Thursday, August 19, 2010

...and the Rejection Letters start trickling in.

Good day loyal readers,

So far I have sent out a total of 9 query letters: 5 for Son of Ogres and 4 for Nanuq.

Son of Ogres: 2 form rejection letters.

For those of you who are not in the know, there are two types of rejection letters you get from agents.

The first is a personalized letter that mentions your book by name and perhaps the agent mentions some specifics about the book/characters/plot that they liked, but they just felt they were not the right fit.

The second is the form letter that agents send out to writers without making any changes to the text first. It is the digital version of a big rubber stamp. I personally have nothing against form letters. It is quick to use and allows the agent to get back to what they need to do: sift through their email inbox looking for that next elusive treasure. But there are some sensitive wannabe writers who find form reject letters at the very least unhelpful and at worst a slap in the face. If their book idea was rejected, they want to know why. Was it too long? Too short? Was it the plot or the characters or the setting or ??? Was the query letter itself poorly written? How can I fix it? What changes can I make that you won’t reject it a second time? Some amateur would be writers will send a reply email demanding to know why the agent did not accept their book and telling them that they will be sorry they passed up on the next Stephen King/JK Rowling/Tom Clancy.

But I digress…

The long and the short of it is that agents only get paid when their clients get paid. If they spent all their time telling writers they rejected what was wrong with the queries or their books or whatever, then they would be broke. So in my books a form rejection letter is okay by me.

So for your edification, I am posting the two form rejection letters I got from agents this week. I am not including their names or agencies because I wouldn’t want to embarrass them for turning down the next Stephen King/JK Rowling/Tom Clancy… (:

Letter #1

Thank you very much for reaching out to me and Folio Jr. for representation. I very much appreciate hearing from you. Due to the large volume of submissions that I receive, it is impossible for me to answer every query individually, however I assure you that your material was carefully evaluated. After consideration, I regret to say that your project is not right for my list at this time. As you know, this is a subjective business and another reader may feel differently. I truly wish you all the best in finding a wonderful representative to champion your work and much success in your journey toward publication.

Letter #2

Thank you for telling me about your book, but I wouldn't be the right agent for it.

Please know that another agent is likely to feel differently and will know exactly where to send your work. I wish you the best in placing the manuscript elsewhere.

And there you have it!


  1. Be strong! Forms on query letters sting, but it's more about the letter/concept IMO... The ones to really care about are the ones on partials & fulls...

    chin up! It'll happen~

  2. We all are always here to support you.