Rejected again and again and again.  I’m almost at the end of my latest round of queries and alas all rejections.

Being rejected is such a personal thing. It goes right to your soul and chips away instilling doubt and depressive emotions. That’s natural. Nobody likes to be told no or they’re not good enough. However in this industry it’s sadly common to be rejected and struggle to get noticed.

I queried 125 agents on the last go.

41 sent rejection emails. All of them but one was a cookie cutter generic cut and paste insult to my effort.

45 have done nothing whatsoever.

5 are in limbo and still waiting to expire.

Within that 125

42 of them responded with an auto responded to let me know they got the query.

34 of them listed an expiry date and let it expire without any formal rejection. This is the agents way of not bothering at all. There is no way to know if they even read the query letter.

Each agency have their set of rules for querying and within in them each agent has their own requests/requirements/rules.  Basically it is an effort to apply to each agent. When I get nothing or the form rejection it’s a bit insulting and unfair. IMO.

I’m in the process of polishing my new first chapter rewrite and once that’s done and all the queries have expired I plan to try again. Many now famous authors took years to get published so expecting to land a deal right away would be setting myself up for disappointment.

The truth is that literary agents are busy, too busy. Even if they say they are open to queries I’ve found many of them say they are not in their rejection letter. They all say, in one way or another, “not a good fit for me” or “I don’t represent your genre”  All if it’s funny since they specifically say what they are looking for. And yes many of them have ‘assistants’ that preview the query for them and “reject” on their behalf. So I’m not even getting to the actual mystical freaking unicorn agents.

Regardless I’ll keep trying. Giving up isn’t an option and someday BiaAtlas will be published. Since my last round of queries I’ve learned enough to know how to proceed this third time. It’s a lot of work but I know it will be worth it. Some day I know my query will make it past the slush pile and actually read. One of these days I’ll open an email with an acceptance… a request for more information. *Sighs wistfully…*

While all this is going on in the background I’ve started a new book series and have been having some struggles with it that I’ll probably blog about later. For now I head out to work, where I’ll run through plot ideas for my new book as I wait for customers to come in.

My advice about rejection and agents.
They do what they do and well. They are worth the effort getting to. Have a lovely day everyone and remember, giving up is like sending out a “form” rejection letter. You deserve better.


Other related posts (Judging by this rejection is a hot topic of mine)

Tricky Little Non-Rejection

Keeping Track

The many faces of Rejection

Rejecting the rejected

The rejection letter

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved


33 thoughts on “Rejected

  1. I can only imagine how hard it must be, since I haven’t sent any of my current WIPs to an agent yet. However, I can truly understand how it is to try hard and not to have your effort acknowledged eventually.
    But you can always go indie. Plenty of my friends do so.
    Wish you all the luck in the world!

    Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s tough, but I think worth the effort. I plan to slug it out, And until I’ve been rejected by every possible agent out there I’m going to keep trying for Traditional publishing. Maybe someday I’ll go indie, self publishing or vanity press, but for now I’ll take my rejections, learn from them and keep trying. 🙂 I hope you have a good day as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My advice is keep writing. My first I never expected to be signed but I did naively expect someone to reply. I gave up and went back to work after the first. Then with the second pushed a bit harder but wasn’t as naive as to expect a response. My third which has just gone out has gone out with zero expectation.

    One mistake I did make was after I sent out number two and got nothing for six months I edited with the intention of giving it another go but I spent too much time editing and not enough wiring. I should have started book 3 while book 2 was being ignored because it took me too long to get to book 3. Although the upside of that has been that book 3 is way better written than book 2 which I over edited.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ll take that advice since can’t stop writing. I have 6 books in the first series. 3 stand alone books (Need some serious editing and TLC) and I’ve started a new series as well. I’ll probably query BiaAtlas again once I’ve finished the revision of the new first chapter(It makes a huge difference to the tone of the story) and then I’ll edit my favourite stand alone once I have the first draft of my new one done. I figure that will be long enough to have let the stand alone rest before picking it up. Once the stand alone is query ready I’ll start on that one and hopefully be in editing and revising of my new series. Gosh that sounds like a lot of work, its a good thing I love every bit of it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not writing series, partly because when I started I couldn’t see it happening but also because it’s so much harder for an unknown author to sell a series than it is a stand alone, even a series where each book stands alone is hard to sell. It’s like telling a publisher that a first time author has a book with 150K words. It rings alarm bells whether it should or not.

        TBH I do agree with that in part, 150K words is a lot and a new author with little editing experience and a love their their ‘baby’ wouldn’t be something I’d want to take on as a publisher who can pick and choose their work.

        As an author I think one also needs to know when to let go, sure it’s their story, their baby, their love but if they aren’t willing to take advice, let an editor have a go at it or change it then there is no place for them in a publishers world.

        Liked by 1 person

          • With my second book I edited it way too much to get it under 120K and didn’t like the edited version. That’s when I decided to let it go and do something else. I’ll push the longer story again one day but I’ll farm around something smaller that the publishers etc seem to want.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I applaud your efforts and I’m glad you’re keeping your head up. Sending positive vibes your way that someday soon you will get that acceptance. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Here is some hard learned advice from me: Take your time and keep track of them. Every single one of them. The person you queried, the agency, the “expiry” whether they responded that they got it, if they expired or if they said no. Honestly it makes life easier if you do because the golden rule is never ever query more than one agent within an agency at one time. However once that query is rejected or expires you can move to the next agent in the agency. Try to make the queries of your top 30 as personal as possible and don’t be afraid to seek advice or help. Good luck and remember, in a thousand no’s it only takes one yes. 🙂 This is the post I did on the subject if you’re interested.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. “Like” is not really the right word here but – clicked it to applaud your honesty in this post. I have great sympathy for you in this process. I used to work in the performing arts and at the beginning rejection was frequent. I was too tall, not tall enough, not enough experience, eyes too blue etc etc. But finally once the ball started to roll it rolled! I can only tell you that those above who advised you to keep on writing are right. It’s hard not to take it personally but press on and keep writing. That is your passion and it is lucky to have a passion there are many who never have that in their lives. Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think it helps that I`ve worked a while on this query process and walked into it knowing that it takes trial and tribulation to move forward. Many of my favourite authors took 5+ years to get their first book published. So one year of trying isnt so bad in that perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is the part of writing that I am dreading. I have been working on my book for nearly two years now and I am at the point where I want to send it off to agents and publishers but I’ll admit I am scared of the rejection.
    I know myself and I am worried that when the rejections start coming through I will give up and stop writing, then all the effort will be for nothing.
    People keep telling me to go down the Self-Publication route but I don’t want to do this. I feel that this is a copout, in my opinion, if my work isn’t good enough to get picked up then I’m not going to go through the Self-Publication rigamarole.
    Keep your chin up. I hope you get there soon

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. I think if you go into the process with a full understanding that its not instantaneous you will survive the rejections. I`ve been advised by more than one professional in the industry to never give up and keep trying for traditional. They say to go to indie, self publishing or vanity press as a last resort. I`ve done enough digging to know that traditional is the direction for me. I think for many the instant gratification is why self publishing is so popular. Oh and the vanity press and self publishing companies are really really really pushy when they try to convince you to pay for your publishing. sooooo pushy.


      • I agree with this. I know several writers who either have self-published or intend to. For me, it’s not the preferred route. I’d rather work with more professionals than fewer, and I’d like to have some kind of reassurance that my submission is marketable.


  6. This scenario is so familiar. I have a long list of auto and form rejections despite being meticulous about researching agents and their interests, etc. I did eventually land a publisher, and then after six books, canceled my contracts and self-published. There are benefits and disadvantages to both routes. Keep trying, but it’s not the end of the world by any means if you don’t get picked up. I have never looked back.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Back in the day, you had to mail excerpts of your work. beginning middle and end. I spent $150.00 the first round sending out cover letters and parts of the story ((along with a stamped self-addressed envelope for returns) that would entice them into taking a look. I must say I faired better in some ways since back then, they really did answer you. I remember as clearly as if it were yesterday, the disappointment. It was encouraging they all enjoyed it buuuut they weren’t publishing mysteries anymore, they’d moved on to sci fy or medicals or science articles and dropped mysteries. Consequently as a result of the expense, I couldn’t keep it up. I never gave up hope that I’d be published one day. Still, I applaud your efforts I know how it feels. Keep going, your worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tend to skip the agents that want hard copies only. Some day I might broach them. The desirable genre changes constantly. Which is why I think the first chapter of my book was throwing agents off. It had a military sort of cop feel to it and many of them specifically say no military or police. Since my book is neither I rewrote that one chapter (The one they all supposedly read) and Im hoping for better results.


  8. I’m an aspiring writer but have yet to send anything into a publisher, simply because I’m afraid of this; the rejection. I can only imagine how disheartening it must be 😦 I admire your positive attitude, though! Your hard work and perseverance will pay off soon ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is tough I wont lie. But I think if you go in knowing what to expect and that there is a chance they didnt actually read it, it is a numbers game, then its not so bad. I try to stay positive because I know that persistence will pay off. When you are ready go for it. Rejections suck but they prove you tried.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hugs, Sheryl! I think you’re a terrific writer and I have learned a tremendous amount from you, Thank you for sharing your experience to encourage and help others! : )

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The Aftermath Of Rejection | I wrote a book. Now what?

What did you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s