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Shamrock

Publishers & Agent Rejections Speak

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I have send out Demons to a about a dozen publishers/agents over the past two months. It has been interesting to see how things have gone. To be honest I am realistic enough to know that getting accept would be a fluke this early on. What has interested me is that many simply don't bother replying, and the rest come back with these two standard comments?

I received these after I had sent them a covering letter, synopsis with first 3 chapters as requested.  (remember, Demons was professionally critiqued by a reader of leading UK Literary Consultancy and edited in the light of their comments so it had been thoroughly worked on.)

 

Here's two I have received with my own translation in italics.

 

'Thank you for  the opportunity to read XXX. Unfortunately, I/we do not feel strong enough about the work to represent/publish it. (Agent)

 

Not my kind of thing/don't think it will sell.

 

Your submission has been read with interest, but I’m sorry to say that we do not feel the work is right for our list at this time. (Publisher)

 

Quite liked it but not our thing/ still needs work.

 

Any thoughts on what these really mean?

 

(This could be fun ;)

 

 

Edited by Shamrock
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I think your interpretation is correct. But remember...JK Rowling was rejected 12 times as well. Don't give up!

 

Oh, one thing. Are you checking with the publishers to see if you need an agent to submit to them?

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Yes, I only sub to publishers who will accept unsolicited submissions.

 

(And they are not many.)

JK - I thought it 40??

 

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It is "nice speak."  They either didn't read it, met their quota of manuscripts, or it doesn't fit their "wish list."

 

Don't even get me started on this.  I'm having the same issue.  I keep track of my submissions, and have an "expiration date" for each submission.  It tells me when to move on from the agent / publisher in question.  At present, I have five agents that will expire on October 1st.  This means I submitted, and they just didn't bother to respond.

 

I've had a couple that come back right away.  One said she decided to not take on any more clients, despite the fact that her website said she was open for submissions.  And two came back with one of the form letters you received.  The rest?  No response.

 

ALL of my submissions have been to agents whose sites said they were open to submissions, and were aligned with what they were looking for.  Though, some of them were vague.

 

The fact is, it isn't the rejections that has me utterly demoralized, or even the non-rejection limbo that I have to deal with.  It's the agent wish lists.  There are few agents that will deal with Christian, or Christian-like Fantasy because it is outside the bounds of what they deal with.

 

And the secular stuff?  Pffth!  After reading their wish lists, I might as well not bother.  There is no way they are going to pick me up as a client.  Period.  And it isn't just a handful of agents / publishers with these wish lists, it's the majority of them.  Once you see a few keywords, you figure out quickly that you might as not well not submit or query.  It's just another response that won't come.

 

I know what you're dealing with, @Shamrock.

 

If I don't have an agent or a publisher by mid-December, I'm self-publishing.

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Don't give up yet Jeff.

 

Here is a link to an article about well-known books that got rejected by agents.

 

Most Rejected Books Of All Time

 

Yes, it is frustrated and demoralising but remember the industry is only a shadow of itself at the moment. I wouldn't rush to self-publish just yet. 

 

I suppose the question you need to ask yourself is how important is it for you to get the book out there as opposite secure an agent or publisher who will work with you on getting not just this book out but the others that will come after it? (Yes, I know not everyone will agree with me)

 

That is the question I keep in mind on days like this.

 

 

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I might point out that two of them were self-published, then picked up at a later time.

 

The question I keep asking myself is: why am I bothering to get an agent?  If I go that route, it could be another 2 years before my manuscript is published.  And there are SO many strikes against my book when it comes to traditional publishing, I don't foresee it being picked up at all.  I might get lucky and have a religions imprint take it, but I doubt it.

 

I'm not waiting 10 years, and 100 rejection before I get this thing published, especially when I have the means to fund it myself.

 

I know I have something when my wife is all in for the costs of self-publishing.  She's a reader.  She works in the school library.  She knows what gets published.  She does the bills.  She's read the book.  She's not going to lay out hundreds, if not potentially thousands, of dollars for something she knows is a dog.  But I can't put that in a query letter, or a submission.

 

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Maybe you could try changing the name to something else?  I've got a feeling that is the problem.  I can tell you right now that I wouldn't publish anything with that name.

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I appreciate and admire you belief in your work. If you feel that strongly and your wife is backing you. Go for it.  

 

I don't feel any hurry to get mine published so I am happy to take the longer route with all the knocks until I feel I have exhausted all avenues.

 

Each one to their own. Good luck - I hope you get a better response next time you sub.

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5 minutes ago, Shamrock said:

I appreciate and admire you belief in your work. If you feel that strongly and your wife is backing you. Go for it.  

 

I don't feel any hurry to get mine published so I am happy to take the longer route with all the knocks until I feel I have exhausted all avenues.

 

Each one to their own. Good luck - I hope you get a better response next time you sub.

 

Sorry for the rant.  😃

 

I get "triggered" for days after I see those agent "wish lists."

  • Haha 1

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15 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Great! But just don't fall for a vanity publisher and shell out those thousands! ;)

 

Nah.

 

I've been asking around with people in comics, many of whom self-publish.  I'm gathering a list of reputable places to target.

 

The only thing I really have to shell out big money for is editing, artwork, and marketing.

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Posted (edited)

image.png.e3b19edb3d2bd8f1adc4d1bf563bfe0a.png

 

I thought I would share with you my stats so far for subbing Demons.

 

The interesting fact to note is the amount of 'no replies' - that is agents/publishers who just don't bother to let you know. Most put a time limit on their submission process.  Anything between  8 -12 wks. If you haven't heard by then - you can assume it's in the bin.

 

By the way, the requests for MS I turned down as they were vanity publishers posing as 'author partnership' publishers. 

 

Still a way off the 40 odd for The Help.

Edited by Shamrock

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54 minutes ago, Shamrock said:

image.png.e3b19edb3d2bd8f1adc4d1bf563bfe0a.png

 

I thought I would share with you my stats so far for subbing Demons.

 

The interesting fact to note is the amount of 'no replies' - that is agents/publishers who just don't bother to let you know. Most put a time limit on their submission process.  Anything between  8 -12 wks. If you haven't heard by then - you can assume it's in the bin.

 

By the way, the requests for MS I turned down as they were vanity publishers posing as 'author partnership' publishers. 

 

Still a way off the 40 odd for The Help.

 

I think I hit 15 queries, two direct rejections, and 13 "expirations," meaning they didn't bother to reply one way or another.

 

I usually do a batch of around 6 to 10.

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