My Second Query Rejection

I received my second query letter rejection from the agent I wrote to just a month ago.

As with the first rejection, this one was not rote and impersonal. I appreciate that. Though the book was not the right fit for her, she implored that I not get discouraged. I will not.

I think for many of us querying agents, it would be useful if feedback in the rejection letter including something like what is one specific thing the writer can do to improve an element of the submission.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Just Submitted My Query

I’ve not queried since last year. In between then and now, I’ve had the bruising, but exceedingly worthwhile experience of having my manuscript professionally edited, New York-style. Learning from last year’s experience, we worked together to address the issues and I think what has come out is solid.

Hopefully the agent I’ve just submitted to will agree!

My First Query Rejection

Yesterday, I received my first query letter rejection (my only query thus far) from the agent I wrote to at the end of last year. Given that I thought I might not hear back at all (I’ve heard that agents are dealing with so many queries that some agents, unprofessional agents in my opinion, do not ever respond), I was gratified to find the agent’s email in my inbox.

Though I am disappointed with the agent’s decision not to go forward, I thought the agent’s response was kind, personal, encouraging, and helpful. This was not a brief formal blow-off. Rather it opened warmly and went to the strong points of my submission before informing me as to why the agent had to pass on it.

A green light from this agent would have continued a remarkable trajectory since last October, but alas, it is not to be.

Undaunted, I will find others to query while refining the work as well as start the second book.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?

My Query is Out

Finally! I submitted my first agent query today for my novel Shadows. Submissions require a synopsis and the first 25 pages as well. With the help of my critique group and a patient, generous editor, each piece was as polished as I could make it.

As Homer Simpson say, “Now we play the waiting game.”

And go to bed as I am coming down with some bug. Weird as it has been in a kind of holding pattern all day – aches mostly.

From P&W: Q&A for Four Literary Agents

Poets & Writers published a lengthy interview of four literary agents: Maria Massie, Jim Rutman, Anna Stein and Peter Steinberg.

Poets & Writers published a lengthy interview of four literary agents: Maria Massie, Jim Rutman, Anna Stein and Peter Steinberg. The discussion covers much of what the reader would expect: What grabs their attention (or repels their interest); how writers go about getting an agent; and their view on the state of the publishing industry.

It’s worth reading the entire piece, and here are some things that struck me:

  • “I don’t even read synopses,” said Stein. The other three agreed. They go right to page one of the manuscript.
  • Where do agents find writers? “Not blogs.” Three quarters of discovered writers are from referrals.
  • What could beginners do better? Take chances and not worry so much about a turning in a perfect manuscript. Also, find several friends who can give candid constructive criticism.