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Whimsigirl
10-15-2014, 06:03 PM
I just got a form rejection from an agent who came very close to representing me a few years ago. We'd talked multiple times over the phone, she had said she LOVED my book but wished it were for YA.

Skip forward to today, I've completely rewritten that book for YA and queried her a few days ago -- didn't reply to any of our old emails and the book has a new title. Kind of stung to get a form rejection -- I thought I'd at least get a personalized rejection -- am I asking for too much?

Osulagh
10-15-2014, 06:15 PM
Did in any way notify her that this was a revision of an earlier book she was interested in?


Also, it just sounds a bit off that she'd want the book to be YA and not offer representation if you were to revise it. Or is it just me?

Whimsigirl
10-15-2014, 06:35 PM
I did notify her that it was a revision.

I had an offer from another agent at the time, so I eventually went with that agent because I couldn't imagine turning the book into YA at the time. But we parted on friendly terms.

Jennifer_Laughran
10-15-2014, 07:01 PM
I don't really see what else you can do BUT let it go. It's been a few years - who knows, maybe she doesn't have room on her list for a new YA at this time. Maybe she scratched her itch for your type of story with somebody else's. Maybe she didn't think your revision was successful. Maybe she's simply busy, glanced at the work, didn't want to represent it, and didn't make the connection with the former correspondence. Maybe she's just a rude person. Or maybe she's an extremely polite person who was just being nice the first time.

In any case, she said no, so you should move on.

kkosach
10-18-2014, 05:05 AM
The more I look around this business, agents are looking for what's selling, and if you don't happen to have the idea of the month, you're out. For instance, I'm sure Stefenie Meyer's book was part perfect timing for vampires.

quicklime
10-18-2014, 07:36 AM
I just got a form rejection from an agent who came very close to representing me a few years ago. We'd talked multiple times over the phone, she had said she LOVED my book but wished it were for YA.

Skip forward to today, I've completely rewritten that book for YA and queried her a few days ago -- didn't reply to any of our old emails and the book has a new title. Kind of stung to get a form rejection -- I thought I'd at least get a personalized rejection -- am I asking for too much?


I guess my question is what would you do, if not "let it go"? And how might that thing possibly help you.



I can sympathize, but I'm not convinced anything you might say or do could do anything except make things worse....

quicklime
10-18-2014, 07:40 AM
The more I look around this business, agents are looking for what's selling, and if you don't happen to have the idea of the month, you're out. For instance, I'm sure Stefenie Meyer's book was part perfect timing for vampires.

??????

I'm pretty sure nobody was looking to fill a "vampire quote" when Twilight hit it big. Somebody believed in Meyer, and I suspect not at all in the way things went, just that the series had potential to make fair money.

Just like Rowling didn't hit the market when people were wringing their hands going "Damn you, cruel world, I've spent too many days waiting; bring me a boy Wizard story and show me some mercy! The market cries out for such a tome!!"

Bestsellers MAKE trends or sometimes capitalize on existing trends, but it is rare, if ever, that a book hits it big because an agent was seeking "the next big thing" and by that they meant a specific character or setting rather than the writing itself.

Old Hack
10-18-2014, 12:18 PM
Welcome to AW, kkosach!

Agents DO look for books which will sell well, but quicklime's right: they don't look for books in specific genres in the way you imply.

cornflake
10-18-2014, 12:27 PM
It could be possible that the person who read this query was not the agent herself. It may have been, and it could have been that this query just didn't strike a chord this day, or the name didn't ring a bell or whatever. Also could have been that it was a jr. agent.

As quicklime says though, what would you do?

Jamesaritchie
10-18-2014, 07:34 PM
The more I look around this business, agents are looking for what's selling, and if you don't happen to have the idea of the month, you're out. For instance, I'm sure Stefenie Meyer's book was part perfect timing for vampires.

No, Stephanie Meyer's book created the desire for vampires. Good books always do this. If your book sells only because it's the idea of the month, you're probably late, and someone else already write something original and hot that made the idea of the month what it is.

No one, not agents or editors, brainstorms for idea of the month. They just want really good boos. Period. If the book is good enough, it creates the demand for more books similar books in that genre.

Yes, agents are looking for what will sell, but what sells best is never a book that copies the idea of the month, it a new and somehow original book with a story readers want to live, and with characters readers want to spend time with.

This is what agents and editors are always looking for, and genre, or the idea of the month, play no part in it. Whether it's Carrie, or The Hunt for Red October, or Twilight, or Harry Potter, the book creates the market, creates the desire, because it's good, new, and somehow original.

Not too many years ago, the western genre was as dead as a genre can get. No on wanted westerns of any kind, for any reason. Then Larry McMurtry wrote Lonesome Dove. Not only did it win The Pulitzer, it brought the western market back to life almost overnight.

I've seen this happen time and time again. Good agents and editors don't read manuscripts to find the idea of the month, they read to find a book with story and characters they love, whatever it's about, whatever genre it's in. If they love it, the rightfully assume a lot of readers will love it, as well.

The idea is to write just such a novel. If it's good, if it's somehow original, and if it has a story and characters agents an editors love, the book will sell, and any "idea of the month" that comes after is just coming in late. You need to write a novel that creates the "idea of the month", if there even is such a thing, which I doubt.