View Full Version : The Pre-rejection thread

03-12-2005, 12:57 AM
Today I spent eight hours writing my first batch of query letters to a large bunch of agents. Despite good reviews (so far), I totally expect to get back an equal number of rejections based on the fact that while my book is suspenseful, my blathering query letter is not *sigh*.

Just needed to vent.

I will post the results to this thread in about a month, in the meantime I am accepting donations via paypal to buy myself a bottle of wine to drown my sorrows.


03-12-2005, 01:05 AM
This could also be called the Knot-in-stomach-upon-approach-of-letter-carrier thread.


03-12-2005, 01:13 AM
Eussie, I'm with you.

I love writing, but I hate querying. It's such an anxiety-producing experience... I'm going to be finished with my current WIP in about a month and then I'll have the same knots in my stomach.

BTW, if you feel comfortable doing it, you could post your query letter in the Share Your Work forum and let all the geniuses here hlep shape it up!

03-12-2005, 02:04 AM
This could also be called the Knot-in-stomach-upon-approach-of-letter-carrier thread.


The wine will be ready to take care of that quivering knot :)

03-12-2005, 09:56 AM
i am also waiting for rejection and sure i will get it. although somewhere deep inside there is still hope. But it feels like everyday that goes by there is less!

good luck either way. you never know...

03-12-2005, 06:39 PM
I'm waiting on two rejections right now. Sadly, I can't remember when I sent the (short-story) submissions out, so I can't really look to the Black Holes (http://critters.critique.org/critters/blackholes/) page to see when I might get mine back.

03-12-2005, 06:59 PM
Query letters are always a bummer. Get on with life, write your next book, get the next batch ready to send out--try to stop thinking about them. And when you see your SASE come back, get one of the ones you have ready to send out and put it in the mail box. Then open the letter. If it's a rejection you have already sent the next letter out, so no telling yourself that you stink and will never send another out--you already have.

If it is a letter asking for more material--what can it hurt having another line out there? You can always reject another offer.


03-12-2005, 08:30 PM
Yeah, I think the best way to deal with waiting for rejection is simply to start writing instead. I also like to prepare other things to send out so that I've always got *something* out there, even after some things come back rejected.

aka eraser
03-12-2005, 08:32 PM
I totally expect to get back an equal number of rejections based on the fact that while my book is suspenseful, my blathering query letter is not *sigh*.

Eussie, you're probably aware of this, but just in case you're not....

At this stage of the process your query letter is way more important than your book. If you're not happy with it, if you don't feel it's effective, it probably isn't.

Some writers spend weeks crafting their queries and every second is well spent if it opens the door to a request for a partial or full. Whether you're sim-subbing agents or publishers, I recommend keeping the first batch of queries under 10. If all replies are generic "thanks but no thanks" you haven't burned too many bridges and can try tweaking your query before sending out batch #2.

If you've selected your targets appropriately - agents who deal in your genre, who are accepting new writers etc. - and the doors remain stubbornly shut, you need to re-look at your query. It's the only variable that's under your control.

By all means consider posting it in Share Your Work or pass it on to a few writing friends for their suggestions.

Good luck.

03-12-2005, 09:57 PM
Eraser is right. At this stage your query letter is just as important, if not more, than your ms. You need to polish it, rewrite it, the best you can. It's your entry to the publishing world. It's the first thing an agent or editor will see, and you certainly don't want it to be the last thing they see from you. You should work on your query with due diligence, maybe even more so than a ms. because with a ms you have 100K words to tell your story. With a query, you only have 500.

I only had about 6 drafts of my first ms. But I've got at least 15 drafts of my query. You should have seen the first few -- they're horrendous. I didn't know what the heck I was doing. No wonder I got almost no bites with that. My final query is not perfect, but it does the job. And the result speaks for itself (the hit rate was about 40%).

03-12-2005, 10:10 PM
True, but then many of us feel that our query letters stink. I use an outline formatt--it's non-standard, but it did very well. If by hit rate you mean requests for further material. I ran about 1 in 5 asking for more material. And with others they were the personal type rejections.

as was mentioned, get someone to proof and beta read it for you who knows how to write a good query. It basicly your job application to the publishing world.


03-14-2005, 07:47 AM
Thanks everyone. My query is here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8969If you get a chance to look I would appreciate it!