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Aaaargh agent fail :(

Morning....

My ongoing block... new post: Deserving...

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Luciferette

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Look what I just received from super-hot dream agent:

Hi Lucy

It’s not for me this – you can see that it’s quite specific taste… You’re super talented though. Feel nervous turning it down! Good luck with it and thanks for sending it to me.

All very best


I can't think of another business where this email would plummet me into the depths of Hell and make me grin like a maniac simultaneously. Is it too early for wine?!
 

Paul Whybrow

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Congratulations on 'failing' so well....Except, that it isn't really a failure—more an indication of the agent's caution (cowardice :oops:) and a strong pointer as to how the publishing world is only pursuing safe options at present. If your story is 'out there' in some way, a challenging read, have you thought about making a direct approach to an open-minded independent publisher, such as Pushkin Press, Salt Publishing or Bluemoose Books?
 

Luciferette

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Hi @Paul Whybrow and @Marc Joan - thanks for your support. I'm a bit gutted really -- it's almost worse to receive this kind of rejection than a cut n paste form one.
The agent in question does represent historical fiction, but maybe more of the "women's" (hate that term!) sort. Mine's perhaps a bit more...quirky? The agent at CB says she can see Nicola Barker, Alan Garner etc as influences, with a commercial twist. So I wouldn't say it's overly unusual. Here's the quick pitch, to give you an idea:

In some places, the past is never history…
In 1796, conman conjurer Bartholomew Preston arrives in the marsh-ridden town of Ridgemarr, on the trail of a sinister relic that he hopes will make his fortune. Sceptical and self-reliant, his only love is his dead sister, whose clay pipe he treasures. His cynicism is challenged when an Old Magic is seemingly unleashed, stirring up secret lusts, lies and violence, and Bartholomew discovers that the Gods don’t pay their debts in money.
Bay Carter, the fourteen-year-old son of New Age travellers, comes to Ridgemarr in 1987. He’s lonely, unworldly, and desperate for a place to call home. The acquisition of Bartholomew’s clay pipe draws Bay into mysteries of the town’s past and present, and he realises that history isn’t just something you learn at school. As the summer holidays draw to a close, Bay fights for his own kind of independence and finds that — for once — the Gods might just be smiling down on him.

I was thinking about Salt, and maybe Galley Beggar if they have an open window again. I'm going to give it another 6 months on submission (hopefully CB -- or somebody...anybody!!...will have got back to me by then) and, depending on the outcome, change tactics. Grrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaarrrgh :(
 

Kitty

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How many agents have you sent it out to so far? You seem to be getting a positive response so keep sending it out! Also, don't rule out agents on the other side of the pond! They might surprise you :)
 

Luciferette

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I'm almost embarrassed to admit my impatience, @Kitty - the revised full is still with CB with no decision as yet, and I've sent it out to three others (1 month ago) as I didn't want all my literary eggs in one basket, so to speak ;) The above rejection is the first response I've had! The waiting is KILLING me. *stamps bratty feet*
 

Kitty

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@Luciferette you've barely begun!!

I sent mine out in batches of ten, every couple of months or so. Each time I got a full request I used it as an opportunity to nudge - not just other agents reading the full but also those I'd submitted to and not heard back from. This occasionally resulted in another full request. I found all the agents really responsive and communicative. I was onto my 5th batch when I got my offer. So you see - you've barely scratched the surface. :)

I took the view that it's all a bit of a game and set out to enjoy the ride. Give it another few weeks and then send out another batch :)

And in the meantime start writing something new. That's the best way to stop fretting about the one out there :)
 

Geoff

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Well done! Just keep going .. you are obviously going to get there, just a case of who the lucky agent will be and when!
 

Robinne Weiss

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3 submissions and you're worried? Pah! Some of us have a hundred rejections under our belts. ;) Repeat, ad nauseam, until you get an offer.
 

Marc Joan

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Hi @Paul Whybrow and @Marc Joan - thanks for your support. I'm a bit gutted really -- it's almost worse to receive this kind of rejection than a cut n paste form one.
The agent in question does represent historical fiction, but maybe more of the "women's" (hate that term!) sort. Mine's perhaps a bit more...quirky? The agent at CB says she can see Nicola Barker, Alan Garner etc as influences, with a commercial twist. So I wouldn't say it's overly unusual. Here's the quick pitch, to give you an idea:

In some places, the past is never history…
In 1796, conman conjurer Bartholomew Preston arrives in the marsh-ridden town of Ridgemarr, on the trail of a sinister relic that he hopes will make his fortune. Sceptical and self-reliant, his only love is his dead sister, whose clay pipe he treasures. His cynicism is challenged when an Old Magic is seemingly unleashed, stirring up secret lusts, lies and violence, and Bartholomew discovers that the Gods don’t pay their debts in money.
Bay Carter, the fourteen-year-old son of New Age travellers, comes to Ridgemarr in 1987. He’s lonely, unworldly, and desperate for a place to call home. The acquisition of Bartholomew’s clay pipe draws Bay into mysteries of the town’s past and present, and he realises that history isn’t just something you learn at school. As the summer holidays draw to a close, Bay fights for his own kind of independence and finds that — for once — the Gods might just be smiling down on him.

I was thinking about Salt, and maybe Galley Beggar if they have an open window again. I'm going to give it another 6 months on submission (hopefully CB -- or somebody...anybody!!...will have got back to me by then) and, depending on the outcome, change tactics. Grrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaarrrgh :(
If Alan Garner is an influence, then it gets my vote. And I love the idea of a sister who smokes a clay pipe. Good luck wit this -- sounds like it has legs!
 

Paul Whybrow

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Your quick pitch summary of the plot is intriguing enough to entice backers on the Unbound crowdfunding site:

Unbound | Liberating ideas

The Independent Publishing Magazine review Unbound's services here, pointing out that it helps an author's request for funding if they already have a healthy band of social media followers.
 

Luciferette

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Thanks all :) I know I've no patience (one of the many virtues I lack!), it just gets on my wick when everything takes so long. Caskiemushens response time is at least 12 weeks...feels like pulling teeth. The only definite is that I'll get used to it - I'm a mere amateur in this querying business, and I'm well aware there's a looooong road ahead.
ONWARDS!
And, @Kitty - I'm 25,000 words in to the next novel. It's the only thing keeping me sane(ish) xx
 

Paul Whybrow

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674f58480e7b66bb66e26ffba79f59a5--peanuts-cartoon-peanuts-snoopy.jpg
 

Kitty

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Thanks all :) I know I've no patience (one of the many virtues I lack!), it just gets on my wick when everything takes so long. Caskiemushens response time is at least 12 weeks...feels like pulling teeth. The only definite is that I'll get used to it - I'm a mere amateur in this querying business, and I'm well aware there's a looooong road ahead.

Patience is a necessity in this business I'm afraid. Just to give you some ideas of the timescales involved:

February 2010: Sent off the submission to the agent I eventually signed with (My previous agent)
November 2010: Signed with agent and started the first of several rounds of revisions
January 2012: Agents sent novel out on submission
August 2012: Received an offer of publication
September 2013: Book hits the shelves. (Bearing in mind that this gap from offer to publication was unusually quick - you would normally be looking at 18 months to two years.)

So yes, it's a long road but it's worth it in the end. :)
 

Sea-shore

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I'm almost embarrassed to admit my impatience, @Kitty - the revised full is still with CB with no decision as yet, and I've sent it out to three others (1 month ago) as I didn't want all my literary eggs in one basket, so to speak ;) The above rejection is the first response I've had! The waiting is KILLING me. *stamps bratty feet*

I know how it feels. I want to be patient and I want it now! :D

Good luck with your ms. I'm so sure you are closer than you think. Always celebrate, when there's a choice. (I'd be framing the letter if it were me. Agents don't just throw the term 'super talented' around like that. ;))
 

Luciferette

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I know how it feels. I want to be patient and I want it now! :D

Good luck with your ms. I'm so sure you are closer than you think. Always celebrate, when there's a choice. (I'd be framing the letter if it were me. Agents don't just throw the term 'super talented' around like that. ;))
They are SUCH heartening words, thank you (mwah, mwah)! I'm such a query virgin, I'm really not sure what to expect. After so many months of silence from *famous agency*, I'd kind of given up hope of ANYONE liking it. Oh me of little faith and even littler querying experience...
Seriously, I bow to all Litopians' superior knowledge. Static took 3 years to write, 1 year to edit, and I'm now a year on from then. But I realise this is just the beginning. It's so wonderful to have the well of experience on here to sup from.
Thanks again, all x
 

Sarah Louise Dean

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Is it possible to go back to them and ask if they know who it might be for? They sound nice and could stand a little leverage, plus it's not a massive community so they do all talk.
 

Luciferette

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Is it possible to go back to them and ask if they know who it might be for? They sound nice and could stand a little leverage, plus it's not a massive community so they do all talk.
As I say, I'm really no expert -- the others might be able to advise me on this -- but I'm pretty shy when it comes to stuff like this, and my gut instinct is that "no means no, so don't come back"! Maybe I'll wait and see if I hear from the other two, then think on (as my mother would say)?
 

Paul Whybrow

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If you don't ask, you don't get. Why be afraid of asking for clarification, as what will happen is likely to be nicer than your nervous fears are making you think. I posted this rather rude joke once before, but its robustness is a lesson to us all:

A dirty old man, who didn't often wash, was unfashionably dressed and who didn't have any money or social graces, was in the habit of standing on a street corner and asking every woman that he fancied if she wanted to go to bed with him. A friend, who was appalled by his blatant approach, asked him if he didn't cause offence and get his face slapped? "Sure," the man said, "but I also get to go to bed with quite a few women."

A more erudite way of looking at things comes from Seneca:

Cqd_wPSXEAA1t9I.jpg:large
 

Kitty

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As I say, I'm really no expert -- the others might be able to advise me on this -- but I'm pretty shy when it comes to stuff like this, and my gut instinct is that "no means no, so don't come back"! Maybe I'll wait and see if I hear from the other two, then think on (as my mother would say)?

In this case I would say your gut instinct is correct and no does mean no. Accept it and move on. But of course this only applies to the work you are curently pitching. If this book doesn't find a home (and I strongly suspect it will!!) then put this agent at the top of your list for the next one!
 

Rich.

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@Luciferette, I've not really much to add, other than to say I feel your frustration, I really do. It sounds like you and I are at the same point on the journey (even same agents on our list!). There's some cracking advice in this thread, much to be taken to heart. I hope you agree. Keep at it, keep at it, keep at it. We'll get there. :)
 

Luciferette

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Race yer...;)
Yes, @Rich. you're absolutely right. It's a strange situation for me, because I've got the added complication of the full already being with *famous agency* -- they were a great help while writing the first draft, only to get radio silence for 9 months after delivering the MS! It's now back with them again, so we'll see...

Do keep us all up to speed on your progress! It's great to hear of Litopians' successes (see the @Madz thread!).
 

Rich.

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Race yer...;)
You're on... ;)

Yes, @Rich. you're absolutely right. It's a strange situation for me, because I've got the added complication of the full already being with *famous agency* -- they were a great help while writing the first draft, only to get radio silence for 9 months after delivering the MS! It's now back with them again, so we'll see...
Ouch. Harsh. 9 months!

Do keep us all up to speed on your progress! It's great to hear of Litopians' successes (see the @Madz thread!).
Will do!
 

Quillwitch

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Look what I just received from super-hot dream agent:

Hi Lucy

It’s not for me this – you can see that it’s quite specific taste… You’re super talented though. Feel nervous turning it down! Good luck with it and thanks for sending it to me.

All very best


I can't think of another business where this email would plummet me into the depths of Hell and make me grin like a maniac simultaneously. Is it too early for wine?!


That´s the worst best letter from an agent! Well done, and on to the next one.
 
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Morning....

My ongoing block... new post: Deserving...

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