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My First Rejection (1 Viewer)

Ajoy

Senior Member
So, I sent out a test batch of 5 queries last weekend and I received my first rejection yesterday. Though I was expecting a long road, it was still a little let down, as I'm sure each will be. That said, it also felt like a momentous occasion. I've never put my work out before now and this first rejection marks the official start of me taking that next, scary step.

While my rejection seemed like it's a version of a form response, it gave me a hopeful feeling to keep trying. Maybe they always like to sound encouraging, but until I get any specific negative feedback or see a pattern in my rejections, I feel like I should just take it as a more neutral pass (like, there doesn't seem to be anything in the rejection to indicate I should revise the query or manuscript yet).

My First Official Rejection:
Hi Angela - Thank you so much for contacting me about representation. Unfortunately, I don’t think your book would be quite right for my list at this time. Publishing is very subjective, of course, and I’m sure another agent will feel differently. Thank you for thinking of --- Agency. I wish you all the best of luck with this project.
Best wishes,
Agent


I know there isn't really a question in here, but any thoughts or insights are welcome.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
First off I'd like to say I haven't put any work out there like that. Haven't written enough to even do so-so congratulations! you finished a book and put it out there, 🎉 which is a lot actually. Seems like a generic response but at least there was a response. If you get more rejections I'd hope they are more specific, so you have a better understanding of why you are getting rejected. Could be as simple as the market, hard to say when they don't tell you.
Good luck with your other queries!
 

noisebloom

Senior Member
@Ajoy - that's awesome! I actually just started querying for the first time this year, too... received form rejections or no response for the first five, and then a full manuscript request which was rejected after a few days. I then took a break from querying to have an editor look at my letter and manuscript. It's pretty exciting to have someone take the time out of their day and actually read your work among everything else in their pile.

I don't have any "expert advice" as I'm new to this too, but I do believe the advice I've gotten and research I've done has really helped me get better at querying. I've found Alyssa Matesic's YouTube channel very helpful for a perspective on what's expected or sought after from the agent/publishing house side of things.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
@Ajoy - that's awesome! I actually just started querying for the first time this year, too... received form rejections or no response for the first five, and then a full manuscript request which was rejected after a few days. I then took a break from querying to have an editor look at my letter and manuscript. It's pretty exciting to have someone take the time out of their day and actually read your work among everything else in their pile.

I don't have any "expert advice" as I'm new to this too, but I do believe the advice I've gotten and research I've done has really helped me get better at querying. I've found Alyssa Matesic's YouTube channel very helpful for a perspective on what's expected or sought after from the agent/publishing house side of things.
Thanks for sharing your story. I sure hope I end up getting a manuscript request at some point too! I feel like that's another big milestone. :) (Also, I enjoy Alyssa Matesic's channel as well!)
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
First off I'd like to say I haven't put any work out there like that. Haven't written enough to even do so-so congratulations! you finished a book and put it out there, 🎉 which is a lot actually. Seems like a generic response but at least there was a response. If you get more rejections I'd hope they are more specific, so you have a better understanding of why you are getting rejected. Could be as simple as the market, hard to say when they don't tell you.
Good luck with your other queries!
Thanks! :) And that's what I'm kind of hoping for--to see a pattern in my rejections when I have enough of them...to maybe see if I need to shift something to make it more salable.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Thanks! :) And that's what I'm kind of hoping for--to see a pattern in my rejections when I have enough of them...to maybe see if I need to shift something to make it more salable.
You can only "shift something" to make it more salable if the writing is substandard. It you are writing good sentences and your fiction is effective, you can't chase rejections with revision. That's no better than always being one strike late in Whack-a-mole. :)

When an editor offers to buy your work and gives you a list of revisions, that's the ONLY time to make revisions (considering your work was worthy of submission in the first place).
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
You can only "shift something" to make it more salable if the writing is substandard. It you are writing good sentences and your fiction is effective, you can't chase rejections with revision. That's no better than always being one strike late in Whack-a-mole. :)

When an editor offers to buy your work and gives you a list of revisions, that's the ONLY time to make revisions (considering your work was worthy of submission in the first place)
I've still got a couple of betas out on the draft I've queried, so I figure that and the knowledge of how my queries are doing will help me know if I need to make specific revisions. Yeah, I want my project to ultimately be salable, and I've only put it out there because I think it's ready (I've had a lot of feedback over multiple drafts, but all that and my research aside, I am definitely new to seeking publishing). My statement was really just me trying to be positive about something kinda hard as well as trying to think through what things I can control. If I get a bunch of form rejections, maybe I'm not as ready as I thought I was.
 

Gumby

Staff member
Co-Owner
You have a good attitude about it, so that's great! I am always amazed when I hear someone (who has been published many times) tell us how many rejections they've received before being published. Learning to let the rejections roll off of your back and accepting them as a part of the process is the lesson they gift us with.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
Any updates? Are you still querying? :)
I am still querying. Let's see... I've done about three rounds of 5 queries each. Each round, I've slightly updated my query, trying to make it more appealing as I continue to research. I've received 5 rejections and all the others are just waiting. The rejections were all the generic type so far, but based on the materials those different agents asked for and just what I've learned from continued research, I have a few good idea about why this might be happening. 1. My word count is too high. I don't think there is a lot I can do about that for this story, as I've tightened the writing as much as I am currently able to. and 2. One of the main tropes is currently less desirable in the publishing industry (character discovering their magic and a hidden world for the first time).

I plan to finish writing a synopsis (that is going slowly and is proving very difficult to get just right and within the page count) and then use specific personalizations for about another 15 queries. I also have an idea for another tweak to the blurb part of the query that I might use on maybe 5 of those 15 queries.

If, after all of the above, I see nothing but rejection, generic at that, I have a plan for another project from the same world. My other project will fall in more appropriate word count and will not have the problematic trope, so if I can't sell this first one, but could sell the next, I hope the first will be given more consideration.

That's the update as well as the short and long term plan. :) I'm learning a lot from this process!
 

Lawless

Senior Member
I have a plan for another project from the same world. My other project will fall in more appropriate word count and will not have the problematic trope, so if I can't sell this first one, but could sell the next, I hope the first will be given more consideration.
That's a great idea, should everything else fail, and testifies of your admirable determination. However, there is still a chance that the feedback form your beta readers is going to help you make your novel more presentable.

In fact, I already got an idea or two as to what you could cut short in this novel if you wanted to. ;-)
 
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