Friday, December 10, 2010

Try Not to Cry – How to Handle Rejection

So you have your first reply email from an agent, you open it super excited and it reads something like:

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, we do not feel like this work is a good fit for us. Best of luck.

Don’t freak out. If you cry hysterically every time you get a rejection you’ll live an incredibly stressful life.

Let’s face the facts, not everyone will love your book. You know that old saying, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. In my case, some people just don’t like YA Fantasy. Some people won’t like my plot, some won’t like my writing style, and some won’t like my characters…but here’s the thing, some will.

Here was my query track record for a book I wrote in 2008:

            Queries Sent Out – over 100
            Rejections – 56
            Partial Requests – 0
            Full Requests – 0

And here it is for my current book, In the After:
            Queries Sent Out – 34
            Rejections – 17
            Partial Requests – 10
            Full Requests (after partials) – 8
            Final Rejections – 2
            Pass for Time Restraints - 1
            Offers of Representation – 5

So what does this tell me? Maybe I became a better writer over the past two years, or found a more marketable idea. I also did better research this time around and sent out less queries, but to agents who represent YA sci-fi and fantasy.           

Even though I had several interested agents, I also had many many rejections. If all you receive are rejections, put this manuscript away and write another book. Do not give up. If I gave up in 2008, I would still be agent-less and wondering what could have been.


  1. I just got my first rejection, so this post is very timely! Thanks!

  2. The first one is always the toughest!

  3. Congratulations on the five offers!

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