So for The Good:
Rejection # 49 was a gift. It was NOT a form letter (I know! I was excited too). I won’t post who the agent was that rejected me for fear of misinterpretation but I would like to show you what the agent said.
“I was REALLY intrigued with your query. It was written very well, and I was immediately interested in your manuscript. However, I don’t think we’d be a good fit for each other. I am a ‘small’ literary agent, and my contacts are pretty much limited to small publishing houses, and though I am open to all genres, I don’t really have any experience with YA fantasy- so my connections in that department are still pretty limited. I’d like to accept you as a client, as I think you have GREAT potential- without even reading your manuscript, but I fear it would take more time than is fair to establish connections that would get you the contract you deserve. I haven’t read your manuscript, but it sounds absolutely fantastic.”
This is amazing and bittersweet for two reasons. 1) This means that other than my readers and me, somebody in the business likes my story and thinks I have great potential. This is a huge ego boost and a great relief at the same time. 2) The agent likes my plot, but can’t do anything for me! As opposed to others who could do something for me but don’t like my story. So close…yet so far! I know, I know…harsh. It’s cool, maybe this agent will gain contacts and think of me…I hope!
This is not something all those books and agent sites prepare you for. People rejecting you sure, people accepting you, no problem, but someone who likes you but can’t do anything about it; left field. Be aware, this is a possibility.
I reached rejection #50! For all you out there who are scratching their heads wondering why on earth this is a good thing, I’ll tell you.
No writer should expect a deal from the first agent they query, or the second, or the third…..it RARELY happens. I’m not saying it doesn’t, I’m just saying it’s not the norm, feel free to disagree. My philosophy is “Expect rejection, hope for the deal/ acceptance.” I know it sounds rather defeatist, but taking criticisms/ rejections from lots of agents can be taxing, so you need a mantra to get you through it. I suggest you create your own, one with puppies, kittens, rainbows, and lots of chocolate. But I’m off topic now. Why 50 is good. BECAUSE it means I’m at my halfway mark. I said that once my book was done I would query 100 agents, and until I was rejected by all these agents, I wouldn’t make any major plot-altering changes. AND, it also means that I’m 50 agents down to finding the person who will fit with me the best. That’s my optimistic story and I’m stickin’ to it!
I promised a friend that when I reached 50 rejections I would have a cake party. Well I’ve had my cake and I invite all of you to join me in cake day!! Let’s celebrate rejection because it means we are one step closer to success! Those of you who are still scratching your heads and wondering about my “skewed” view, think about this. Nobody ever went anywhere without making a few mistakes on the journey, otherwise the journey wouldn’t be any fun or worth writing about!