Sunday, April 09, 2006

Two More for the Collection

Two more SASEs came back to me in the mail this weekend, filled with wonderful little rejection letters. My writer friend tells me it's part of the game. I have to keep repeating that to myself over and over. :) Seriously, though, I'm really going to write a book with my rejection letters. I've never seen such drivel written on letterhead, unless you count the memos at my office. :)

Dear Author:
Thank you for submitting your query to our agency and giving us the opportunity to consider your work. Unfortunately, in today's increasingly tough publishing market, we cannot offer you the support that you need for your project. Currently, we are cutting back on our client list and are extremely limited as to what type of fiction and non-fiction we will be pursuing.

Our limited time precludes us from recommending other agents or publishers more suitable for your book. But, for an excellent resource on finding an agent and publisher for your book, we recommend Jeff Herman's WRITER'S BUIDE TO BOOK EDITORS, PUBLISHERS AND LITERARY AGENTS (Prima, 1998)

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

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

Sincerely,
Agent D

Don't allow rejection after rejection to discourage me? Ok, that's not HARD or anything.

Dear Writer:
Because we receive a high volume of mail, we are unable to respond personally to each query. We appreciate your contacting us about your project, but it does not fit our need to expand our current client list.

We may not request more material because we are not taking on new clients in your genre at this time. We have a broad and balanced list and do not want to represent too many similar books. Perhaps you have written something we don't represent such as sci-fi, fantasy, horror, children's or young adult, sports, essays, scholarly subjects, poetry, cookbooks, gift books, coffee table books, short stories, war memoirs, stage playes or screenplays. Or, we may have recently accepted something that is too simliar, which is often the case with nonfiction. As a matter of personal prefernce, we do not choose to represent works with pervasive themes of physical, sexual or substance abuse, gratuituous vioulence or violation, or those with an unredeemably negative or dark done. It could also be that we just don't feel you are ready for publication yet and are too early in your career. It takes a long time to master the craft of writing - and even the greatest writers were once beginners themselves and received many rejections.

Of the thousands of query letters we receive every year, only about a dozen manuscripts a month are requested. From these, about ten new clients each year are accepted and their work sold to publishers. And even then we have received numerous rejections for writers who are now bestsellers.

We do wish you success in your publishing ambitions and regret the necessity of sending you this form letter response. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to represent you. Our website, has information that you may find helpful in pursuing publication in the future.

Regards,
Agent N


Whew! Could you just say "no thanks" please? This letter exhausts me. Plus, it has several mistakes in it (I typed as is), so obviously you are not the agent for me. It would help to have an editor that actually knew how to EDIT! Geesh. And it goes on and on and on and on. It may not be this, or it may not be that. I think they forgot
1. It may not be written by a human
2. It may be written by an alien
3. You are not Janet Evanovich
4. You are not Sue Grafton
5. You suck.

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4 Comments:

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Karen said...

I can't even imagine trying to do this. I'd love to write- but I figure every book I'd write would be a something like 'I is for Interview with a Hobbit'- just a mishmash of everything I've ever read. I've been toying with photography stuff, but just hate to put myself out there.
good luck. I'll buy it!

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger zdaddyo said...

From all your postings, it seems like you feel that they are rejecting you personally. They aren't. They are looking for a business relationship. If they don't feel like they can sell the book, they will reject the query since it would be a poor business proposition for you and for them.

If you don't already, you should read Miss Snark's blog. She's an agent who tells it like it is. Lots of good helpful advice on what to do and especially what not to do.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Carmen said...

Thanks zdaddyo. I know it's not personal, but it feels personal, you know?

I'm familiar with Ms. Snark. And a couple of other agent blogs. I'm in the faith that it's all going to work out!

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger Scone said...

I love the "maybe we don't actually publish anything at all" line-- how many types of books were not on the list, 3? Sheesh.

Having been on the receiving end of unsolicited manuscripts, I admit that sometimes, the rejection notices *are* sometimes sent accompanied by maniacal laughter. But not in your case, I'm pretty sure. I'm rooting for you.

 

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