The Daily Rejection, Vol. 2

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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zmethos

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Partial request just came back as a rejection with the note that "it's an intriguing premise for sure" but that it's not the right project for [agent]. Also, "best of luck finding a more enthusiastic agent"... Sigh.

Stats: 18 queries sent, 3 nibbles, 4 rejections (one of those being from a nibble).
 

Lakey

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Ooh Lakey that sounds super promising! Are you writing something new for this?
Not specifically, but I am subbing three stories at the moment so I have another one ready to send them when they open up.

So this year I've gone from submitting 0 stories ever, to having submitted 5
This is really huge. I know it sounds trite to say it, but you definitely won’t get accepted if you never submit anything, so this is a really important first step. Just keep at it. I second the suggestion of Submission Grinder as a superb way to find markets to submit to.

To everyone else, I’m sorry about poor PitMad responses and the rejections — especially the rejections on partials or fulls, which must be particularly gutting. I am on the razor edge of giving up on my novel altogether, having not even reached the stage of fitness for consumption by humans, much less querying, so I am rather in awe of those of you can write readable novels and find the courage to offer them up to others. Nice work!

:e2coffee:
 

zmethos

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Oh, I hope you don't give up, Lakey! But that is entirely for selfish reasons--I only just saw the link to "The Candlestick" in your signature and went and read it, and I'm green with envy at your talent. What a gorgeous story! I want more of your work!
 

Woollybear

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I too disbelieve that your novel could be anything short of gorgeous, Lakey, having seen snippets of your writing here and there.

Condolences to one and all over rejections. I find myself starting to pay attention to agent open/close dates which must mean I am thinking about querying come springtime.

I suppose that means I need to get serious about beta readers.
 

TrapperViper

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Oh, I hope you don't give up, Lakey! But that is entirely for selfish reasons--I only just saw the link to "The Candlestick" in your signature and went and read it, and I'm green with envy at your talent. What a gorgeous story! I want more of your work!

++1
 

Elle.

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To everyone else, I’m sorry about poor PitMad responses and the rejections — especially the rejections on partials or fulls, which must be particularly gutting. I am on the razor edge of giving up on my novel altogether, having not even reached the stage of fitness for consumption by humans, much less querying, so I am rather in awe of those of you can write readable novels and find the courage to offer them up to others. Nice work!

:e2coffee:

No, don't give up. We all have those moments when we think it's useless and we should just give up but don't give in!! Your writing is beautiful and your novel is great and a story that needs to be told. You're the right person to tell it.
 

Lakey

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Eep! You are all very nice and now it looks like I was fishing for compliments, which I promise I wasn’t. :e2paperba Anyway, thank you, and especially thank you for reading my story. I hope some day I’ll have another one to add to the signature.

:e2coffee:
 

Belle_91

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I got my second “didn’t connect with the plot line” from an agent. While vague, it does give me pause because I recently had another agent say something similar and based on query tracker this is not part of their standard form. I think something is wrong, but I don’t know what in regards to the plot. I’m going to post my synopsis on the SYW form and see if it’s just that that’s causing me problems, but I’m afraid it’s something bigger. I’m really worried that a massive rewrite might be in my future.
 
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angeliz2k

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*Waves*

It's been a while since I've been in these parts. I see some familiar faces (hi, Belle, Lakey!).

I've been very slowly querying my most recent WIP over the past six months or so. So far, the result has been disappointing to say the least. I've sent 30 queries and gotten only one request, a partial that led to a form rejection. The rest were about 50/50 no-response/form rejections. I'm pretty confident in the query, and I've now tried a few different versions to see if that made any difference (it didn't). I'm even more confident in the WIP, which is what makes this so frustrating. I think it's a great ms with an interesting approach, and it happens to be about an eye-catching topic: the real family that inspired Peter Pan. And yet, not even the lure of a recognizable name has gotten me anywhere. It hasn't even gotten me the time of day.

I'm pretty despairing of the publishing industry as a whole. The business has been in a bad place for years, but it seems to be much worse now. I don't know that it's worth trying, except that I have to put up with the publishing industry if I ever want to get published, and I still do, in spite of all. Mostly, it's the readership factor. At this point, I'd still rather keep my mss to myself than self-publish them and have next-to-no-one ever read them.

My querying has been slow because I moved recently and had some health issues, and I've turned more and more to hobbies that give me some tangible result (historical sewing, namely; maybe I'll get back into art, too). But I believe in this project enough to keep trying to query it. The holidays is probably a bad time to make a big push, but I may send out a few queries in the coming weeks.

Oh, and I was hoping to maybe pitch this in person at a conference next year, but that's already been made all-virtual, so that won't be happening. That's kind of indicative of my luck in life. *Shrug* Better just keep trying, I guess.
 

Tamlyn

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I'm not sure welcome back works, angeliz2k, but good to see you again. Commiserations for the rejection misery :(
 

angeliz2k

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I'm not sure welcome back works, angeliz2k, but good to see you again. Commiserations for the rejection misery :(

Well, I'm no worse (or better) off, really, than I was the last time I swung by here. Still just querying and not getting much of anywhere. Constant query-and-rejection does grind you down, but it's a war of attrition. Do I have the resources to win? Eh. Dunno.

I'm telling myself that the week before Christmas isn't a good time to query. But really, I'd just rather hem a skirt than research up more agents! :D Is it really super pointless to try to query at this time of year?
 

angeliz2k

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Got a form rejection for a query I sent about two months ago. I'm pretty much immune at this point, so it didn't hurt much, plus I didn't realize it had been quite so long since I sent it. At first, I was mildly impressed that the agent was so "prompt". Now I'm mildly exasperated after realizing how long it had actually been. I shouldn't be impressed that, after 8 weeks, an agent deigned to send me a form rejection.

Anyway, that means that realistically I have no outstanding queries (any without Rs are no-response-means-no at this point). I'm not going to send any more until the new year because of the holidays, methinks.
 

Woollybear

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The idea behind your WIP sounds so cool, angeliz. I hope you get more nibbles.

Your 2-month wait inspired me to look at my spreadsheet to see what sorts of response times I actually got when I queried. Out of curiosity, because I'm gearing up to query sometime next year. I originally thought spring, now I think that's too soon.

Of the 57 rejections I got (lots of CNRs, too), six were turned around in a day, twenty were turned around in a week, and 37 were turned around in a month. Then at the far end, three were over 100 days to hear back (the winner being 132 days), which so gobsmacked me at the time that I would have revamped my entire query process had I known. (And I will, for the next project.) Average response time across 57 queries was 28 days, standard deviation 31 days. Maybe I'll graph it out. (Can you tell I am procrastinating?)

Anyway, glad to hear it didn't hurt much. I recall finding the lack-of-response more painful than outright rejections, although at this point I think (hope) that the entire query process is something I'll go into forewarned/forearmed. It's really more of a business calculation than a judgment of a person's value...
 

Liz_V

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Well, I'm starting the new year right: rejection on a short story in my inbox this morning. Thbtbtbt!

I actually sent out a query this week! I ended up with the whole week off kind of by accident, so my plan was to write in the morning and query in the afternoons. That... hasn't exactly worked out, but one query is one more than I've managed for a while now. And I found a few other agents who sound promising if they ever reopen.

... I have to put up with the publishing industry if I ever want to get published, and I still do, in spite of all. Mostly, it's the readership factor. At this point, I'd still rather keep my mss to myself than self-publish them and have next-to-no-one ever read them.

This is me, too.

In addition to Submission Grinder, ralan.com is a good source for genre markets.

Happy new year, all! :partyguy: May 2021 bring less aggravation and more acceptances.
 

Tamlyn

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Welcome to the new year, all. In 2020, like in 2019, I sold nothing at all. Hopefully 2021 will be better for all of us on acceptances.
 

zmethos

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Two rejections earlier this week. Fun way to end the year, but it's not like 2020 had been great anyway. Fingers crossed for 2021! I still have two agents reading and a number of queries out there in the float...

Good luck, everyone!
 

ValerieJane

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I hope everyone is hanging in there in the new year. For me, 2020 ended with a few more rejections squeaked in right under the wire, but 2021 has started with a request! Fingers crossed.
 

Calla Lily

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Hey, gang. Poking my head in to say that we're reaching the point where we close humongous threads and start a new volume. Since this coincides with a new year, I figured now's the time.

I'll create volume 3 in a few minutes and close this one. Please return your seats to their upright position and fasten your seat belts.
 
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