Rejection letters

A Dark Song (2016)

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Tracey (T)

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Mar 2, 2020
North Yorkshire
Are there good and bad rejection letters? I just received another one this morning which always dents my confidence but find myself looking for hope amongst the words I don’t want to read. This latest one said that whilst they didn’t feel able to represent me, they were sure that ‘another agency will have already or may soon be keen to represent me’. Am I grasping at straws? I’ve had quite a few rejections but they’ve always been complimentary!
 
I feel for you, I really do. Rejection is never easy. The best strategy, to preserve your own sanity (others may disagree), would be to face each rejection with a stoical nod and then move swiftly on.

It's true that occasionally (extremely occasionally) you may get a nugget of useful advice, but trying to parse that from the standard thanks but no thanks is almost always a waste of time. There are many reasons you may be rejected, many of them being commercial reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of your writing or storytelling. Don't sweat it. Smile and move on.

This latest one said that whilst they didn’t feel able to represent me, they were sure that ‘another agency will have already or may soon be keen to represent me’.
This is nice, and certainly good for the ego, but it's still a form rejection. Pay it no mind. (I know that's tough advice, but you really can drive yourself mad with this stuff. Thick skin and a smile are the order of the day.)
 
Thanks Rich, I know you’re right. it’s just tough sometimes.
I feel for you, I really do. Rejection is never easy. The best strategy, to preserve your own sanity (others may disagree), would be to face each rejection with a stoical nod and then move swiftly on.

It's true that occasionally (extremely occasionally) you may get a nugget of useful advice, but trying to parse that from the standard thanks but no thanks is almost always a waste of time. There are many reasons you may be rejected, many of them being commercial reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of your writing or storytelling. Don't sweat it. Smile and move on.

This latest one said that whilst they didn’t feel able to represent me, they were sure that ‘another agency will have already or may soon be keen to represent me’.
This is nice, and certainly good for the ego, but it's still a form rejection. Pay it no mind. (I know that's tough advice, but you really can drive yourself mad with this stuff. Thick skin and a smile are the order of the day.)
 
Thanks Rich, I know you’re right. it’s just tough sometimes.
It is tough. There's no escaping it. And a thick skin is something that takes (painful!) time to develop. Whatever your poison is, treat yourself to it now. It is hard, so it's important to be nice to yourself. :)
 
I couldn't agree more with what Rich says. The most important thing for any writer to do is persevere. To my mind, the second most important is not to beat yourself up, as that's what it soon starts to feel like the rest of the world is doing to you! You have to be your own biggest fan, believing in your worth as an author. That's not big headed, it's confidence.

To cheer yourself up, @TL Gough, have a look at articles about authors who were rejected many times before finding fame:

17 Famous Authors and Their Rejections
 
I couldn't agree more with what Rich says. The most important thing for any writer to do is persevere. To my mind, the second most important is not to beat yourself up, as that's what it soon starts to feel like the rest of the world is doing to you! You have to be your own biggest fan, believing in your worth as an author. That's not big headed, it's confidence.

To cheer yourself up, @TL Gough, have a look at articles about authors who were rejected many times before finding fame:

17 Famous Authors and Their Rejections
Thanks Paul, I’ll have a look.
 
The thing about rejections is they are NORMAL. Agents frame them in different ways and you are lucky to get a reply of any sort. Whatever the wording it is still a thanks but no thanks so don't fret it. Just go on to the next as we all do :) For me I think getting stuck into writing your next book stops you thinking about it and in a subconscious way tells you all your eggs are not in that one basket. You can lay more and more until one hatches :)
 
The thing about rejections is they are NORMAL. Agents frame them in different ways and you are lucky to get a reply of any sort. Whatever the wording it is still a thanks but no thanks so don't fret it. Just go on to the next as we all do :) For me I think getting stuck into writing your next book stops you thinking about it and in a subconscious way tells you all your eggs are not in that one basket. You can lay more and more until one hatches :)
Thanks Steve, I’m currently writing my sixth so hopefully one day!
 
I've had a few rejection letters that gave me feedback. Their reasons were helpful, but, in the end, I think they were just giving me some constructive advice. I don't think that's actually why they rejected me, in other words. One gave an example and said I wrote, 'There was a tiny window' instead of 'A tiny window was', which doesn't seem like a lot to hang a rejection on. In the end, most rejections are commercially done. I wasn't going to make the publishing company money. I had to decide if I was going to write what I chose, or change my genre and style of writing to something that would mass-sell. Unless you just happen to love writing the golden genre in the style preferred. Otherwise, if getting that contract is of more priority to you than the expression of writing itself, then study the market. Watch Pop-up Submissions and see what makes Agent Peter perk up. Figure out how to deliver the whole package, the blurb, the title, the plot hook and the first page - first chapter. Then deliver what the hook promised in the rest of the book and pay a good editor.
 
I've had a few rejection letters that gave me feedback. Their reasons were helpful, but, in the end, I think they were just giving me some constructive advice. I don't think that's actually why they rejected me, in other words. One gave an example and said I wrote, 'There was a tiny window' instead of 'A tiny window was', which doesn't seem like a lot to hang a rejection on. In the end, most rejections are commercially done. I wasn't going to make the publishing company money. I had to decide if I was going to write what I chose, or change my genre and style of writing to something that would mass-sell. Unless you just happen to love writing the golden genre in the style preferred. Otherwise, if getting that contract is of more priority to you than the expression of writing itself, then study the market. Watch Pop-up Submissions and see what makes Agent Peter perk up. Figure out how to deliver the whole package, the blurb, the title, the plot hook and the first page - first chapter. Then deliver what the hook promised in the rest of the book and pay a good editor.
Good advice thanks. I guess I’ll just have to keep plodding on and hope that an agent out there likes what I write.
 
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A Dark Song (2016)

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