Thursday, May 01, 2008

One of My Rare Encouraging Posts

Dear Rejecter,

I am a young writer who actually isn't that naive or arrogant enough to think that my writing deserves publishing (but I can dream right?), however, I at least think everyone is entitled to a response. My young adult novel has gotten to the full stage with five - count them - five different agents. After at least six months for each, the agents have not replied to my check-up e-mails or phone call. One agent said they were still reviewing, but that was two months ago (after the six months). Do I have the right to be frustrated, or should I be happy that someone even might be considering my work? Or maybe the silence of the five is a consensus of suckage toward my writing? What kind of message does it send when you take the time to write a novel, edit it, send it out, get requested, and then hear nothing?

You mean all five agents not only have kept you on hold for 6 months, but also don't answer phone calls or emails? Wow. They're jerks. I would be frustrated. Ignore any exclusives you may have given and start querying other people.

Publishing is frustrating - to writers, to agents, to editors, to the guy who has to design the cover that nobody ends up being happy with - we're all very frustrated. All the time. There's a high burn-out rate in this industry. On the other hand, we occasionally get to make dreams come true, which is pretty cool.

Your manuscript is obviously of some potential for so many agents to have considered it; start querying again and hang in there.

14 comments:

Sera Phyn said...

I can understand the frustration. My full has gotten this treatment from several agents as well, but not nearly as long as you have. You are an angel to have that much patience! I agree with the rejecter--start querying again.

Anonymous said...

I had one agent who never did respond to my (requested) full. Another didn't get on the ball until I had an offer in hand. Definitely keep querying. If you've had five full requests, you're painstakingly close.

Anonymous said...

5 full requests is really good (out of how many queries you didn't say, but it's good no matter what). I got 3 partial requests, out of 17 queries sent to the NY bigs. Then all of a sudden though a writing critique contact who passed my work on to a small publisher I knew, I got an offer of publication from a small house. Not formal yet, they say they are putting together a contract, but still, it sounds good to me, rather than sending out another query batch and waiting again. My book will be in stores and on amazon. So I am seriously considering it.

Anonymous said...

You poor dear. It just makes you want to scream and shout, doesn't it? It can't all be about London ... You sure you enclosed SASEs and put your name/number on each page of the ms??

Anonymous said...

So what you're saying is: There are five different spellings for the word LOSER? That's depressing.

Hang in there and query a decent, professional agency.

Anonymous said...

This happens all the time.

Unfortunately.

I just got a rejection on an agented book from an editor after 10 months of her "thinking" she wanted it. 10 months! 2 months longer than it took me to write the entire book.

I don't think I deserved to be published just because I wrote a book, either, but it's the double standard in publishing that gives me headaches. Have everyhing in perfect order. Learn the rules. Play by them. And then get treated like you don't matter. At all. It made me want to send the rejection letter back and point out all the grammatically incorrect sentences, but of course I refrained. :)

Anonymous said...

I've had several fulls out recently and they have all responded, usually in 2 months. Some three.

And I thought it was annoying not to get a response on a query!

Anonymous said...

I’d say based on the costs of postage and printing alone (yes, there are agents out there who still want their fulls in hard copy and I seem to attract them like a refrigerator attracts magnets) every requested full deserves an answer. And given the fact that the agents have them for weeks, months (years? God forbid), it might be nice if they would provide just a modicum of useful corrective criticism. While we are dreaming – let’s dream big.

Deb said...

I have to say, I've published books before, and still had non-responses from agents I've queried. I hate this, I don't feel it's terribly professional, but I just query some others.

If there are sufficient agents who handle what you write, my suggestion is this: Create lists. In your A list are your dream agents. Query those first (those you haven't already sent to). Once those are off, pick 5-10 B list agents (nice to have but not dream agents). Then wait around awhile before you query the C list.

I now have an agent with whom I'm happy. I didn't consider agencies below the C list, though, while I was hunting. Those that didn't make the C list didn't make it because a) they had ridiculous "pre-submission" requirements on their web sites; or b) their sites said if they didn't like my stuff, I wouldn't hear anything at all--not even a "no thanks."

They can do exactly as they like as far as responses. That doesn't, however, mean I have to query them.

AJ said...

Yeah, while 6 months isn't completely unheard of, not responding to your concerns is bad news. Be glad you're not going with one of those agents and keep querying. According to Miss Snark, you're not allowed to give up until you've queried 100 agents, and with that many full requests, you'll probably get one a lot before that.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I was asked to give an exclusive on a full I would tell the agent that the ms was already out with another agent (which was true). Every agent said send it anyway. My advice, don't give anyone an exclusive, even on fulls. This is your career!

Dave Aranda-Richards said...

Everytime the phone doesn't ring, I know it's the agent who received my query. Get over it!

Anonymous said...

Are these fulls coming off of partials? I agree the agents' behavior is rude and unacceptable, but you may want to consider what the lack of response MIGHT mean. If they've seen partials, it's one thing (rude). But if the full requests are coming from queries, it may be you write a great query and/or your first few pages are spot on. In that case, maybe there are problems with the full: plot, structure, etc.

Hang in there though. You obviously have a lot going for you! Whatever you do, don't stop writing.

Chastity Rhyder said...

Dear Rejecter,

That was a very nice response you gave to this author. I feel for the author - that's outrageous. Of course, I hear what you're saying, Rejecter. It's a tough business. I've had a lot of interest in my first novel, so I understand how hard it is . . . But, like this author, we can keep hoping. In the meantime, continue writing, too!