I am the Rejection Queen!

In the past three weeks or so, I have received a total of eight responses from the fifteen queries I sent to agents. Seven of them have ultimately resulted in rejections, but one still shows promise. Still, these odds haven’t been exactly in my favor, which has led me to the conclusion that sending out a few more queries wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Before I do that, I do plan on revisiting my query letter. Clearly, it’s a lot better than the query letter I sent out to a couple agents in the spring. I didn’t even get responses to that one. But the fact that it’s not hooking too many agents makes me think that taking another look at it would be a good idea. I don’t know if I’ll change it dramatically, I would like to do is make it a little less form letter-y. If I can, I’d like to personalize it a tad more based on the agents I’m querying. I will also be revising my one page synopsis, as a lot of agents seem to be requesting that. The most dramatic change I will be making this time around is to Lady of Darkwood itself. I’m taking out the prologue. A lot of agents don’t request huge excepts to judge your material. Some even want as few as five pages. Since my protagonist isn’t featured in the prologue, I don’t feel as if I’m giving the agents the best view of my characters. I don’t think the manuscript suffers too much as a result. The prologue is more there to introduce characters that will become more important as the book goes on.

If I’m able to query five more agents in the next two weeks, I’ll be as pleased as punch. This will bring my queries to a grand total of 22 (if you count the two I send out on the spring). It makes me wonder, what’s the typical amount of rejections most authors receive before acceptance? I know that Kathryn Stockett (author of The Help, which I greatly enjoyed) received about fifty before she got accepted, so at least there’s still hope?

Otherwise, October has been a pretty good month so far, writing wise. I’ve done some revisions to LD2, although I have to wait to hear more from my first readers before I can finish my third draft. I’ve also managed to put the finishing touches on two short stories that have been almost done for months. I’ve submitted them to a couple magazines. Hopefully, they’ll be able to find a home somewhere.


10 thoughts on “I am the Rejection Queen!

  1. I’ve gotten over 40 agent-rejections just for the most recently-shopped novel alone! So I decided to e-publish it (on Kindle, it’s a revenge-on-Monsanto novel called ORANGE RAIN), and after I finish having it professionally edited, I’m just going to self-publish a print edition. I’m sick of getting rejected when I know I’m ready for the world to see what I’ve got, when I know my books are far better than most cookie-cutter garbage, that they’re totally sui generis. Just keep on plugging, good luck!

    –Love and Liberation–

    Jan Smitowicz

    • You know, sometimes you just gotta throw your book out to be judged by the court of public opinion. If it’s good, it will succeed, or at least that’s the theory. I wish you the best of luck on Orange Rain. Make those 40+ agents wish they could be a part of your success 🙂

    • If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing, every step feels like the hardest one ever. When you’re writing that first draft, just finishing it feels impossible. When you’re revising it, it feels just as hard. The submission process currently seems near impossible to me, but once I get through it, I know that I’ll have a new impossibility to overcome. Because you really do just need one 🙂

  2. Typical rejection? Lol, for all authors — including the best sellers, like 99% rejection, querying an agent can take years and a hundred letters. I don’t know any author who “got it” the second or third time around. So keep trying because you are not alone. One thing, would be to keep an eye on agent’s interviews. There are lit agents who do interviews and they usually talk about what “they are looking for”

    • A hundred letters? Phew. It’s a good thing I’m doing them in chunks then!

      Thanks for the tip on interviews! I notice that some agents are nice and clear on their websites about the types of books they’re looking for. With others, it feels like you’re making a leap of faith.

      • Yeh that’s true. Those agents with a “leap of faith” I guess are “open to anything”? But try taking that agent’s name and googling it to see if any interviews came up. Another thing is (it happened last year) when agents were tweeting hashtag MSWL which is Manuscript Wishlist. so writers could get an idea what certain agents were looking for.

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