Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Joy of Joys – A Not Rejection

One day you’ll open up an email and instead of a form rejection, it will be a partial request. After you jump up and down and do a little dance, make sure you reread the email carefully. As with queries, you want to give the agent exactly what they ask for in a timely fashion. (That’s why you should never query unless your book is written and polished.)

Partial Request – Agents will ask for anywhere from ten to fifty pages, or three to five chapters. Make sure you give them what they want. My first few chapters were very short, so even though I attached my three chapters, it was only eight pages. I made sure to state this in my email. Don’t presume they want more than they ask for; it may annoy the agent.

Synopsis Request – Sometimes agents will request a partial and a full synopsis. I’ll go into greater detail later, but a synopsis is usually about ten pages and highlights the major plot point and twists of your book. Always include the ending. Agents need to know what happens.

Full Request – If an agent really likes your query or partial they’ll request the full manuscript. Again, this is why your manuscript has to be completed before you start querying. If someone requests a full and you don’t have it, you’ve just ruined your chances with that agent.

Often times, if an agent requests a full, they’ll ask if you’ve submitted to other agents. You don’t have to tell them everyone you’ve queried, only those agents that are currently reviewing a partial or full manuscript. Just tell them that you have three partials and one full with other agents, not who the agent is.

After you send out your manuscripts, it’s time for more waiting. Good news though, if an agent requests a partial or full, you’ll hear back from them. It might be a rejection, but they’ll usually tell you why they’re passing on it, something that might help you if you need to revise.


  1. Thanks for the info, Demetria! I didn't really know what I was doing while writing my first synopsis and it ended up being 30 pages, ha ha.

  2. I think writing the synopsis is one of the hardest parts. The funny thing is that I don't think any of the agents who requested my synopsis actually read it, they were all super shocked by the ending of my book...which was spelled out in the synopsis!

  3. The synopsis is THE hardest thing for a writer, I think. I never had an agent ask for one during my agent search, but I've had to do them for publishers. And it never gets any easier!

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