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LittleFlowerLei
08-06-2009, 10:45 AM
I got a rejection letter today for my The End's Beginning story, and I'm not quite sure what to think of it.

"Dear [my name here]:

Thanks for sending along the opening pages of The End's Beginning. Truth be told, though, I'm afraid these pages just didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped. I'm pressed for time these days and, what with my reservations about the project, I suspect I wouldn't be the best fit. Thanks so much for contacting me, though, and for giving me this opportunity. It's much appreciated, and I'm sorry to be passing. I wish you the very best of luck in your search for representation.

Best,
Andrea "

so, thats what I got. I don't know if she's trying to tell me that she, personally, didn't like my sample chapters and that theres a chance that another agent will like it. OR, if it means that I epically failed on the first chapters (Which, by the way, were edited by a member from here. Thanks bagels!) and no one will ever want it.

Sooo....just let me know what you think about it.

fairy86
08-06-2009, 10:53 AM
I got a rejection letter today for my The End's Beginning story, and I'm not quite sure what to think of it.

"Dear [my name here]:

Thanks for sending along the opening pages of The End's Beginning. Truth be told, though, I'm afraid these pages just didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped. I'm pressed for time these days and, what with my reservations about the project, I suspect I wouldn't be the best fit. Thanks so much for contacting me, though, and for giving me this opportunity. It's much appreciated, and I'm sorry to be passing. I wish you the very best of luck in your search for representation.

Best,
Andrea "

so, thats what I got. I don't know if she's trying to tell me that she, personally, didn't like my sample chapters and that theres a chance that another agent will like it. OR, if it means that I epically failed on the first chapters (Which, by the way, were edited by a member from here. Thanks bagels!) and no one will ever want it.

Sooo....just let me know what you think about it.

It doesn't mean you epically failed :) It just means that one agent didn't feel he/she was right for your work. I've had similar rejections and I've also had requests where the agent responded, "I'm requesting because I really like the sample you sent". It all depends on their personal taste :)

If you get several rejections like that, then it's time to rework your first few pages. Good luck!

Mumut
08-06-2009, 11:54 AM
Even though it doesn't mean everyone will reject you, use this as a hint. It didn't grab her - so why? Can you smarten the action, intensify the excitement or whatever the srory is about, click it up a notch or two?

OL
08-06-2009, 12:52 PM
I would not base too much on one rejection. The rule is, sort of, three. If you get a few people who are saying the same kinds of things, then pay attention. Otherwise it's impossible to know whether the problem is on your end, or whether this just didn't grab this particular person. Believe me, they are not lying when they say this is an incredibly subjective business.

suedenym
08-06-2009, 01:33 PM
I don't think you failed at all - it sounds like she's saying that it just wasn't for her. I agree with the other posts though - if you get a couple more rejections, all saying the same thing, then rework the pages. Best of luck with it.

TrixieLox
08-06-2009, 02:12 PM
I recognise this. This is a form rejection. What that means is, it's not a personalised insight into your particular novel. It just didn't 'sing' for this particular agent. It's subjective. Another agent may love it.

I got a coupla these (plus a bunch of requests for fulls and finally an agent) so chin up and persevere. Don't read into this yet. However, if you don't get any requests for partials / fulls, then yes, you need to re-look at your work / query letter.

Good luck!

alias octavia
08-06-2009, 02:18 PM
Hello LittleFlowerLei,

This is a R you received on a e-query with a couple of pages attached, correct?

I have the same letter, verbatim, save for it has my novel title inserted. This is her form R. No need to worry, take it personal, or read into it. Your query is not going to spark the interest of every agent. Keep querying and stay hopeful.

RainbowDragon
08-07-2009, 11:01 AM
This is one of the most poorly worded forms I have seen. It deceives the writer/reader into believing she saw potential and was disappointed when in actuality it's just a copy/paste rejection.

I received the same one a few months ago and thought about writing to tell the agent so but saw it posted some years ago somewhere (in my own search to see if it was form or crushing blow) and figured if she's been using it this long she's not likely to rethink it.

Pity, though. It seems to affect a lot of writers in the same dreadfully negative way.
Maybe we should point her to this thread and others just like it. . .

TrixieLox
08-07-2009, 12:39 PM
This is one of the most poorly worded forms I have seen. It deceives the writer/reader into believing she saw potential and was disappointed when in actuality it's just a copy/paste rejection.

I received the same one a few months ago and thought about writing to tell the agent so but saw it posted some years ago somewhere (in my own search to see if it was form or crushing blow) and figured if she's been using it this long she's not likely to rethink it.

Pity, though. It seems to affect a lot of writers in the same dreadfully negative way.
Maybe we should point her to this thread and others just like it. . .

Some agents don't reply at all to queries. At least she does. I don't think there's any need to bash her for it. It's just the name of the game... I hate dishing out cliches but here goes: as a writer who wants to get published, you simply have to develop thick skin. It hurts but you just gotta move on and stay positive. The role of an agent (imo) is to spot new talent and nurture it. They have no obligation to respond to queries in a particular way. I know many, many disagree with this view but it's mine and I'm sticking to it ;-)

Moost
08-07-2009, 04:33 PM
As many people mentioned, this is a form rejection- I got the same one yesterday! Forget it and keep trying :)

RainbowDragon
08-07-2009, 09:44 PM
Trixie,

You are 100% correct. I also just happen to think agents should have an idea of the effect their words have on writers, form or not, and in this case, I decided to take the agent off my list for future queries.

If you do a search on a unique phrase such as the sentence that starts with "Truth be told," you will find other threads just like this one. A writer, devastated, believes there's something horribly wrong with their MS and they have no idea what. It's the same thing I worried about when I received it.

So my point (do I have one?) and my pet peeve is that if the form means "This is just not for me" it should say that. Instead it reads like a roller coaster for anyone trying to see between the lines (as many of us do). :) But when I found out it was form I dismissed it.

I think agents shouldn't write forms that might trick us into thinking they're personal and that there's something wrong with a work if they just mean it's not for them.

But again, you're right, as writers we also have to learn to ignore that sort of thing unless it's somehow useful even if it is a personalized "This is the worst MS I have ever seen" sort of rejection. Even then, it would just be one person's opinion.

So to the OP, hope it makes you feel better to know you're not the only one who felt awful after receiving this form, and it is a form, and there's nothing to read into it. :)



Some agents don't reply at all to queries. At least she does. I don't think there's any need to bash her for it. It's just the name of the game... I hate dishing out cliches but here goes: as a writer who wants to get published, you simply have to develop thick skin. It hurts but you just gotta move on and stay positive. The role of an agent (imo) is to spot new talent and nurture it. They have no obligation to respond to queries in a particular way. I know many, many disagree with this view but it's mine and I'm sticking to it ;-)

Parametric
08-07-2009, 09:51 PM
So my point (do I have one?) and my pet peeve is that if the form means "This is just not for me" it should say that. Instead it reads like a roller coaster for anyone trying to see between the lines (as many of us do). :) But when I found out it was form I dismissed it.

Not to harp on this point, because I totally appreciate how people stress out over whether an R is form or meaningful, but to me the rejection in this thread is honest and clear. An agent reads a query and/or partial and/or full hoping to be blown away. That didn't happen in this case. That's all the rejection says.

But on a more general note, I wonder if it would be helpful if agents ended their form Rs with "This is a form rejection". I know some agents do make that explicit in their form Rs.

RainbowDragon
08-07-2009, 10:01 PM
I'd be all for that, Parametric! I'd rather the e-mail or letter just say "Form rejection" and nothing else if they're going to send stock phrases that don't pertain to the work at all. :)


Not to harp on this point, because I totally appreciate how people stress out over whether an R is form or meaningful, but to me the rejection in this thread is honest and clear. An agent reads a query and/or partial and/or full hoping to be blown away. That didn't happen in this case. That's all the rejection says.

But on a more general note, I wonder if it would be helpful if agents ended their form Rs with "This is a form rejection". I know some agents do make that explicit in their form Rs.

Wordwrestler
08-07-2009, 11:35 PM
I agree that this is a form rejection. I got something very similar. Unless you get feedback that specifically addresses aspects of your story & characters, I wouldn't try to figure out what the rejection means.

Just make a note of it for your records and move on.

jennibly
08-08-2009, 12:34 AM
I think I got this exact same letter. From at least one agent and probably some very similar ones from others. I've also had four requests for partials and two requests for fulls so if I were you I wouldn't take this particular one as a signal of failure. Every book isn't for every agent, just like it wont be for every editor or every reader.

Chin up and keep at it! :)

AngelaA
08-08-2009, 04:32 PM
This is a form rejection...I got a similar one!

SusanH
08-08-2009, 07:24 PM
I took the, "I'm not the right agent for your book" to heart when I first started, but now I go with the flow. So much, I have decided when the last one said, "It just didn't grab me", I have decided to take my story, from a slow boring beginning to the gut wrenching end, to starting with the pain and bruises and remembering the past as Mumet stated in his post above. Sure it was done with the YaYa Sisterhood, but the storyline is completely different and I think it will grab the reader faster. Also I have thrown some more humor into it..... so please don't be disheartened. You really need these rejections in order to get the right agent that will be excited and run with your manuscript instead of having an agent that lets your manuscript sit on her desk......

Em.

bohololita
08-09-2009, 03:07 AM
Don't feel bad. I just got yet another form rejection today. I agree with what the others are saying, keep trying. It's better to find someone who really supports your work rather than someone who's not going to give it the attention it deserves.

If it makes you feel better, your rejection letter seems to be a lot nicer sounding than mine.
Mine simply said, "After reviewing the submission package that you sent us, we feel that it does not meet our current needs."

SusanH
08-09-2009, 07:23 AM
I got one last week that just said..."No thanks".....I am glad, I don't think I would want him anyway.

snowflake24
08-17-2009, 08:07 AM
I received the same letter, too. It's just a form rejection. Don't get discouraged!

arkady
08-17-2009, 06:59 PM
I agree that this is a form rejection. I got something very similar. Unless you get feedback that specifically addresses aspects of your story & characters, I wouldn't try to figure out what the rejection means.

Even that isn't necessarily useful. I got a personalized rejection in which the agent said a lot of good and specific things about my MC, proving that he really did at least read the sample chapters. But he rejected it anyway. No idea why.

Wordwrestler
08-17-2009, 07:03 PM
Even that isn't necessarily useful. I got a personalized rejection in which the agent said a lot of good and specific things about my MC, proving that he really did at least read the sample chapters. But he rejected it anyway. No idea why.

I meant a rejection with specific criticism. I got one, and it was very helpful--and rare, I know. Also, knowing what does work can be helpful, especially when you're not sure about it yourself. When you sit down to revise, it's good to know what your story's strengths are so you can build on them, rather than cut them out.

SusanH
08-18-2009, 04:00 AM
FINALLY! Got a rejection from an agent who told me what was wrong with my book....she also said it read smoothly and was commerical...ok, I don't know if that part was a compliment or not...but I am encouraged and I am fixing the book...... so I won't be getting discouraged... we only fail if we don't try.....

Wordwrestler
08-18-2009, 04:18 AM
Way to go Emerita! I like your attitude.

SusanH
08-18-2009, 05:16 AM
I guess I needed to learn a lesson from this and I needed all my rejections to keep me humble. Do you think I can resubmit to the same agent after I re-write my book? She did seem intrested but didn't ask for a re-submit....... sorry if this is off topic....

triceretops
08-18-2009, 09:59 PM
That is a form rejection letter.

Tri