Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the other hand...

REJECTION! Everybody handles it differently, even the Agents. I met a great agent in June who asked me to send my novel in for review. I sent it in and followed up every month with a polite e-mail inquiry as to its' status. After five months, I found out the agent apparently forgot about requesting my submission and never read it! In late November I received a rejection saying that due to market conditions, this particular type of story would be very hard to sell, so they were going to pass on it.

Now, did I miss a window of opportunity? I don't know. But I do know that my manuscript was off the market for five months for no good reason.

Now, contrast this to the next agent I immediately sent to. Within 10 days, I had queried, sent in a proposal and been rejected THAT'S reasonable to me. They didn't want to handle the story, even though they enjoyed the submission. But at least I could move on.

Now, I know Agents and Publishers are swamped, but a five month delay and then admitting you lost the manuscript does no one any good. I will submit other manuscripts to both Agents in the future, hoping that things will balance out.

But while Agents and Publishers are swamped, I hope they are aware how frustrating things like this can be for a writer. Let's all work together and try to survive the coming upheaval in the publishing world!

2 comments:

Marshall Ryan Maresca said...

You've hit on one of the key reasons why my long-term plan involves volume. Right now I've only got one novel that is in "queryable" state right now, but my goal is to have five-six of them there by the end of 2010 (if I don't have an agent already at that point).

It does raise a good question (one I am struggling a bit with right now)-- if an agent has asked for a degree of exclusivity, how long should you wait before you give that poke of, "So, what's the story?"

Dan said...

I think an open and frank question about exclusivity would be best overall, and then give them 30 days extra. But that's just me, and after this episode I will probably be a bit more aggressive. Sorry about the delay in answering!