Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rejection Letters are...


I know, that wasn't the answer you were hoping for, but they are.

Recently I saw a tweet by @agentgame "A rejection is not an invitation to debate the merits of your book" They are an agent's assistant so you can imagine how many nasty calls, emails, and letters they get after sending out rejection notices.

My advice to anyone hot under the collar at a rejection notice? Um... How do I say this... GET OVER YOURSELF!

Maybe your novel is the next Da Vinci Code (remember, that wasn't Dan Brown's first book even). Ok, so it is awesome. That doesn't mean this agent likes it. And if the agent doesn't like it, they can't sell it.

Remember even if the agent likes it, they have to consider (in the current economic times/trends/movement of the industry) if they can sell it.

Remember agents get told "NO!" all day long, all week long, all day long. Especially with new writers. The industry has simply moved away from 'developing' talent.

These days for an agent to take on an unknown author they would have to be INSANELY in love with your novel and basically be willing to do a bunch of pro bono work, knowing they might not see a sale, and even if they did it would be for pennies on the dollar.

So give agents a break. They are doing the best they can and have a right to have an opinion which may be that they are not the one to represent your work.

Therefore the rejection may have everything to do with the quality of your writing, or nothing to do with your writing.

Now the question becomes how can you tell the difference?

Writing groups for one. Share you work with your peers, find out if there is any way to improve the writing and... dare I say it... make it more commercial.

There are also services to evaluate your work and get it publish ready.

And lastly if you feel your work is the true opus you think it is... go Indie, baby. If you think you can sell 5,000 copies, get out there and sell 5,000 copies.

If you are thinking of going Indie, then you really need to check out @indiebookIBC a stream devoted to all things indie (writing, publishing, marketing) :-)

Next blog we will discuss the nuts and bolts of evaluating your query letter and 'package' to up your chances of NOT getting that rejection letter (now that you are all Zen with it :-)

Until next week!

As many of you know, I have gone indie myself with my pen name, @cristynwest's Plain Jane. You should click here to read 50 pages of this Patterson-style thriller with a dash of Silence of Lambs thrown in to freak you out. Find out why indie doesn't have to mean bottom of the slush pile :-)


  1. I had one agent reject my present novel but did ask to see future stuff. So there is still hope out there even in these uncertain times.

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  3. Thank you for this post. Very informative and interesting. You've given me some things to think about.