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Author Topic: Best and Worse Rejections
LDWriter2
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telflon that one sounds like what another market says.

Asimov's and/or Analog? Not sure at the moment.

IGMS?


But some of those notes may have been written by what is today famous writers.

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LDWriter2
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Worse

A Two week... Two weeks??!! ...rejection from IGMS.

Guess Sara Ellis over there knows my writing and knows what to expect by now.

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Meredith
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Well, this has to go down as one of the best rejections I've ever gotten. I'm even smiling. [Smile]

quote:
Thank you so much for your query. While we found your writing to be nuanced and interesting, we donít feel that your work is right for us at this time. Due to a very full client list, we need to be especially selective about pursuing new projects.


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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Meredith:
Well, this has to go down as one of the best rejections I've ever gotten. I'm even smiling. [Smile]

quote:
Thank you so much for your query. While we found your writing to be nuanced and interesting, we donít feel that your work is right for us at this time. Due to a very full client list, we need to be especially selective about pursuing new projects.


I'm curious, Meredith. What do you think would have won them over? Perhaps a demonstrated revenue track record? I know, Catch-22, you can't sell until you've demonstrated sales. There is a path or two around that conundrum besides self-publishing. Guerrilla press and marketing. I wish that domain name were available.
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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
quote:
Originally posted by Meredith:
Well, this has to go down as one of the best rejections I've ever gotten. I'm even smiling. [Smile]

quote:
Thank you so much for your query. While we found your writing to be nuanced and interesting, we donít feel that your work is right for us at this time. Due to a very full client list, we need to be especially selective about pursuing new projects.


I'm curious, Meredith. What do you think would have won them over? Perhaps a demonstrated revenue track record? I know, Catch-22, you can't sell until you've demonstrated sales. There is a path or two around that conundrum besides self-publishing. Guerrilla press and marketing. I wish that domain name were available.
LOL. A real track record (like the one I haven't yet built up with my few self-published titles) would probably have helped. Got to work harder on promotion. [Frown]

Actually, I'm starting to think this one's going to be a really tough sell. It's a YA alternate history (actually, I've started calling it an historical fantasy in the queries) that begins in 14th-century Greenland. Yeah, that's got tough-sell written all over it.

Nothing to do now but keep on trying--and write something else. [Smile]

Nevertheless, the "nuanced and interesting" comment made me smile--and flag this agent as a good prospect for the next book.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Have you sent it to Stacy Whitman of Tu Publishing, Meredith? She's interested in multi-cultural stuff, so 14-century Greenland might appeal.
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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Have you sent it to Stacy Whitman of Tu Publishing, Meredith? She's interested in multi-cultural stuff, so 14-century Greenland might appeal.

Interesting. Unfortunately, according to the website, they're temp closed to submissions. I'll put them on the list to check back on later. Thanks.
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Meredith
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And then, just for buzz kill:

quote:
Although the story is fresh and new, I'm afraid the writing isn't where it needs to be yet. I wish you the best of luck with it though.

Somebody's wrong. It can't both be "nuanced and interesting" and "not where it needs to be". Can it?

And, is "fresh and new" code for "I have no idea what to do with this"?

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extrinsic
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I read that as The inspiration behind the story is fresh and new, intriguing; voice and craft development isn't quite up to satisfying the idea.
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genevive42
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quote:
Somebody's wrong. It can't both be "nuanced and interesting" and "not where it needs to be". Can it?
I've gotten diametrically opposing comments on the same story, too. From KDW, my WotF semi-finalist handled the alien pov's very well and my aliens were all around interesting. From an asst. editor at a pro mag, whom I met in person and they remembered my story, 'alien pov's are tough' (and I don't think you quite pulled it off)implied.

As you said, they can't both be right. It goes to show how varied editors' tastes are and how much of a crap shoot this getting published thing can be.

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telflonmail
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Was rummaging on what to resurrect this weekend and found this:

quote:
...smooth prose and bittersweet characters but felt like a philosophical treatise on the futility of existence.


[ June 10, 2013, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: telflonmail ]

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robone
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I got one for ya.

It's the first rejection letter I ever received. I got it last year, on my birthday (New Year's Eve). If there's ever a rejection letter you want on your birthday, it's this one.

Thanks for your submission! I would like to applaud you on your first effort. Your writing is already superior to a majority of the submissions that we receive. Though we are going to have to pass on your submission, I want to assure you that our decision is in no way related to the quality of the writing itself but with the story. You say this is your first piece of fiction so I'm going to assume by the quality of the piece that this means you've written a good deal of non fiction. In fiction, there are certain unspoken rules that one must follow in order to keep the reader feeling that the universe you've created is indeed real, and your story breaks a major one...

[He goes on to detail a pretty nasty plot hole I didn't think of]

...If my questions don't reveal a flaw in those laws, then the story needs to make it so these questions don't arise. If they do, then the story should be rewritten to correct the flaw. All three editors who read your story independently had the same question and would have otherwise given it the green light. And Rob, please believe that we don't take this much time with 'rejection' letters regularly. Your story was great, we loved reading it and this advice is our way of showing our appreciation for your talent. Keep these things in mind when you write fiction in the future and please don't hesitate to submit more works (horror, of course) to us in the future.

Just awesome.

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mayflower988
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robone: I hope my first rejection letter is that nice. That's awesome that they even took the time to give you advice and request more submissions.
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Unwritten
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I'm a great big coward, and lazy about things I don't really want to do, so I've only sent one manuscript out--it was the first novel I ever wrote, and I only sent it out to one person. It was a kind rejection, but didn't help my fear of submitting things any.
quote:
Thank you for sending us your full manuscript. After careful consideration, we have decided not to take your submission to the next stage. I realise that this is not the news you were hoping for, but I hope you will take some comfort from the fact that yours was one of just a handful of novels we requested after reading the initial submission.

Although entertaining, with a delicious tone to your writing, it just wasn't quite good enough. I know that is hard to hear, especially after waiting for so long, and I'm incredibly sorry for the decision.

I would like to wish you the very best of luck in placing your manuscript elsewhere.


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robone
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@mayflower988 - and then they bought two of my pieces a couple of months later anyway. AND the original piece I sent them was bought by someone else in the end.

Win.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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It wasn't just a kind rejection, Unwritten, they were hoping to encourage you. They saw potential and promise in your work and wanted you to succeed.

It should have helped your fear of submitting, really.

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Unwritten
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I know, Kathleen, I know. I mull over those words "delicious tone to your writing" with some frequency, and it does make me happy. I even know what was wrong with the story--I told it from the wrong point of view.

But after five years of dragging my feet, I want the instant gratification that self-publishing will bring. And it keeps me from having a "worst" rejection to share. [Smile]

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mayflower988
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robone: Awesome. Epic win indeed. :)
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LDWriter2
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Wow, a dream rejection.


And sells too.

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robone
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@Unwritten - that's a really good one!
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Meredith
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Well, I could stand to get a few more rejections like this:

quote:
Thank you so much for sharing THE BARD'S GIFT with me. I found your story to be very strong, and it drew me in right away. You have talent, but, unfortunately, I didnít fall completely in love with it in the way that I need to in order to take it on. I do want you to know that it was very hard for me to pass on this project, and Iím certain that if it hasnít already found a home, it will soon.
Of course, I'd rather it had been an offer of representation.
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History
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That's a near win, Meredith. Mazel tov!
This kind of response suggests it is only a matter of time before you have an agent say, "Yes!".
Best of luck!

Respectfully,
Dr.Bob

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mayflower988
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Meredith, did this person share reasons that he or she did not "fall completely in love" with your book? I was just wondering if it was more of a subjective, gut-feeling rejection or if there were objective causes for it.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Thought I'd share a blog post I learned about that deals with agent rejections.
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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by mayflower988:
Meredith, did this person share reasons that he or she did not "fall completely in love" with your book? I was just wondering if it was more of a subjective, gut-feeling rejection or if there were objective causes for it.

No. It's rare enough to get any kind of personalized rejection. You almost never get anything more like a reason unless the agent has read a partial or full ms. Sometimes, not even then.

I've read agents say that they hesitate to make a comment of that nature on only a small sample because they don't really know where the story is going to go and could be completely wrong.

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LDWriter2
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I can see how that would be Niice and frustrating at the same time.

But at least it's in the right direction.

I forget if it was for this novel but didn't your receive a personal note from someone else?

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