Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Questions I decided to answer because they were easy to find in my overflowing email account

Questions for The Rejecter...

1. Is there a support group for people with completed manuscripts and six rejections from agents?

Only six? Definitely not. You need like 50 rejections to qualify for terminal depression - for several manuscripts submitted over many years. At which point the support group would be called, "How to Find a New Hobby."

2. How many rejections received would be the equivalent of a “universal hell no” ?

I have no idea. Less that 40%. I'm just throwing out a number here, but most are just average manuscripst that don't sound compelling or wouldn't sell as a book or are the wrong genre for the agent. There are much less that are really, really terrible.

Edit: IF you meant how many rejections from an individual writer would be a universal "hell no" form me, the answer is probably infinity because if you submit another book a year later and don't mention the previous one I probably won't remember you.

3. What percentage of literary agents attempted writing and after receiving a barrage of rejections, changed careers and became the rejecter.

Very few. A lot of people in publishing are aspiring writers, but most of the agents I've met are not. Agenting is a sales position, with pitches and finances. That turns a lot of writers off. I know a lot of editors who are also writers, but no agents that I can think of.

4. If you trash 95% of the submissions, does it really matter if my Query Letter sucks?

If your query letter sucks, you will get rejected. If your query letter is awesome, it will earn you a request for a partial. It's that simple. The 95% is just the amount of people who send in query letters that are bad, not your chances.

5. Do literary agents where black sunglasses with black suits like in The Matrix?

No, they dress normally. Kind of office casual when they're not meeting with clients or editors and standard office suits/skirts/pantsuits when they are.

Any direction on the support groups would be appreciated, If I can’t find one I was thinking about starting one. Do you have any suggestions for names of my support group?'s forums are pretty good. Both budding writers and hopeless cases there.