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Author Topic: Personal Record
Meredith
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Wow! I thought I'd hit a significant personal record for a rejection yesterday.

78 weeks from the query to the rejection letter. However, further research shows that after not getting any response to the first query, I'd actually sent a second query to that agent. So, assuming that the rejection was to the second query . . . it's only been 27 weeks. 27 weeks is still a record, I think. My previous longest was 22 weeks. [Roll Eyes]

This was for MAGE STORM.

Needless to say, I'd already written this one off as a "no response means no."

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rcmann
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Ah. But how many rejections have you piled up yet? I mean numerically. I just received number 37, but I had a hiatus.
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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by rcmann:
Ah. But how many rejections have you piled up yet? I mean numerically. I just received number 37, but I had a hiatus.

Oh, I've got you beat on that. [Razz]
On novels:

THE SHAMAN'S CURSE -- 24 rejections (and deservedly so)
BLOOD WILL TELL -- 48 rejections (including two requests for partials and two requests for full)
MAGE STORM -- 68 rejections (so far, including one request for a partial and two requests for full)
FIRE AND EARTH -- 19 rejections (so far, one after a request for a partial. Two partials and a full still out, plus 21 queries with no response so far.)

On short stories (of which I don't write many):
39 total, not counting my WotF HM.

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Robert Nowall
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It's been thirteen thousand four hundred twenty seven days and counting since I sent a story to Amazing back on October 17th, 1975. Or nineteen hundred and eighteen weeks plus one day. I no longer haunt the mailbox waiting for it to show up.

I calculated it here:

http://www.easysurf.cc/ndate2.htm

You didn't think I worked it all out by myself, did you?

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
It's been thirteen thousand four hundred twenty seven days and counting since I sent a story to Amazing back on October 17th, 1975. Or nineteen hundred and eighteen weeks plus one day. I no longer haunt the mailbox waiting for it to show up.

Maybe the US Snail ate your story, Robert. (I say that knowing full well exactly whom you work for.) [Smile]
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rcmann
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I don't see the point of submitting by snail mail anymore. It takes long enough via electronic submission. The only pro market that I know of which requires it now it F&SF, and they aren't likely to buy anything from me. I might as well save the postage and suspense.
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Meredith
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You win hands down, Robert! I wasn't even writing seriously in 1975! [Big Grin]
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Meredith
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An addendum to my list above.

First thing to learn is that I think at least some of that is due to rushing stories to submission too soon. That's certainly true with the short stories and with those you don't get a second chance. Periodicals don't want to see a revised story unless they ask for it.

As for the novels:

THE SHAMAN'S CURSE was simply not good enough. I'm rewriting it as middle grade (MAGIC'S FOOL and MAGIC'S APPRENTICE). It's much better--but still not quite there yet. Needs a bit more work.

BLOOD WILL TELL probably suffered from two things. One was me still figuring out how to write a decent query letter. The other was that this story just is a little off beat. I'm not sure that the agents who did take a look at it quite knew what to do with it. (That's my take, anyway.) I ended up e-publishing it. Now, I just have to get off the dime and start marketing it.

MAGE STORM is another case where I probably started querying it too soon. About half-way through querying, I realized I needed to make some significant revisions to the first three chapters. Earlier revisions had resulted in a progression of events that wasn't escalating as it should to get things moving.

I think its failure so far is largely due to that. I'm currently going through it again. I may choose to rewrite it in first-person. Then I'll start querying again. The good thing is that unlike periodicals, after some time has passed and a significant revision, you really can send it back to the very same agents.

I only started querying FIRE AND EARTH in April. I let it rest for six months after the (semi-final) revision and re-read it before I started querying. I did tweak a couple of things, but nothing really major. I removed one magical article that had been intended to have a larger role in the story that hadn't materialized. It didn't really didn't serve any purpose anymore, so I just removed the references to it. And I moved the revelation of one plot point forward, which only really involved moving one scene and then a few tweaks.

Lumped together as it is above, it sounds a bit depressing, but really, this is all a learning process. And I'm getting better with every one.

Never give up. Never surrender.

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LDWriter2
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Never give it sometimes it just plain takes a while for a novel or two to sell.
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wise
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I think I have a speed record. One week from submission to rejection on a short story. Either they didn't get many submissions last week or I just got lucky and got mine read right away. Couldn't they have dragged it out a few weeks so I could at least have the false hope that it might be accepted? Where's the love?
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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by wise:
I think I have a speed record. One week from submission to rejection on a short story. Either they didn't get many submissions last week or I just got lucky and got mine read right away. Couldn't they have dragged it out a few weeks so I could at least have the false hope that it might be accepted? Where's the love?

Just checked my records. I got one the same day. In fact that story has a range of 0 to 249 days to rejection. Now, the 249 days is kind of cruel. By then, I really do start to think there's a chance.

Some markets just are fast.

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rcmann
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Lightspeed did that to me once. How ironic. Sent it in that morning, by evening he kicked it back.
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extrinsic
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I had one submission kicked back in two hours. Timing, I guess.

My first rejection arrived in 1968, My first acceptance, 1972. Many more rejections, too numerous to track, than acceptances over the years.

But . . . a five-figure lifetime writing income. Six figures writing-related income. It adds up. A couple submissions didn't publish but led to hefty sums for writing-related income I still had to work for and earn.

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Robert Nowall
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I think I got one back in three days once...the traditional way, dropping an envelope in the mail and getting it back...I say I think it was 'cause I remember it, but I don't remember which one it was, and without a name I can't check my files for confirmation...but with that kind of turnaround, I doubt if it was read that carefully...my last one to F & SF took ten days, which isn't bad timewise...

F & SF has got this nasty habit of stealing the MS front page, too...I really hate to submit any other way but via the mail, at least for the time being.

One of the things a lengthy delay in returning the MS (or rejecting it via e-mail) does is completely tie up the MS from other use---be it submitting elsewhere or whatever you plan for it.

By the way, my submissions to Analog are taking longer and longer to get back to me---ten weeks exactly for my last one. Used to be a month or so.

*****

I was so inexperienced in 1975 I might've put the wrong address on the envelope---but it still should'a come back to me, 'cause the return address was certainly correct. Anyway, I wasn't even working for the USPS in 1975, so I had nothing to do with destroying it...

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JenniferHicks
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I've had an acceptance in less than 24 hours, but also a few rejections. Lightspeed is super fast. So are Clarkesworld and Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

The longest wait I've had is 233 days to Bull Spec. Mine was one of about 50 or 60 stories that they misplaced when they switched submission systems. It took the editor several months (and a couple of queries) to figure out he wasn't done with reading the slush.

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JoBird
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I've never submitted anything.

I've been considering changing that, biting the bullet, and sending out some of the stuff I've written. This thread makes it sound like a pretty rough experience.

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pdblake
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quote:
Originally posted by Meredith:
You win hands down, Robert! I wasn't even writing seriously in 1975! [Big Grin]

I was still scribbling with crayons in 1975 [Smile]
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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by JoBird:
I've never submitted anything.

I've been considering changing that, biting the bullet, and sending out some of the stuff I've written. This thread makes it sound like a pretty rough experience.

Even the pros get rejections. The only sure way to guarantee that you never sell anything is to never submit.

Go for it.

The worst that can happen is "No thanks." Okay, that's disappointing, especially the first few times, but then you find out not only have you survived, you're still writing. And you'll only get better.

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rcmann
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Are you selling anything now? No. Will you sell anything if you get rejected? No. Will you sell anything if you get accepted? Yes. Will you get accepted if you don't submit?
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LDWriter2
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I agree with Meredith except the part about the first few times. Depending on the person disappointment can go on but bunches of writers seem to learn how to handle it and not think about it much.

But one thing though I wish I was in the running for this personal best here. My fault for allowing myself to keep on getting distracted or forgetting about revising a novel or two. But now at least I have one whole novel done and at four readers. Maybe I will catch up. [Smile]

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Tiergan
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As far as rejections go, Lightspeed is the fastest I know of. I have heard minutes. I was pleased my last one took nearly 36 hours before it came back. [Smile]

This weekend was my personal best: 3 rejections. All 3 are back out.

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rcmann
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I got nailed by an IGMS rejection today. It gave me a warm feeling of belonging:)
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Robert Nowall
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Here's another one. This market accepted one story, payment on publication---the only paying acceptance I've gotten so far in my career.

I sent the "author's release" on March 5th, 1996...the last I heard of it, them, or the story...and, as of this morning, it's been five thousand two hundred fifty five days, or seven hundred fifty weeks and five days.

I suppose I should write them about it, but I've mislaid the address.

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