Dealing with Rejection

As some know, I’m in the process of finding a literary agent for my first piece of work Shadow Cat. Though I’ve only been at it since December 26, 2009, it hasn’t been an easy task. I’ve had quite a few rejection letters, most of them a simple no thanks from the agent.

I’ll be honest. My first rejection came as a complete surprise to me. I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again. I’m a bit conceited. I think my work is great. That’s not to say it can’t use some improvements, but I believe in my work. It probably wasn’t until about the 5th rejection when I thought to myself…hmmm, something might be wrong with my queries or my first chapters.

I trimmed my novel, wrote a different query letter, and sent it out to the wonderful literary agents with too much to do and too little time to review. At this point, I have to admit, I was a little less confident. I was just happy I didn’t query everyone at once and burn all my bridges in one go.

One thing I found I hated more than anything was waiting. Many literary agents have this rule: Don’t bother us. If we’re interested we’ll let you know. If you even THINK about nudging, you can assume your stuff is rejected. I’ll be honest. I’d rather have a form rejection or even “No Thanks” in the subject line and an empty message than the silent treatment any day.

Anyway, more rambling. My next set of queries came back rejected also. So, back to the drawing board. I took time away from my current WIP to reedit Shadow Cat. This is where I totally became burnt out on writing. It took me days afterward to find motivation to write again. This time I limited my queries to agents who were responsive according to other writers.

Okay…this has dragged on way to long. Let’s just say I did this rewriting thing many times. Finally I received a request for a full manuscript, which was rejected by the way. But the feedback, just a couple of lines, was motivating (after I got over being bummed about the rejection of course). It gave me an opportunity to look at my work in a new light.

Anyway, I’m tired of the query process for now. If nothing comes of these last few queries, I’ll set it aside for about a month, unless I find some extra motivation. I need to concentrate on my next works of art instead of letting these rejections drag me down.

My stats:

As of today, I’ve sent out 28 queries. Not sure if that’s a lot in a 1 1/2 month period or not.

  • 15 Rejected Queries
  • 2 I’ve written as no response to Queries
  • 10 outstanding Queries (4 probably no response)
  • 1 request for Full
  • 1 rejection for Full

If nothing else, the novel after Shadow Cat is a stand alone, so I can market it separately. Onward!

Update 2/19/2010 @2pm: I couldn’t help myself. I applied to another literary agency.

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