Yet another rejection letter...

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Yet another rejection letter...

Postby Edmund the Scholar » Fri May 18, 2007 10:14 am

Well, I got not one, but TWO rejection letters today from agents who have looked at my attempt to write a novel...bringing the total rejection pile to 32. :cry2:

Honestly, instead of form letters, I wish they would say "Boy, this manuscript really sucks!! Don't waste your time trying to sell it!" At least then i would know whether I should keep trying!

How do you all deal with rejection letters? I know that they are common, but do any of you just want to give up after getting them?
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sun May 20, 2007 6:37 am

Hi Edmund,

It would be a very human and normal experience to want to 'just give up'.

Fortunately for the human race, it is an equally normal and human experience to grit one's teeth and try again!

Keep going!

I agree, it is frustrating not receiving constructive feedback from agents ( or publishers for that matter) as to the 'whys and wherefores' behind the rejection.

I can give you some insight as to why they don't, as I work in the publishing field - firstly, it isn't an agents or publishers role nor is it their function to critique and/ or help educate writers - they would be overwhelmed if they try. Agents and publishers are commercialists. They're businessmen and businesswomen and their job is to assess the commercial viability of a work - will it make money? Does the author's talent show promise in that way? Will the finished product (and believe me, a lot goes into the development of a finished book) will it compete in the very crowded and competitive book market? The profit margin in publishing is razor thin. A bad business decision on one book could put some publishers into bankruptcy.

Coming from the other side of the fence: It is a very, very difficult thing to do - making that decision to reject a manuscript, to write an author who has clearly spent months and months creating a written work and saying "No, thanks." I know, I have had to do this. I am confident there isn't a professional out there who doesn't wince and wish it could be different for both their sake and the author's. But it is a business.



I am also a writer - and we are artists so I also understand the other side of the fence, the creative, artistic side.

Art is art. Excellence in Art a mysterious thing. What makes a piece of writing great? Or music for that matter - interesting to note Mozart was not a 'commercial success' in his time, despite his genius.

The creation of art is really a collective process, the process must be fully experienced by the artist and fully shared with an audience for the Art to be fulfilled for I believe that Art, regardless of the medium, is Experience-made-manifest.

To share Art is to break down the illusory boundaries of self and other. We move closer to All-that-Is in our partaking of it. We move closer to the wonder that is Existence. There is always room for more creation.

Keep going, friend. I'll keep going too. And let's be thankful for modern technology and the internet where we can share our process, our Art, without the burden of commercialization.

~B
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Re: Yet another rejection letter...

Postby basil » Sun May 20, 2007 3:56 pm

Edmund the Scholar wrote:How do you all deal with rejection letters? I know that they are common, but do any of you just want to give up after getting them?


Grima Wormtongue undoubtedly would know how to handle these scum. YUM!

:)

How about a few paragraphs so your TORCie buds could cheer you on?

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Postby noela » Mon May 21, 2007 2:16 am

Don't give up, sending and writing, all great artists had to handle rejection. I have faith in you Edmund
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Mon May 21, 2007 5:24 am

Bardhwyn,

Thanks for your kind reply. And in all honesty, I don't expect the publishers and agents to make specific comments, and I know that what is "good" is very subjective. God knows, IMHO, much of what gets published is kind of mediocre. But then again, my stuff might be even worse :!: :wink:

I think one of my problems, as a writer, is that I bound all of my fiction off of my wife and friends... who give constructive and positive feedback. But I am not sure that they would say, "Oh, hey! This really sucks!! No, I mean it, this REALLLLLY sucks. My god, what were you thinking?" Perhaps if they did, I would feel more confident when they say, "This is good. Send it somewhere."

But of course, most of my feelings about rejection are based in self-pity. And I need to get beyond that stage. I enjoy writing, so I should keep doing it regardless of whether it gets published or not.

Thanks again for your comments. It is nice to talk with somebody in the business! If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Mon May 21, 2007 5:29 am

noela wrote:Don't give up, sending and writing, all great artists had to handle rejection. I have faith in you Edmund


Well thank you Noela. Everybody has been really kind and I appreciate it. I still have one agent who has been looking at my manuscript. He does more movies and television shows, but he seems interested in representing my book. But we'll see.

As for now, I think I will go back to focusing on nonfiction. I was just offered a contract to write another non-fiction piece. They are okay...and easy to write. But I have so many characters who keep knocking on the inside of my head demanding to be brought to life... it is rather maddening at times:)

Are you a writer as well, Noela?
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Postby Mungo » Mon May 21, 2007 8:08 am

Edmund wrote:How do you all deal with rejection letters? I know that they are common, but do any of you just want to give up after getting them?


How about a few drinks down at the pub? First round's on me.

Sorry to hear that your novel has been rejected. I've never gotten a rejection letter from a publishing company before, but they gotta suck.

My only advice is to keep trying. I hope the next letter you get will have good news!
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Mon May 21, 2007 8:20 am

Thanks Mungo,

But I am fairly resigned to the fact that rejection is part of the game. If I want to play it, I have to get bloodied a bit.

It is stupid of me to think that my work is "SSSSSOOOOOOO" good that it deserves to get published. There are writers who try their entire lives to get their works of art published.

I'll keep writing and keep trying. Still... getting the form letters saying "no thank you" do sting a bit.
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Postby rwhen » Mon May 21, 2007 9:33 am

I only have secondary experience when my step father was trying to get his fiction book published. I think for close to a year we sent out packets of 20 each and once twenty rejections came in, we did 20 more. He never got the book published, tho I think it should have been. One person said that they would be more interested if he changed the name and he would not do that ...

So hang in there. I don't know what the magic is, other than knowing someone who can get you in the door. But don't give up!!
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Postby Bardhwyn » Mon May 21, 2007 12:22 pm

Hey, let me know when you're off down the pub. I'll meet you there.

Edmund the Scholar wrote:
But I have so many characters who keep knocking on the inside of my head demanding to be brought to life... it is rather maddening at times:)





:shock: :shock:

Gads, you too!!??

Too bad they couldn't all spring into life, go out and get jobs and bring home the pay so we could just stay home and write, eh?

Lazy sods.
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon May 21, 2007 9:58 pm

A writer friend has told me, from his experience, that the difference these days between getting your book published and not getting it published, is your agent. An aggressive agent will do everything they can to get the work into print, after all, they take a cut of the profits.

Having said that, he also said that the bigger difference between getting your book published and not getting it published, is actually GETTING an agent.

:|

Yeah, uh thanks for the advice, bud. LOL!

But seriously Edmund, just keep at it. Something else you might try (if you can) is bouncing a sample chapter or two of your work off someone who ISN'T among your immediate family or friends. Maybe a friend has another friend (whom you don't know well) who reads, who might be willing to offer an honest opinion?

I'm fortunate in that I have friends who'll read something of mine and WILL say, quite honestly, "Darlin', that sucked. You need to clarify this bit . . . " or, as is more common, "you need to slice out this whole pile of descriptive junk, it's, well . . . really long and boring." ;)

Gotta love those folks. :D:D:D
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Tue May 22, 2007 7:04 am

I think one of the keys to getting an agent is having the right topic at the right time. I am hoping that my manuscript will be more marketable in the coming years. But we'll see.

Does anybody here have an agent for their fiction?
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Tue May 22, 2007 7:43 am

Well, I just got two more rejections. These were from agents who didn't request to see the manuscript, so there is much less disappointment.

However, on the bright side, one of the rejection letters was PERSONALIZED!!! The agent wrote on the bottom of my letter, "No, thanks."

I feel so special! :)
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Postby noela » Tue May 22, 2007 8:51 am

Ah Edmund, life can be very .itchy, people in it too.
Keep plugging away.
No I am not a writer, but have wanted to for a long time. use to write stories when I was a young lass,same as I use to draw, but becoming a student nurse etc became more inportant.
Maybe one of these days, when I get the courage up.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Tue May 22, 2007 3:54 pm

WELL!!! I got a great e-mail from an agent today!! He began by saying:

I hope that we aren't too late

He then asks if I have found representation for my novel and, if not, could I send it to him for his review.

So... keep your fingers crossed!!!!!
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Postby SilverScribe » Tue May 22, 2007 4:00 pm

HUZZAH Edmund!!!!!

I'll keep everything but my eyes crossed for you! Oh this is wonderful, I hope you knock 'em over!

:D:D:D
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Postby Mungo » Tue May 22, 2007 4:05 pm

Woohoo, good for you, Edmund!

We're hoping all the best for you! :D
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Postby LadyCoralie » Tue May 22, 2007 7:48 pm

Yay Edmund! I hope this is 'it' mate! I hope they come through for you. I once heard about a woman who published her stoy online and it created so much buzz the agents came to her. I don't know the details of it though, so sorry I can't be much more help to you on that score. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. :)
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Postby noela » Wed May 23, 2007 5:31 am

Well done Edmund, sounds promising. Fingers crossed.
See, you just had to wait a bit longer.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Wed May 23, 2007 8:52 am

Thanks everybody!!! I just sent off the manuscript, all 78,244 words of it. This is the first time anybody has asked to see the entire thing. Also, the fact that the agent e-mailed me asking if I have already found representation... rather than sending a letter via snail mail... gives me some hope.

Unfortunately, if he turns it down, I'll know that I have a good idea, but that it is poorly executed.

So...now we wait!!!! Ugh!
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Postby Frelga » Wed May 23, 2007 9:19 am

Sounds very promising, Edmund! I hope this is it! Good luck!
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Postby Jiyadan » Wed May 23, 2007 9:30 am

Be sure to check *his* references thoroughly too, though. It's uber-exciting to have interest, but make sure the interested party is worthy of your pen.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Wed May 23, 2007 9:35 am

Jiyadan wrote:Be sure to check *his* references thoroughly too, though. It's uber-exciting to have interest, but make sure the interested party is worthy of your pen.


This is a good suggestion...especially for new writers. Fortunately, this agent comes from a large agency in New York and represents fairly famous authors.

The fact that the agent is very good makes me a little concerned. If he were just starting out, he might be more willing to take a chance on my work. But we'll soon see what happens. He indicated that he would get back to me within a month.
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Postby Jiyadan » Wed May 23, 2007 9:47 am

Edmund the Scholar wrote:The fact that the agent is very good makes me a little concerned. If he were just starting out, he might be more willing to take a chance on my work. But we'll soon see what happens. He indicated that he would get back to me within a month.


:) :thumbsup:
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Postby SilverScribe » Wed May 23, 2007 6:20 pm

Edmund the Scholar wrote:Fortunately, this agent comes from a large agency in New York and represents fairly famous authors.

The fact that the agent is very good makes me a little concerned. If he were just starting out, he might be more willing to take a chance on my work. But we'll soon see what happens. He indicated that he would get back to me within a month.


You know, even if he decides it might not quite "fit" with his current clientele, he may recommend you and your work to a junior partner who *is* just starting out, or in other words, still looking to develop newer writers. If the agency is of any size, you could still end up with a good agent.

Here's a possibility . . . you might be the currently lesser-known author that breaks big for the lesser-known junior agent and become the basis on which he builds up a roster of famous authors all his own!

Hey, stranger things have happened, y'know. ;)

Either way, I'm pullin' for ya!!

:D:D:D
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Postby Rymeryn » Wed May 23, 2007 10:11 pm

I actually bought the getting published in fantasy and science fiction for idiots, and its a good book. Maybe pick it up, because its actually about more than just the story. There is the presentation.

Perhaps this is stuff you already know, but i did not, and when i finish my final draft of my book in the next month or so, i will be reconsidering the book and make changes appropriately.
The best thing to do is consider your book like a business proposal, and find the best ways to present it to the best people.

good luck
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu May 24, 2007 6:42 am

Rymeryn wrote:I actually bought the getting published in fantasy and science fiction for idiots, and its a good book. Maybe pick it up, because its actually about more than just the story. There is the presentation.



good luck


Thanks everybody for your support. I am going to let the next month pass with the idea firmly in mind that my novel will never get published (which is probably likely). If this agent wants to sign me, then it will be a pleasant surprise.

I have written several nonfiction books before (and have book contracts pending for two more). But this is my first attempt at a novel. And I am well aware that it is difficult to make the transition between the two genres.

I think that I'll just make fiction a hobby...something that I enjoy doing for my own sake. (I say this, but I know that I'll get the itch to get things published!!:)

Thanks Rymeryn for mentioning the Idiots book. My present novel isn't fantasy, but I would like to eventually end up in that direction so I will indeed look at your recommendation!

Thanks again everybody for your kind words. I'll keep you posted.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Fri May 25, 2007 8:41 am

Well.... my manuscript was delievered 32 minutes ago.... AND STILL NO WORD FROM THE AGENT :) (And yes, I am kidding.) Hopefully he'll like it, but I know that it is an uphill battle. The fact that he clearly likes my idea is at least something.
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Postby prmiller » Fri May 25, 2007 11:04 pm

Whle I honestly ache with you upon learning of your recent pain of rejection,
I cannot help but join my fellow posters and cry out along with them, "Do not give up!"
If you sent the MS to one of us, perhaps, we might be more specific in our critiques, but then TORC is not a publishing company. Wouldn't it be grand if it were?
Imagine...the TORC label!
I mean, if "that other website" can make a movie, maybe we can make a book
company. Now there's a thought!
Hmmm.
I love the worldI am in...
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sat May 26, 2007 6:57 am

prmiller wrote:
.... but then TORC is not a publishing company. Wouldn't it be grand if it were?
Imagine...the TORC label!
I mean, if "that other website" can make a movie, maybe we can make a book company. Now there's a thought!
Hmmm.




Seeing as I work in publishing, it is a 'thought' indeed.

*and the gears start whirring*
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