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View Full Version : Form rejection on an eight dollar query...



kaitie
02-24-2010, 05:33 PM
Yeah, yeah, silly I know. But dang, that one stung a little. The agent wanted the first fifty pages included, and that costs a fortune sending internationally, but she doesn't accept email subs, either.

I just wondered what was the most expensive or complicated query you've sent that left you feeling like it ought to get a request just out on principle alone? (Not saying we really should haha, but you know the ones I mean).

I think for me, the one that fits the bill is one that I spent three full hours gathering the materials for. The agent wanted chapter summaries, marketing ideas, etc., none of which I had actually done in advance. I still haven't gotten rejected for it yet, but I definitely hit the "send" button thinking, "please oh please actually request this and make that not be a waste of three hours." :tongue

AuburnAssassin
02-24-2010, 05:45 PM
Ouch. I see your point. I wish those few email holdouts would finally cave.

And I sure hope your 3 hour investment pays off. That seems like a lot to ask, to this newbie writer anyway. Chapter summaries and marketing ideas? I hope the request at least came on the heels of a full and not in lieu of, otherwise it smacks of lazy.

CheekyWench
02-24-2010, 05:45 PM
I have two that were like that. I didn't even get a form reject. They just went out into the wild blue yonder about 8 months ago...

kellion92
02-24-2010, 05:47 PM
That definitely stings. If agents are purposefully making writers jump through hoops in order to cut down the queries they receive, they ought to use a little of their own time to provide more substantive rejections. It's only fair, IMHO.

Maryn
02-24-2010, 05:57 PM
Somebody somewhere (me, here?) should start a small business in which writers overseas can email manuscripts, queries, and enclosures for printing and mailing within the US. It's no surprise that there are holdouts who do not want to see e-queries for whatever reason, but the cost and time delay faced by writers living outside the US yet seeking US agents or markets is substantial.

You're not the first AW writer I've seen bemoan this exact situation.

Maryn, with a light bulb over her head

Wayne K
02-24-2010, 05:59 PM
That's not a bad idea

kaitie
02-24-2010, 06:47 PM
Somebody somewhere (me, here?) should start a small business in which writers overseas can email manuscripts, queries, and enclosures for printing and mailing within the US. It's no surprise that there are holdouts who do not want to see e-queries for whatever reason, but the cost and time delay faced by writers living outside the US yet seeking US agents or markets is substantial.

You're not the first AW writer I've seen bemoan this exact situation.

Maryn, with a light bulb over her head

I'm just thankful most people these days take email queries. When I did this ten years ago that certainly wasn't the case. I spent twenty dollars sending five snail mail this time and figured out that I'd have spent over two hundred easily on queries alone had I not been able to send via email. I certainly don't have that kind of money.

YAwriter72
02-24-2010, 07:10 PM
Somebody somewhere (me, here?) should start a small business in which writers overseas can email manuscripts, queries, and enclosures for printing and mailing within the US. It's no surprise that there are holdouts who do not want to see e-queries for whatever reason, but the cost and time delay faced by writers living outside the US yet seeking US agents or markets is substantial.

You're not the first AW writer I've seen bemoan this exact situation.

Maryn, with a light bulb over her head


I've done that for overseas friends before.

mkcbunny
02-25-2010, 08:37 AM
Somebody somewhere (me, here?) should start a small business in which writers overseas can email manuscripts, queries, and enclosures for printing and mailing within the US. It's no surprise that there are holdouts who do not want to see e-queries for whatever reason, but the cost and time delay faced by writers living outside the US yet seeking US agents or markets is substantial.


Cool idea.

scarletpeaches
02-25-2010, 01:20 PM
Twenty dollars works out at around 12 for five queries which is nothing. I can easily spend 3 on one if it's a first-three-chapters-synopsis-and-cover-letter job. With return postage. I might not have the money but you can bet I'll sure as hell find it. It's an investment.

I often find that people who are used to American pricing on things complain about costs I'd love to incur, but honestly? $20 for five queries doesn't seem that bad; neither does $200 to be honest. I've spent way, way more than that over the years. I look upon it as an investment.

kaitie
02-25-2010, 04:48 PM
Twenty dollars works out at around 12 for five queries which is nothing. I can easily spend 3 on one if it's a first-three-chapters-synopsis-and-cover-letter job. With return postage. I might not have the money but you can bet I'll sure as hell find it. It's an investment.

I often find that people who are used to American pricing on things complain about costs I'd love to incur, but honestly? $20 for five queries doesn't seem that bad; neither does $200 to be honest. I've spent way, way more than that over the years. I look upon it as an investment.

Yup, just the query alone isn't all that bad. It's 260 yen, which really is nothing to complain about (unless you're sending 200 haha). The eight dollar one included the first fifty pages and a synopsis, and like you said those are the ones that add up. I actually sent two of those, though not at the same time.

Jamesaritchie
02-25-2010, 07:26 PM
That definitely stings. If agents are purposefully making writers jump through hoops in order to cut down the queries they receive, they ought to use a little of their own time to provide more substantive rejections. It's only fair, IMHO.

Agents don't have any time. Nor do they make you jump through hoops.

skippingstone
02-25-2010, 07:34 PM
I spent $95 on ONE submission last summer. Agent told me send two mss. So that was printing and mailing costs (cuz it weighed a ton). A month later I got a one sentence form reject for BOTH mss. I was like, sheesh, for $95 I would have at least expected two one-sentence form rejects. Seemed the least she could do. :)

Wayne K
02-25-2010, 07:47 PM
Wow, that hurts just to think about.

Jamesaritchie
02-26-2010, 04:36 AM
I'm not sure I've ever spent eight bucks on something that got rejected, but I tink you just have to remember that every other business in the world has to spent a heck of a lot more for pretty much everything. Writers have it incredibly cheap and easy.

Besides, it's a tax write off, so save your receipt and get the money back from Uncle Sam.

elae
02-26-2010, 05:37 AM
Somebody somewhere (me, here?) should start a small business in which writers overseas can email manuscripts, queries, and enclosures for printing and mailing within the US. It's no surprise that there are holdouts who do not want to see e-queries for whatever reason, but the cost and time delay faced by writers living outside the US yet seeking US agents or markets is substantial.

You're not the first AW writer I've seen bemoan this exact situation.

Maryn, with a light bulb over her head

Something like http://snailmailr.com/about ? :) Seems like you wouldn't save much if you were sending manuscripts, but it could be useful for queries. I think there are other alternatives out there too. http://www.mailaletter.com/ looks like another one.

kaitie
02-26-2010, 05:39 PM
I'm not sure I've ever spent eight bucks on something that got rejected, but I tink you just have to remember that every other business in the world has to spent a heck of a lot more for pretty much everything. Writers have it incredibly cheap and easy.

Besides, it's a tax write off, so save your receipt and get the money back from Uncle Sam.

I live in Japan. ;) Really though I'm not complaining. It was more a matter of sometimes we send a query that we put a lot of effort or more money into than usual and it feels like we'd rather get a request on that just because we did put so much more effort into it. I was just curious to see the experiences other people had as well.

That $95 dollar one is insane...tell me they gave you an offer lol!

Bushdoctor
02-26-2010, 08:27 PM
it happens to us all. the most i have spent was 15 for a sub which recieved a 2 line rejection via email

triceretops
02-26-2010, 08:33 PM
Yeah, I went through that complete chapter outline and marketing proposal gig with a certain publisher for a novel. It took me about three days to put that package together. I'll never do it again, except for one of the big six, who wants to forecast a sequel or two.

Tri

Greenwolf103
02-28-2010, 06:59 PM
Besides, it's a tax write off, so save your receipt and get the money back from Uncle Sam.

Great advice, James. Thank you for pointing that out.

I can relate to this. Sent a submission package to an agent but the total cost was not $8. More like something around $5. She rejected me via e-mail (even though I included an SASE) but on the plus side, referred me to another agent. No word on that one yet.

Hang in there, katie. Sorry about the R! :Hug2:

Mystic Blossom
02-28-2010, 08:07 PM
I'm not sure I've ever spent eight bucks on something that got rejected, but I tink you just have to remember that every other business in the world has to spent a heck of a lot more for pretty much everything. Writers have it incredibly cheap and easy.


This is true. At my college, all the majors have something to do with the arts. Compared to everyone else, writers have to spend nearly nothing. Heck, they don't even have to buy paper. Our school, so far, is generous enough to provide all the paper they need. Other majors, however, don't get off so lucky. Graphic design, photography, and fine arts majors all have to buy their own supplies, on their own dime, all four years. And yet when senior project rolls around, and the writing majors are told they have to produce a bound copy of their final project, which will cost between 5-30 dollars, depending on where they get it, there's always one or two people who will complain.

But anyway, kaitie, I do get the annoyance of spending more than average on something and having it not pay out. Sadly, the only thing you can do now is keep moving forward. Don't even look at giving up as an option. That rarely gets you anywhere.

kaitie
03-01-2010, 12:47 PM
The ink is what costs an arm and a leg for me. I apparently didn't pick well when I got a printer. I got one that was cheap, but the ink runs out really quickly. It's not submitting to agents or anything that's expensive, though. It's more all the printing for edits and rewrites.

Anyway you are right. My bro is a musician who is trying to get into film scoring, and he's bought loads of equipment and electronics and programs for it, even when he was in school.

I do find it kinda funny that there's an assumption here that I'm really upset about it. I'm totally not. There was a bit of an, "ouch, that was money down the drain," but it really isn't a big deal. I don't tend to get that upset by rejections in general. I do get frustrated sometimes, but it's more of an in general frustration and not a specific rejection one. When I cross one off I just send to the next person and move on. I'm actually excited about getting to submit my next story.

trocadero
03-01-2010, 01:09 PM
I'm in Hong Kong. I only query agents who accept email. I'm way too lazy to go to the post office. I also wouldn't query anyone who wanted a synopsis upfront, because I hate them. It was a long day at school today...

scarletpeaches
03-01-2010, 01:14 PM
I'm in Hong Kong. I only query agents who accept email. I'm way too lazy to go to the post office. I also wouldn't query anyone who wanted a synopsis upfront, because I hate them. It was a long day at school today...How else are they supposed to know what happens in your book?

trocadero
03-01-2010, 02:01 PM
Out of the many MG and YA agents I've researched and queried, very few request a synopsis upfront. They either want a straight query or the query and sample pages. When people have asked for partials/fulls, they still haven't asked for a synopsis. If someone asked me for one, I'd do it, obviously.

Paul
03-01-2010, 03:00 PM
Somebody somewhere (me, here?) should start a small business in which writers overseas can email manuscripts, queries, and enclosures for printing and mailing within the US. It's no surprise that there are holdouts who do not want to see e-queries for whatever reason, but the cost and time delay faced by writers living outside the US yet seeking US agents or markets is substantial.

You're not the first AW writer I've seen bemoan this exact situation.

Maryn, with a light bulb over her head


Looked at the alternatives pointed out - private companies are essentially offering letters not manuscripts.
I understand such costs can be put down to 'life as a writer' etc, but what if they could be substantially reduced?
I;m not sure what Speaches means by the 20 dollar statement. If you send 5 hard copy manu's to the USA, it'll cost more than $20. I'm sure the reverse is also true.

Anyway, this is my two cents.
Using the AW as a conduit, what if those who send from US to Europe and visa versa help each other out? i.e. exchange system, you send me 5 from europe, I'll send you 5 for usa.

Personally I'm not ready to send out yet, another six months i reckon, but i'm sure others are.
If it was a Forum in itself (maybe other things are possible as well) that'd be fab.

Paul
03-01-2010, 03:11 PM
Yeah, kinda like this idea

If a number of writers sign up from each side, send (email)their stuff to AW, who holds them until they can match the senders opposite in US/Europe, then sends(email) them out. Therefore there is also a record of manu ownership (should some feel it necessary)and like is matched with like (ie money /amt of scripts wise)

Payment is made to AW through paypal. Whichever Mod takes it on can take an admin fee out of it. Reckon it's still a lot cheaper than sending stuff by snail mail - i'm talking 50 pages or more of course.)

Receipt of work sent (by snail mail) if required could i suppose be scanned, but those kind of kinks could be worked out.
Whatyethink??

mkcbunny
03-01-2010, 09:57 PM
You'd also have to take into account paper and ink if the sender is printing it at home. If they do it at a copy place, it's expensive there, as well. If a ream of paper is about $5, a full MS is about $3.50 alone. Then there's ink, however that breaks down.

Paul
03-01-2010, 11:53 PM
Well it's really the postage costs which may be circumvented, the rest are constants

mkcbunny
03-02-2010, 12:22 AM
Well it's really the postage costs which may be circumvented, the rest are constants

Right, but if one person prints and mails five manuscripts in the US for others, and only has one MS to send internationally, then that's four instances of printing and only being reimbursed for postage. If it's solely one-for-one, would that really work if more people (my guess) are trying to send manuscripts from outside the US to US agents, vs. US authors sending to international agents. But maybe I am wrong.

Paul
03-02-2010, 12:33 AM
Right, but if one person prints and mails five manuscripts in the US for others, and only has one MS to send internationally, then that's four instances of printing and only being reimbursed for postage. If it's solely one-for-one, would that really work if more people (my guess) are trying to send manuscripts from outside the US to US agents, vs. US authors sending to international agents. But maybe I am wrong.

I outlined the solution to that very aspect above. :)

Paul
03-02-2010, 12:38 AM
Of course if AW took on the mantle with one person in US and one in Europe twould be better. A writer from one side submits, pays for the printing and local stamps, plus admin fee. Would still work out cheaper (a lot cheaper) fro the writer and the two Aw's make a few dollars.

mkcbunny
03-02-2010, 03:05 AM
I outlined the solution to that very aspect above. :)
Well duh, so you did. I somehow missed that.

kaitie
03-02-2010, 05:38 PM
Wow, I had a nice one, though who actually put her own ten cent stamp on my letter. Before I sent, I went down to the office and weighed my envelopes with a single sheet of paper in them--what I figured it would be for a rejection letter or response, right? Well, apparently if you put two pages in the envelope it goes over the weight limit. This one (the same non-rejection as mentioned before) actually had been returned to her for not having enough postage because she had included her letter with my original query. I was totally thankful for that!

Paul
03-03-2010, 07:24 PM
I see my brilliant idea has gone largely unnoticed.
Ah well.