I’m feeling rejected. In fact, I’ve been rejected, again and again. So I thought I’d write about it. I’ve been submitting queries for Wandering Time to literary agents (a few times a week) and either getting no response, a form rejection letter, or, most rewarding, a personal, even encouraging rejection letter such as the one from Jennifer Lyons which said the book was “interesting and well conceived” though “not right for this agency”.

I know this is what usually happens. See this list of 50 iconic writers who were repeatedly rejected. Nathan Bransford says:

One of the more challenging aspects of being a literary agent is dealing with the incredible deluge of submissions that pour in every single day, twenty four hours a day, from all corners of the globe and for every type of project imaginable. I don’t keep precise stats on the number I receive (it’s hard enough just to answer them all), but in any given year I receive somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 query letters from aspiring authors. Out of those tens of thousands I reject all but a tiny handful of them and take on perhaps three to five clients a year.

So what are the odds? Winning the lottery almost seems more likely. (Maybe I should start buying tickets). I know the current upheaval in the publishing industry with the state of the economy and the rise of e-books isn’t making it easier. But for now, I’ll keep on sending out those queries and hope that one reaches the agent and editor who fall in love with the book

4 thoughts on “Rejection

  1. I admire your tenacity! I am so happy that you stick with it, because I know that you have a great book. I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to writing… I only like it when it is skilled. I know that I am perhaps biased, being your daughter, but I think that yours is such a cut above so much that I read. It’s the only book that I’ve read to my daughter and had her actually cry when it was time to stop for the night because she loved it so much. I will continue to see your book as published and wait expectantly for the party when it happens. Love, Taica

  2. My sympathies. But unless you make your living at it, a little bruising to the ego is good for the soul as it keeps you humble (from personal experience). But I do hope your author’s luck changes soon!

  3. Oh! I’m sorry. Have you tried sending query letters to the publishers of kids’ books! Tell them you loved the book they published to butter them up and then tell them about your own book–maybe how it has the same key ingredients–whatever they are. This what I did when you suggested that I try to get the book out–and I got a favorable reply from Oxford Books!

    Good luck! Louise

  4. That’s the spirit, Sylvia. I was rejected once this week too but only found out by going to a website and reading about the people who were NOT rejected. Onward and Upward! Coop

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