
Sounds almost exactly like a rejection I got...including the AAR website referral!

07-07-2009, 03:48 PM
I know its only your first rejection (congrats on that!) But have you thought about sharing your query in Query letter hell?

07-07-2009, 04:21 PM
Form rejection - which isn't automatically a bad thing. It's at least acknowledgement of your submission and you're free to submit somewhere else without wondering if the first agent is going to reply.

07-07-2009, 04:26 PM
LOL, last night I got "Thanks for subbing, but I'm taking a pass" scrawled across my query letter. It made me smile to think about the agent taking the time to scrawl the form phrase instead of using a form letter. It's kind of personalized, but not really.

But hey, at least I got that query letter back. Guess I can white out the scrawl and reuse it. ;)

Like Exir said, anything that doesn't mention specifics about your sub is a form letter. Your name and the MS name inserted in there don't count.

Yeah, put your query letter up here. Can't hurt to get some advice on it before it goes out again. Which reminds me, mine has to go out again today. One in, one out.

07-07-2009, 04:30 PM
Moving to Rejection and Dejection, cause, well, it's about rejection.

And congrats on subbing :)

07-07-2009, 05:07 PM
Unless he mentioned specific aspects of your plot, it sounds like a form rejection. But who cares - it's rejection, for or otherwise. Put it behind you, and move on. One day you'll get the "it's my pleasure to offer you representation" letter.

07-07-2009, 05:24 PM
Yeah, rejections sting but you gotta keep on keeping on. As others have said, you're submitting your queries and mss. and that's a big step in the right direction. :)