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View Full Version : Etiquette: Thanking agent for personal rejection



InkStainedWench
08-23-2014, 09:39 PM
I've been getting form rejections, but just got a slightly personalized one (the agent said she found the premise intriguing, but wasn't drawn in by my pages).

I appreciate this, because it is useful information. Should I thank her? I don't want to be a bother.

NinjaFingers
08-23-2014, 09:40 PM
That was just a nicer form, I'm afraid.

No, don't thank people for rejections. It sounds like a nice thing to do, but these people are flooded with mail constantly.

mayqueen
08-23-2014, 09:51 PM
I only send a thank you email if the agent sent me what is clearly personalized feedback on a full. Otherwise, while it seems polite, it's just another email in their inbox.

InkStainedWench
08-23-2014, 10:00 PM
Thanks, Ninja and mayqueen. That's what I figured, but thought I'd check.

ElaineA
08-23-2014, 10:01 PM
I've seen lots of agents say they appreciate a thank you for a personalized rejection. They took the time to write it, so it's nice to be polite back. But ONLY if you're 100% certain it's personalized to your story. ie: character names or specifics of your plot mentioned. Otherwise, yes, just more mail.

Algernon
08-24-2014, 08:10 PM
I have received a dozen or so personalized rejections. These I have responded graciously to and thanked them for their time. Though I have found, at least for myself, agents are a waste of time. If your style is fringe and outside of current trends in the publishing industry, forget about it. I mean you probably won't sell many, I mean outside of family and friends, if you self publish unless you invest heavily, financially, in one's marketing.

Jamesaritchie
08-24-2014, 11:51 PM
I have received a dozen or so personalized rejections. These I have responded graciously to and thanked them for their time. Though I have found, at least for myself, agents are a waste of time. If your style is fringe and outside of current trends in the publishing industry, forget about it. I mean you probably won't sell many, I mean outside of family and friends, if you self publish unless you invest heavily, financially, in one's marketing.

If your style is halfway decent, fringe is not a style, readability is a style, and if your story and characters are good, you can be as fringe as you like, and still find an agent and a publisher. You do not have to be anything like current trends. Thousands and thousands of books are published every year, and they come in every type, including fringe. There's a line of books for every possible type of writing and storytelling, as long as it's decently written, and as long as it's something readers want to read. If it isn't these things, then it doesn't matter whether it's fringe, current trend, or anything else, no one will want it.

Algernon
08-25-2014, 01:20 AM
If your style is halfway decent, fringe is not a style, readability is a style, and if your story and characters are good, you can be as fringe as you like, and still find an agent and a publisher. You do not have to be anything like current trends. Thousands and thousands of books are published every year, and they come in every type, including fringe. There's a line of books for every possible type of writing and storytelling, as long as it's decently written, and as long as it's something readers want to read. If it isn't these things, then it doesn't matter whether it's fringe, current trend, or anything else, no one will want it.

You're right.

gingerwoman
08-25-2014, 03:01 AM
I have received a dozen or so personalized rejections. These I have responded graciously to and thanked them for their time. Though I have found, at least for myself, agents are a waste of time. If your style is fringe and outside of current trends in the publishing industry, forget about it. I mean you probably won't sell many, I mean outside of family and friends, if you self publish unless you invest heavily, financially, in one's marketing.


"Investing heavily financially" is usually a good way to get scammed. http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/author-solutions (http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/author-solutions)

I know a number of people who have been staggeringly successful self publishing. They usually seem to invest about $1000 per book, most of that is spent on professional editing by an independent editor. Beware all "package deals," ask writer friends for recommendations.

If your style is fringe you should be sending to agents who are looking for literary fringe type work and they are out there. I'm assuming you mean literary fringe?

Lizzythebrit
09-01-2014, 06:28 PM
It's a tricky one. I personally write a very brief thank you to my rejections, even if they are a standard boilerplate response. However I received a personal rejection which was also kind of positive, where the agent said she was keen to read anything else I might write in the future, and she took the time to provide a bit of feedback. I kept it brief, but I did thank her for her encouragement, but I've left it there and will only resubmit to her when I have a piece that I feel confident about.
I guess even if they hit delete straight away, you've been polite and that's bonus points if you ever encounter them again...?

Katrina S. Forest
09-01-2014, 06:52 PM
It's a tricky one. I personally write a very brief thank you to my rejections, even if they are a standard boilerplate response. However I received a personal rejection which was also kind of positive, where the agent said she was keen to read anything else I might write in the future, and she took the time to provide a bit of feedback. I kept it brief, but I did thank her for her encouragement, but I've left it there and will only resubmit to her when I have a piece that I feel confident about.
I guess even if they hit delete straight away, you've been polite and that's bonus points if you ever encounter them again...?

I'm not sure if it's "bonus points" to reply to what you know is a form rejection, especially when some agents specifically ask in their submission guidelines that you don't reply to those.

As for personal rejections, for me, it depends on the situation. I recently sent a thank you to one agent who informed me that although she was overloaded with her own client work now, she still liked my query and passed it onto her colleague. I thought that was worth a word of thanks. :)

Kayley
09-02-2014, 08:36 PM
I agree that you shouldn't, as it seems most agents prefer not to have extra mail. Instead, you could mention it next time you query the agent; that's what I do. I got a personalized rejection last time I queried my dream agent and I think that's in part because I'd mentioned previous personalized rejections she'd given me, because it shows that she'd previously been interested in my work (although this is just an assumption; I could be wrong.)

Make sure the rejection is actually personalized before attempting this. Depending on the wording, the rejection you received could go either way. This is the one I received:


I really like your query, but I read your pages and I'm not quite grabbed. It's possible that you're not starting the story in the right place. But another thing that I think is going to hurt you is the references to Heaven/Hell/Demons etc. It makes the story feel paranormal rather than fantasy

The fact that the agent referred to specific parts of the story (the mention of Heaven/Hell/Demons) shows that the rejection is personalized. Simply saying the premise is unique doesn't necessarily suggest that. Make sure there are mentions of your story that the agent wouldn't include if they hadn't read over your query letter and/or pages.

Debbie V
09-03-2014, 08:02 AM
I also thank the agent in my next submission even if it is over a year later.

Fruitbat
09-03-2014, 08:50 AM
Nope. Unless the editor went way beyond the usual, as others have said, thank yous do just clog up already overflowing in boxes. Also, it does nothing for you to remind them next time that they found your work worthy of rejection in the past. It's no big deal but also nothing that gives you an "in" with an editor whatsoever.

Debbie V
09-09-2014, 07:42 AM
Nope. Unless the editor went way beyond the usual, as others have said, thank yous do just clog up already overflowing in boxes. Also, it does nothing for you to remind them next time that they found your work worthy of rejection in the past. It's no big deal but also nothing that gives you an "in" with an editor whatsoever.

That depends. If the next work is in the same vein as the first but does not contain whatever issues were pointed out as the reason for rejection, the editor may appreciate the heads up.

Also, if your next work was asked for, saying thanks makes sense when you send it.

Fruitbat
09-09-2014, 08:21 AM
True, but through the years I've noticed quite a wishful thinking thing often in place there. In other words the writer believing that a kind but generic rejection is much more than it actually is. Responding as if it is indeed a special "in" with the editor can come across as clueless and presumptuous, whether sending a special thank you note or bringing it up in a future submission. So yes, as always, imo it's all about learning what's really going on there. And of course, far and away what they're going to be looking at anyway is the current submission, not all that other stuff that, after all, they did reject.