PDA

View Full Version : Any Agent Rejection Stories Here?



phoenixstarr512
03-10-2004, 08:35 PM
I just need to know if anyone has been rejected by an agent? I'm trying to get with ICM I know they are a really big agency and I'm just trying to brace myself for the rejection.

aka eraser
03-10-2004, 11:06 PM
My book was rejected by about 30 agents before I decided to approach publishers myself. In retrospect, I understand their decision. I was a no-name who wrote a nonfiction book on a subject some consider un-sexy. (Yes! It's true! Some people aren't turned on by fishing! It's a strange world we live in.)

I learned a lot from the rejection though; mostly that these folks are in BUSINESS. They need to make money. They may love writing but love doesn't pay the bills.

Since the amalgamation of the large publishing houses several years ago, wooing an agent has become THE Holy Grail for most writers with a book or four in them. I'll be joining the throng again for my next book.

Good luck.

phoenixstarr512
03-11-2004, 12:25 AM
:lol you're funny, I'm trying to brace myself for what I know is coming. Somehow I know I'll cry when I get my first one and then I'll be depressed and then I'll be mad and then I'll get over it and move on. I just really am not looking forward to the word NO or anything like it.

Minoterrae
03-12-2004, 08:36 AM
I have been rejected by just about everyone - agents, agents' secretaries, their pooches on Bring Your Dog To Work Day, etc.,

What the biggest agency (in name) which turned me down?

I'd have to say the William Morris Agency.

phoenixstarr512
03-12-2004, 07:52 PM
Yeah I just sent to them I'm waiting for my rejection letter:rolleyes

AlisonBurke
03-12-2004, 10:28 PM
I try not to take it too personally. Agents are individuals, and they only take on projects that a. will sell well and b. capture their interest. Everyone's tastes in books are unique so just because an agent doesn't take you on doesn't always mean it's a bad book/proposal.

I have found myself that agents are much more prompt in writing back than publishers. Anyone else?

Alison

phoenixstarr512
03-12-2004, 11:41 PM
I've just sent to WMA CAA and ICM I'm sending out some more next week I hope for the best but I know everyone won't like my work. Thanks for giving me a new way to look at it, maybe I won't feel so bad when the first 100 rejections come in the door. I'm not sure if agents answer faster than publishers I've never sent to a publisher before how long did it take you to hear from WMA?

Greenwolf103
03-13-2004, 03:58 AM
I've been rejected by agents. Some were kind enough to at least tell me why they were rejecting me. Some of their reasons were that I was unpublished or that it did not fit with the books they represented. One agent rejected my book because my protag's name was spelled differently than its popular counterpart and also I had my character rushing through several years of her life in just 6 chapters. Oh, well. :) I can't change the spelling of the character's name but I did keep that second part in mind.

Don't let the rejections get to you, if you do receive them. If you are lucky enough to get a reason for a rejection, think about taking their advice. Good luck!

--Dawn

qatz
03-13-2004, 08:33 AM
i'm in favor of young mothers, especially them that can write. forget the female scandinavian olympian with her bareness showing. tell us about your words.

JustinoIV
03-13-2004, 11:52 AM
"One agent rejected my book because my protag's name was spelled differently than its popular counterpart and also I had my character rushing through several years of her life in just 6 chapters."

Could you have just change the protagonist's name, and made did some minor rewrites to address the latter problem?

I think for a variety of reasons it may be unprofessional to tell people why you are rejecting them. For one, you may never get the real reason why someone is rejecting you.

I once got some rejections in which a producer said they simply didn't have the money to make my screenplay into a movie.

Some agents may not be able to sell your project . That doesn't mean that another agent can't sell it or you can't. Some people may invent other reasons for the rejection.

Which is why it is best to say, thank you very much, this project simply isn't for us at this moment. A very human resources, neutral, and safe answer.

Greenwolf103
03-13-2004, 12:51 PM
Yes, that is true. But we tend to rely on agents, who know the market, to tell us if there is something wrong. Did we suck at characterization? Is our plot too far-sighted? Or has this been done? I know, we should know all these answers ourselves, but some writers out there don't bother to get their homework done or they just submit and hope for the best.

And I couldn't change the spelling of my character's name. Her mom has this "unorthodox" attitude against the world and that's why she spelled her daughter's name differently.

mammamaia
03-14-2004, 12:45 AM
...the agency i queried with my work [which turned out to be a scam outfit] didn't even get a chance to reject me, because the agent's assistant who read the query loved what i sent, took me and my work and went out on his own, as a legit agent!

...please don't ask for any details, as that was my 'old' life and 'i don't go there' as they say... just thought this would be a fun addition to this thread...

love and hugs, maia

AlisonBurke
03-14-2004, 01:01 AM
That's a great story, maia. I love it. To think you inspired someone to go out on their own!!

Alison

phoenixstarr512
03-14-2004, 08:09 PM
Huh? What are you saying about my siggy? * I love Signs* Anyway yeah I'm a mom and yeah I can write or I do believe that. So what is it you want to know?

mammamaia
03-15-2004, 01:28 AM
...why them?... i know the chief story exec there, but his department deals with screenplays, not novels... as an unknown newbie, you'd have a much better chance with a small agency... even better with a new start-up one that would be more likely to take on an unknown... the big guys are only interested in earthshaking best-seller material...

even if you are sure that's what you have [like most newbies], it would be wise to get a second opinion from someone knowledgeable, before approaching agents... typos, grammatic/syntactic goofs and such can doom even the best of stories...

and have your query checked, too... many new writers never get anyone to read their mss simply due to badly-written queries...

if you want a neutral critical read, let me know... best of luck to you... love and hugs, maia

phoenixstarr512
03-15-2004, 06:57 AM
Thanks mama, I have a thing for ICM I know it's a stupid reason but hey we all have them right? Incase you want to know it's Orlando:D yeah Bloom:heart Anyway I know they are a large agency however I think I might have a shot:rolleyes And if not oh well I tried it doesn't hurt to right? I am though sending to other smaller agencies also I just wanted to submit to the big guys first. Oh and yeah I submitted for novel and screenplay. I'd love for the novel to work but my heart is set on the screenplay, yeah another recipe for disaster.

mammamaia
03-15-2004, 11:44 PM
have you already completed the screenplay?... if so, and if you'd want me to, i'll be glad to check it out and if i think he'd be interested, would pass it on to the guy i know there...

he does take a serious look at any work i send him from my most promising mentees... one, a 14-yr-old girl at the time, had such a good [but too dark] script, he's been keeping track of her work ever since... let me know...

hugs, maia
maia3maia@hotmail.com (maia3maia@hotmail.com)

phoenixstarr512
03-16-2004, 07:55 PM
Thanks Maia I emailed you. You rock man:D

Greenwolf103
03-17-2004, 10:04 PM
OK. Well, I got an agent rejection story to add. A novel of mine was recently rejected because the agent said the pacing was wrong for that particular genre. That did not hurt as much as the fact that she won't give it a second chance if I fix it! ARGH! :(

phoenixstarr512
03-18-2004, 07:11 AM
that both sux and blows. Hopefully you'll find some one that will give it the reading it deserves, keep your head up.

maestrowork
03-18-2004, 09:33 AM
I hate the ones who scribble "Not for me" on my original query letter. How courteous! I'd rather them not reply at all.

Then this agent, after reading my manuscript over two days (now that's a quick read), told me "I can't connect with the material." Ouch. Well, if you take a little more time to read the 500 pages, you may. :-) I'm not bitter. I move on. ;)

ChunkyC
03-21-2004, 04:57 AM
Then this agent, after reading my manuscript over two days (now that's a quick read), told me "I can't connect with the material." Ouch. Well, if you take a little more time to read the 500 pages, you may.

Ah, there's a problem there, Maestro. The Agent, or Publisher, or Reader for that matter, shouldn't have to read deeply into the work before they connect. It should happen right out of the gate, so to speak.

I tried reading a novel published by a house I was rejected by and fought to the 100th page, then Uncle Jim'd it (threw against wall). I'm pretty sure it didn't suddenly get better on page 101, and if it did, perhaps the first 100 pages should have been cut.

Gerard Jones
03-22-2004, 04:01 PM
To coincide with the April 2004 release of GINNY GOOD, easily one of the best books published anywhere in the world in the last twenty years, I'm also releasing the fully revised THIRD EDITION of EVERYONE WHO'S ANYONE IN ADULT TRADE PUBLISHING which includes

2,114 literary agents, editors and publishers

of adult trade books in the US, UK, Canada and Ireland broken down like this:

Literary Agents: US 890; UK 268; Canada 20; Ireland 1; Total 1,179

Editors & Publishers: US 783; UK 197; Canada 47; Ireland 8. Total, 935

Ha! That's a lot of literary agents, editors and publishers—and EWA for the most part does not include book doctors, agents who charge fees, vanity presses, POD publishers or any total schlock operations, in general—nothing but the cream of the crop and only those with valid e-mail addresses.

The reason the Third Edition of EWA coincides with the release of GINNY GOOD is that out of all 2,114 agents, editors and publishers on my little list, the only TWO who didn't reject it were Laura Strachan and Paul Cohen. Laura's the agent for the book and Paul Cohen is the boss of Monkfish Book Publishing Company. When GG starts getting read and reviewed and ends up kicking the total objective crap out of the books the other 2,112 agents, editors and publishers DID NOT reject, won't they all just rue the day? Nah. Probably not. But I'll be pretty stoked. Now all I gotta do is get the thing past the stranglehold big publishing houses have on critics and book review guys and media outlets and the rest of the hype they buy. That's gonna be no small feat. The reason big publishers think their crappy books are so good is that they're only compared with themselves. Hey, this crappy book is just as crappy as this crappy book, whoopee, we've got another New York Times Bestseller! Get some new blood in their smarmy little closed system and let readers read something worth reading for a change, that's what I say.

aka eraser
03-23-2004, 02:25 AM
Before you start salivating at the prospect of firing off a couple of thousand emailed pitches-- please refer to Victoria's caution on the Bewares Board. It's under the "EWA" thread.

maestrowork
03-24-2004, 04:27 AM
Chunky, the agent liked the first 50 pages so she requested the rest (over 550 total). So I thought she was hooked by the first 50 pages. I suspected that the book turned out to be something she didn't expect.

maestrowork
03-24-2004, 04:31 AM
I have yet to hear from six agents to whom I sent my queries/sample chapters in January. It's almost April now. Should I follow up with an inquiry? Or should I just move them to the "rejection" pile? I wonder what they did with all those SASE's.

allion
03-24-2004, 08:44 AM
What you could do is try emailing them, if you have an email for them. It's faster than snail mail, but another letter doesn't hurt. It's another stamp, but at least they may respond this time.

Be polite, mention the date you sent the original query, ask if they received it, and if so, may you ask the status?

(Thanks to SRHowen for the original idea back in January).

You would be surprised at the number of queries eaten by the post office, or not even looked at yet.

Of course, when I did this, I got a response back later that day...and their client list was full. Sigh.

maestrowork
03-24-2004, 09:19 AM
Thanks, Allion. At least if it's a rejection you have "closure." I hate when you don't know. They asked for an SASE and they should at least send a form letter.

AlisonBurke
03-30-2004, 05:13 AM
Here is a good one. A publisher, not an agent, asked to see my book proposal after reading my query. She said the time frame to hear back was 3-6 months.

Within two weeks, I received a form rejection letter with an 'x' next to: "Topic does not interest us." Huh? Wouldn't she know that after reading my query?

Had another agent personally request a proposal, and then send just a form rejection letter.

On to the next one! :D

ZoeJesnik
05-03-2004, 04:56 PM
The typical rejections that I have been getting are 'Not Right Fit' (if I have to see that phrase one more time I will scream), and 'Our client list is full'.

I am beginning to get a complex. Are agents and publishers really honest in their responses? Or are they just being nice. I have had many that have responded back after reviewing my query and/or my mss and say how much potential it has in the market, but at this time they just can't give me 100%. ?????

What is that about? I would like to think that my mss is good - just the way it is. After all, the only negative rejection that I got was from a publisher in the UK.

Is this usual to receive honest good rejections? No one that has reviewed my mss has said anything bad about it. I had one mid-level publisher in CT whose board really liked my mss - but they felt that my book needed to be presented to the public in a cost-efficient paperback form - for which they only produce hardcover. I agree. Any ideas???

On another note - I have tweeked my query several times - each time seems to get me more requests for additional info on my manuscript.

By the way, how many is too many agents and publishers to query?

ZoeJesnik@neo.rr.com

www.geocities.com/zoejesnik

Kempo Kid
07-03-2004, 10:24 AM
I just got a rejection from an agent yesterday. I had to think to remember who she was and when I submitted my query to her. Checked my records and realized that I'd e-mailed her a one-page query last November.

I guess she just reads slow. <img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/laugh.gif" />

Today, Writer's Digest rejected me.

And I keep getting rejected by employers. Next Tuesday electricity and cable get pulled. Next Friday the cell phone goes. I went to a place yesterday that told me on the phone I could get help there paying my utility bills so they wouldn't get shut off. Cost me $2.50 to get there on the bus (which I can't really afford), an hour to wait with a number ticket in my hand. They call me up, I spend ten seconds at the counter, and guess what?

They rejected me!

Why couldn't they have done that on the phone when I called so I wouldn't have wasted bus fare and a whole day's time? I postponed an interview for this.

bfdc
08-06-2004, 11:14 PM
This looks like a good place to complain and brag. I won a book contest, which came with a publishing contract, albeit no big advance. The publisher, Archebooks Publishing, requires its authors have agents, so here I am with a book contract, no agent, and of the agents I've contacted who bothered to reply, two weren't accepting new writers, three didn't think I was a good fit, and one asked me why I wanted an agent but didn't reply after I told her. So, I'm reworking my query letter, relieving it of padding, and getting ready to try again. If worst comes to worst, the publisher has a list of agents he works with that he can recommend me to. It's just that I thought the hard part was over and I could get a big-name or even medium-name--and now I'd settle for a no-name--agent.

That's my story.
Bob/bfdc ada

bfdc
08-06-2004, 11:15 PM
This looks like a good place to complain and brag. I won a book contest, which came with a publishing contract, albeit no big advance. The publisher, Archebooks Publishing, requires its authors have agents, so here I am with a book contract, no agent, and of the agents I've contacted who bothered to reply, two weren't accepting new writers, three didn't think I was a good fit, and one asked me why I wanted an agent but didn't reply after I told her. So, I'm reworking my query letter, relieving it of padding, and getting ready to try again. If worst comes to worst, the publisher has a list of agents he works with that he can recommend me to. It's just that I thought the hard part was over and I could get a big-name or even medium-name--and now I'd settle for a no-name--agent.

That's my story.
Bob/bfdc aka

maestrowork
08-07-2004, 10:58 AM
Why does the publisher require an agent? Seems rather odd as they already want your ms.

bfdc
08-07-2004, 07:34 PM
All correspondence and monies go through the agent. If there's a problem between the author and publisher, then the publisher wants to liaison through the agent.

That's his story, anyway.

Bob/bfdc

absolutewrite
08-11-2004, 07:56 PM
Bob, e-mail me (jg @ jennaglatzer.com). I'll pass you along to one of my agents.

Perno morris
10-15-2010, 10:55 PM
I have been rejected hundreds of times and really getting tired of it. But, I do have a plan.

blacbird
10-16-2010, 01:24 AM
1. Sent query to major highly reputable NY agent, never heard back, assumed rejection.

2. EIGHTEEN MONTHS later, received letter from agent, apologizing with great profuseness about having "lost" his positive request for the manuscript on his "former assistant's" desk, is the manuscript still available, and if so, could I send it?

3. (Well, yes, of course it's still available.) Manuscript sent.

4. Never heard from him again.

5. Based on this, and numerous other experiences, developed "bad attitude" about "the process".

Wordwrestler
10-16-2010, 08:00 AM
Um, guys, this thread is really, really old.

And if there's anyone on AW who HASN'T been rejected by an agent (Who've actually queried of course), that would be a truly unique experience.

MsJudy
10-16-2010, 08:44 PM
Zombie thread!!!!

Zombie thread!!!

Run for your lives!!!

blacbird
10-16-2010, 11:09 PM
Um, guys, this thread is really, really old.

And if there's anyone on AW who HASN'T been rejected by an agent (Who've actually queried of course), that would be a truly unique experience.

It may be old, but the subject it addresses hasn't gone away, has it? Or have I missed something, and the agent-querying "process" has become a paradise of fragrant flowers and singing birds?

And there are a few people here who claim to have secured an agent with their first pitch.

And the topic of the thread isn't simply "rejection by agent". It's "rejection with prejudice or weirdness by agent". Seems to me to have continuing relevance.

Irysangel
10-17-2010, 06:38 PM
On a totally weird note, my agent (who was then an assistant at a big agency) rejected my book in 2005 after we had worked together on rewrites 3x in a row. I remembered her being ultra pleasant to work with.

Three years later I was looking for agent #3, saw she had hung out her shingle with a small agency and was making sales. I queried her and she has now been my agent for two years, and she's fabulous. And she remembered me from back in the day, as well.

So hold on to any sort of personal connection you get. And don't worry about getting an agent in the first week of querying. It took me over 50+ queries and 2 different books to get anywhere.

Phaeal
10-18-2010, 09:57 PM
Perno is the necromancer. Prepare the pitchforks and torches, I'll round up the mob!

:D

Heh, I'm still laughing over the original post. Ever rejected by an agent? Why, yes, thank you for asking. Muhahahahahahahahahaha....

Wordwrestler
10-18-2010, 11:52 PM
Perno is the necromancer. Prepare the pitchforks and torches, I'll round up the mob!

:D

Heh, I'm still laughing over the original post. Ever rejected by an agent? Why, yes, thank you for asking. Muhahahahahahahahahaha....

Yeah, me too. :)

No offense intended to anyone else, but I got a good laugh out of it. Kind of funny to see some familiar names here too, who are so much wiser and so accomplished now.