Last November I wrote the final paragraph on a project that had been hanging around my desk and head for years. My first novel. So it was with great excitement that I studied my list of agents who I knew to be accepting unsolicited submissions in this piece’s genre (juvenile historical fiction) and prepared my first packet.
This was my task list:
- compose a query letter
- share query letter with writing group and get feedback; edit as needed
- format manuscript according to specs
- prepare mailer envelope
- don’t forget SASE
- proofread letter again … and again
- double-check mailing address
“The Envelope” dropped in the mail on December 4th. I kicked up my heels and celebrated. What a milestone!
Today, six weeks later, the SASE was waiting for me in my post office box. Bracing myself and mustering my courage, I opened the envelope. Inside was a rejection, although it was what I consider to be a positive rejection. Compliments on the writing, but the manuscript simply isn’t a good fit for their agency. Not too hard to swallow. Mildly disappointing, but not surprising — as anyone is quick to say, “getting published is very difficult”. So that’s one down and …. how many more to go? Who knows.
Tomorrow I’ll get back to my list of agents. My goal? Three more packets out by the end of the week. This time I’m sending out to multiple potentials rather than just one.
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I manage my business and writing activities by statistics. As a writer, I value rejection slips as an important statistic. Statistically speaking, you will need to receive some number of rejections (perhaps, but not written in concrete) before receiving an acceptance. So, the more rejection slips you can collect, the closer you are getting to your objective.
So, in your case … one down …
You have my very best wishes on success and successes.
Thank you for your kind thoughts. I am sending out whatever the specific agency requires. Last time it was a letter plus the first 50 pgs of the manuscript.
Good luck finding the right agent. Are you sending all of them the entire manuscript, or do some get a synopsis and a sample chapter or two along with your letter? Sooner or later, that envelope waiting at the P.O. Box will say YES!
Well my friend – thank you for sharing. I too, like countless others, have experienced the opening of the dreaded “thanks but no thanks” letter. For my book, I submitted to about 25 publishers in the Fall…they are still filtering in, but, alas, I have decided to self-publish. I will press on though! Even after a book is self-pub’d, well, we can still keep trying! The part “that matters” is the writing of it, as we know. We can keep writing and thankfully, self-publish…and if we can just land on Oprah, well, we’ll be all set!
I guess you treat it like jobhunting. It doesn’t matter how many no’s you get, all you are after is that one yes.