One Step Back

Posted: December 3, 2015 in Uncategorized, Writing
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Rejection always sucks.  No doubt about it.

Our dream agent — the one who was so enthusiastic and speedy in her praise and interest — has decided to pass on THE LAST PRINCESS, despite our revision.  She did say that our efforts were very good, and that we satisfied many of her concerns.  Interestingly enough, the major reason she stated for deciding not to represent this book was not one she had mentioned in her previous comments.  So I’m not sure how she expected that aspect to change.

It really doesn’t matter. She said no; there’s no point in begging or pleading or asking why.

December and January are notoriously dead months for agents, so we won’t be renewing our querying efforts again until February.  This is probably a good thing, because I don’t want to try to compose query letters feeling down.  Time will heal.

I’m philosophical.  We’ve had rejections before; this is not much different.  Sure, we got our hopes up.  It happens.  That just means there was more than ordinary interest.  There’s nothing bad about that.  But there are two other very positive things about this experience. First, it didn’t take very long.  It would be fairly standard to wait three months to hear back on a query, then another several months to evaluate a full manuscript and provide the kind of detailed feedback we received.  We got through that in little over a week.  Some authors take six months to complete an R&R.  We did it in less than two.  And we had our final answer less than a month after that.  So this could have taken over a year, and we got through it all in about three months.  Second, we got excellent professional feedback on our manuscript, and as a result of our revision, we have a much more marketable and appealing book.  So this one step back is really kind of two steps forward.

In the meantime, we’re moving forward on our second book.  And the more of that we have finished, the better we look when an agent does take an interest.

  1. Hi John, So sorry to hear about your rejection, but glad you’re diving into your next book. (For me, the perfect antidote to being turned down!) I’ve learned a lot from your blogs about querying agents, and look forward to the ongoing saga. Thank you for telling us your story in such interesting ways. I figure anybody who can write such a compelling blog MUST be an impressive author of novels for the young. I have huge faith that you’ll be published, and that it will turn out to be through the perfect agent and publisher for you and your daughter. You deserve that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul Cobb says:

    Good to hear you are being philosophical, but disappointment still hurts. I sent the first of my trilogy away for consideration by a number of agents and publishers. I sourced and adhered to all their individual requirements, trying to jump through as many hoops as requested. Some sent standard rejections, some didn’t even bother to respond. The ONLY positive rejection I received was from one publisher who returned the manuscript covered in stains with an apology for having spilt coffee over it – but at least they also added a personalised hand-written note with it.

    Like yourself, I found immersing myself in the next stories was a way out of the disappointment. It allows you to retain ‘hope’!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Richard Due says:

    Well said. Your outlook is commendable (and correct). Improvement of the manuscript is key. I read this article with great interest, as it mirrors my own in all regards except time-span. (Mine started with a full request on Feb. 2014, and I just sent the revised MS Nov. 2015.) I’m expecting a rejection, of course, but my hopes are higher than usual this time around, as the agent loved the original.

    Best of luck on your next volley of query letters!

    May the perseverance be with you,


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keeping a log of all the rejections only makes you stronger and more determined, You’re in good company of so many published auhors. I read John Grissom got over 90 when he sent out “A Time To Kill”.

    Liked by 1 person

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