The rejection letter

A few months ago, before I had any idea what to do, I sent out some queries to Literary Agents. At the time I was more curious to see what would happen. I did not expect anything from this.

The consensus regarding submissions is that it takes 8-10 weeks for a Literary Agent to accept or reject you. If they are interested they contact you, if not you don’t hear back. You can’t contact them after submitting a query.

Some of them sent an auto responder email to let me know they received my query and would get to it at their “earliest convenience”. A few even gave an exact timeline.

Four weeks in and nothing. No surprise, my query letter was a joke and my synopsis lacked flow. Not to mention my work was still riddled with those pesky little filter words. Week 7 however yielded a response.

I got a rejection letter. I was so excited. Yes excited. It didn’t bother me in the least that I was just rejected, I deserved to be for being so ill prepared. The letter was what I presume, a standard cut and paste rejection. There was nothing personal in it whatsoever. What was written made me laugh. Here it is.

Thank you for submitting your query and giving me the opportunity to consider your work.  Unfortunately, in today’s increasingly tough publishing market, I cannot offer you the support that you need for your project.  

Though my limited time precludes me from recommending other specific agents, a good place to start would be the Association of Authors’ Representatives website.

Please do not allow this letter to discourage you.  Many best-sellers have been passed on numerous times prior to being successfully published. 

I wish you the best of luck finding an enthusiastic agent and publisher for your book.

Sincerely,

Yes, it is true many best sellers have been passed on; this is why I didn’t even entertain disappointment. The last bit made me chuckle. I wonder, do they realize they just suggested they are not an enthusiastic agent?  They did to me. They can’t offer the support needed or enthusiasm. I understand they get hundreds of applications a day (Or so I hear) so I didn’t take the cut and paste personally either.  I also didn’t go into this expecting anything. So an actual rejection is something.

Overall, it was a kind letter with encouraging words. The next time I submit queries to Literary Agents (Hopefully that will be soon) my expectations will be higher, much higher. Those rejections had better be personalized.  😉

My advice about rejections.
You will get them, what you do with it is what matters. Take it in stride don’t let it drag you down or toss you into the pit of doubt and surrender. Learn from it if you can. Easier said than done, I know.  Oh and it’s probably a good idea to wait until you are actually prepared and ready before trying. Unless like me, you do it for curiosities sake.

-Sheryl

 

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13 thoughts on “The rejection letter

    1. Thanks Anna,

      I’m glad you stopped by my blog to read about my ongoing journey. There was so much I didn’t know when I started out, I’m happy to share if it helps even one person struggle less. If you have any questions about what I’ve posted let me know.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh, I get this so much. The rejection slog is tough going, but as you’ve indicated, if one offers some advice at all, it’s a great learning experience and could serve to help in the future.

    With agents, the querying is less than ideal, yet they’re our connection to a possible contract with one of the top five publishers. From what I’ve learned from agented friends (one of whom was once repped by Gillian Flynn’s agent — keep that past tense “was” in mind), and my own experience in querying, they’re more than likely to take notice if you’re writing in a genre they KNOW they can sell. They scout for trend-writing they can easily market. BUT they have to work for all of their clients, not just their stars, and that’s where they can get iffy.

    Have you tried querying publishers? Some of the mid-level and small press publishers take unagented subs. I found my publisher through the Authors Publish mailing list at https://www.authorspublish.com/. They keep all of the submission call notices consistently updated. Plus, they research the publisher well before they add them to the list. Give them a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reply and advice. I haven’t honestly begun my agent search in earnest. I am at the point where I am about to work with a consultant to perfect my query letter, synopsis and first 50 pages. At the moment I am waiting for some feedback from a select group previewing the first 50. I will definitely look into the authorspublish.com list thank you for that. I will of course post my experience as I go along and what I learn as I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like this post. It is the fear of rejection that cripples many of us and often make us procrastinate. As you pointed out, everyone will face them at some point and knowing what to do with them will make or break us. Nice post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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