Saturday, October 4, 2014

In Search of a Literary Agent - Part 2

Rejection, Rejection, and more Rejection!

That’s pretty much how my search for an agent is going.  When I researched agents, the consensus was it usually takes up to 8 weeks, if not more, for one to respond.  If he/she chooses to respond that is. 

So to my surprise, I received two responses within a couple days of the date I mailed them.  To open the mailbox and spot my self-address stamped envelopes staring back at me, to say I was excited was an understatement.  That said, I was fully prepared for rejections.  Which was a good thing cause that’s what I got.

The first two were actually my query letter sent back to me, with handwritten responses on them.  And both said, “Thanks but not for us.”  No mincing of words that’s for sure.  I wasn’t discouraged, maybe a little disappointed but there were 18 more to go. 

The next two came via email.  And both of those were much more encouraging.  Though rejections as well, they at least said they liked the story but again wasn’t right for them.  And for me not to give up. 

Four rejections…16 to go.

Throughout the summer I’d get a response here and there with one rejection after another.  And what began as pure excitement to see my self-addressed stamped envelope sitting in the mailbox became something I dreaded.  In fact, I got to where I’d cringe when I’d see one of my own envelopes.  UGH!

Anyway, there was one who absolutely loved the story and though she didn’t handle mainstream (as she pictured it as) she recommended three other agents who might.  She stated that she felt the characters and actually saw it as a potential movie some day.  Which to me was a huge compliment.  So yes it was another rejection, but I felt good about that one.

So how many responses did I get back?  A total 13 out of 20.  And the last few I received at the end of August were simply addressed to:  Dear Author or Dear Writer.  Which made me think they didn’t even read what I sent.  It felt like a stock letter, cold and to the point.

During this process, I’ve learned you better have a thick skin, cause the rejections are many.  But the one thing I took away that’s positive is that not one of the responses said my story sucked.  Which is a good thing.  And for the most part, I was told not to give up. 

And though I haven’t given up.  I’m beginning to think that self-publishing might be what the future holds for me.  Which I’m completely fine with.  I just wanted to try the traditional route first.  And if that doesn't pan out then at least I have the option to self-publish (a luxury authors didn't have years ago).  But for now, I’ve sent out a few more queries via email, and maybe one of those agents will take a chance on my novel.

We shall see.  

- The Delusional Novelist 

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