"Open to receiving new projects from you"

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st_brighid

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I feel like this is a stupid question, but it's been... close to a decade since I was last querying a novel. So far everything has been pretty standard form rejections, but a few have "I am always open to receiving new projects from you in the future" or "Please feel free to query me with other/new projects" at the end and I am trying to figure out if that's a standard part of form rejections or a signal I need to stick those agents in a "query first" list whenever I get to the next project to query. (Assuming I don't get snapped up by some fantastic agent in the meantime, of course. ;) )

Any thoughts?
 
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LStein

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I think that's a higher tier rejection. It means they like your writing but didn't feel they could sell that particular book. It's a very good sign!
 

Sage

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Sorry, but it’s probably form rejection language. Unless you’ve done something wrong, agents are always going to be open to further queries from you. This is an innocuous way to end their form to lessen the blow of receiving a rejection.
 
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MaryLennox

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I think that's a higher tier rejection. It means they like your writing but didn't feel they could sell that particular book. It's a very good sign!
As someone who gets this type of rejection, I want to believe this. lol

If they really didn't connect with your writing, wouldn't they be wasting both your time and their own time by inviting you to submit other work?
 

st_brighid

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Sorry, but it’s probably form rejection language. Unless you’ve done something wrong, agents are always going to be open to further queries from you. This is an innocuous way to end their form to lessen the blow of receiving a rejection.
Yeah. I was just curious. I remember when I was deep in short-story markets there was a difference in form rejections with some having an invitation to sub again and some not. (I received a few of each from one publisher over the years depending on which story they were responding to.)

I've also gotten a couple of rejections on this novel that did not contain an invitation to sub something else later so... I wasn't sure if it was significant or just a difference in how agents choose to write their form rejections.
 

Sage

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Yeah, it’s just based on what each agent thinks is best for the form
 

Unimportant

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I feel like this is a stupid question, but it's been... close to a decade since I was last querying a novel. So far everything has been pretty standard form rejections, but a few have "I am always open to receiving new projects from you in the future" or "Please feel free to query me with other/new projects" at the end and I am trying to figure out if that's a standard part of form rejections or a signal I need to stick those agents in a "query first" list whenever I get to the next project to query. (Assuming I don't get snapped up by some fantastic agent in the meantime, of course. ;) )

Any thoughts?
From what I know, it's standard, unless they have also said something really specific (and positive) about the book they're rejecting. "I loved your MC Jane Smith and her sassy, snarky sense of humour and am always keen to receive queries for projects with that kind of voice, especially if the character owns a unicorn. Please feel free to query me with other projects" would be a definite personal invite.
 

st_brighid

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From what I know, it's standard, unless they have also said something really specific (and positive) about the book they're rejecting. "I loved your MC Jane Smith and her sassy, snarky sense of humour and am always keen to receive queries for projects with that kind of voice, especially if the character owns a unicorn. Please feel free to query me with other projects" would be a definite personal invite.
See, most of the ones I've gotten so far have been "best of luck querying this elsewhere" (or similar) and not "Feel free to query me with other projects".

It's not a big deal one way or the other, but I'm always looking for better data points to organize my query list for the future.
 

LStein

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From what I know, it's standard, unless they have also said something really specific (and positive) about the book they're rejecting. "I loved your MC Jane Smith and her sassy, snarky sense of humour and am always keen to receive queries for projects with that kind of voice, especially if the character owns a unicorn. Please feel free to query me with other projects" would be a definite personal invite.
I got a form rejection from an agent without this and another person on QT got a form rejection from the same agent but with this language, so I do think it's a higher level form.
 
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waylander

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Back when I was querying (some 15 yrs ago), going to cons and meeting agents, I was told by agents that, yes, they mean it. It is a higher level of rejection. I presume this still holds true.
 

Adaephon Delat

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I would say it depends. If you join Query Tracker (assuming you haven't already), you'll come to see that there's a pattern with certain agents. Some throw that little tidbit onto the tail end of every form rejection they pump out, in keeping with Sage's take.

Others only do it for work that resonated with them, but they feel they can't sell at the moment for any number of reasons, as LStein pointed out. I've seen these reasons range from having an existing client with a story too similar, to having too full a client list, to feeling that particular story isn't really in vogue at the moment.

But until you start watching for these patterns in the QT comments section of each particular agent, it's hard to say which. Unless, of course, you get a personalized rejection like in Unimportant's example.
 
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Woollybear

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My opinion is that it's all so variable.

Imagine a new junior agent. They know how hard it is to build a list, from the interning they've done and so on, but they've got to start selling books. And their list starts at zero....

That person might be quite hungry for queries. "I'm open to seeing more from you" might not be as compelling from this agent as it would be from an agent who is established and making great sales left and right and is only open to queries four weeks per year and mostly operates on referral. For that second agent, (I think) the phrase carries a lot more weight, and I'd definitely put a note in my spreadsheet about it.

(Also, I'm seconding the idea of checking on querytracker. Even with the free version you can scroll through 'comments' and see what writers are hearing in their rejection letters.)
 

st_brighid

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I'm familiar with QueryTracker. (Need to update with my more recent rejections, though.) It's slightly less useful than it was the last time I was agent hunting since so many agents have switched to "no response after X time is a rejection". But I'll poke through the comments on the agents in question and see if there is anything useful there.

(There is also, always a decided bias against folks posting about rejections. Haha. No one likes to talk about not catching an agent's attention. Past experience says that data is underreported compared to partial or full requests.)