Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Show the love

Do you know what this is? 

If you are querying and using you do. 

Now, I should start off by saying, I love querytracker, it's a billion times easier then the google docs spreadsheet I WAS using.   Querytraker is a database of a bunch of agents, where you can see the genre's the agent reps, see the agents statistics for rejections and requests, and it also links you up to any internviews the agent has done as well.   It's easy to use and keeps you super organized.

I have only one complaint.

That's the symbol for a rejection. 

Here's the thing, I don't get angry when I get rejected.  I get sad. I'm bummed.  But not angry.  

Agents are doing their job and one of their jobs is read queries or manuscripts and think 'can I sell this?'  If the asnwer is no, then they tell you 'no'

I understand when an agent sends a form rejection.  I don't get bend out of shape. 

I don't even get too bummed for a form rejection on a requested full manuscript. 

This is how I look at it, let's look at Vikki Motter's numbers-- out of 300 queries she rejected 259 of them.  That 87%.

So odds are yep you are going to be rejected. Agents are busy so yeah, I totally understand a form rejection.  I even understand and totally agree with the no response mean no policy as long as it's a pretty short time period, like under two months.

But if you're in that lucky 13% that gets your foot in the door,  and you still get a form rejection, don't get mad about it. Getting a request is a HUGE victory in itself.  Look at it like that.  So the agent didn't think he or she could sell it, at least she or he TOLD you and didn't leave you hanging.

More so if he or she rejected you but gave you helpful feedback.  Do a happy dance. 

Recent I received a rejection that was so nice, it made my day.  Seriously.  It was nicer than a few request I had gotten.   Which is why I hate this symbol.

I'm not mad, why should I be?

I also don't think this is enough for when an agent has requested material and you've sent it out.

Seriously, that's it?

Whenever I get a request for material, my first thought is, "no $*ht, really?" Sometimes I even double check to make sure it was my query the agent was referring to.  Then I go I happy dance.  A super happy dance. 

Why? Because I beat the odds.

I won.  Even if a few weeks later, I get a form rejection.  Doesn't matter, I won.

Now, I do understand an angry face if an agent--- you didn't query but they sought you out-- requests a full manuscript and two years later you don't hear back from the agent.  Yep. I'd be grumpy about that.  But seriously, how often does that happen? Certainaly not enough to warnent it's own symbol.

So moral of the blog post,  does rejection fill you with self doubt and sadness? yeppers.   But should it make you angry?  I don't think so.   If you get angry, take a deep breath and go write another book, make it better then the first one. 

Note: Yes I am aware I might be screwing myself IF an agent reads this blog post and then sees my query in his or her inbox, because they might think, "cool I can send form reject and I won't get a dead cat shipped to my office, NICE." 

Guess what, even if that's the case, I'm not going to be angry about it.  Irony can be a bitch after all, can't she?


  1. I am so with you! I hate that angry face, too. Although there was one agent I was angry with who sent a rejection on a partial after almost a full year. But other than that, I am sad and hurt instead of angry and I wish the face was a little more despondent instead of all red and whatnot. That last piece of advice you gave is key, if you keep getting rejections work on a new project, or better yet- LOOK at your WRITING- maybe that's where the rejections are coming from. I had to do this with IN LIMBO (my historical). After getting three rejections on fulls, I got smart and re-wrote the entire novel. Great post!

  2. Yeah, I agree, I don't like the angry face either. Because it's not about being angry at all. Good post, Erinn! :)

  3. Sheesh, that wasn't just an angry face--that's a "I'm going to kick someone's you-know-what" face. When I was querying, I never got angry about a rejection. I think the closest I came to it was when an agent had my full for quite a long time, and then just rejected it with just a brief sentence. Either way, I know how busy agents are--and I still love Querytracker. :)

  4. I think some people have a thicker skin than others and everyone deals with it in their own way.

  5. It should really be an emo face. Or even a picture of Eeyore. Yes?

  6. This is a great way of looking at it. I will have to keep this in mind once I start querying. :)

  7. Oooh, Alicia! I like the Eeyore idea!

  8. YES I am so with you. Seeing an angry symbol just makes it worse because then you see that all the time. You have an awesome attitude, so keep at it!

  9. I think you have a very healthy attitude about this! I think (hope!) I'll be the same way when I'm ready to query. :)

  10. smart Erinn, very smart. I like the idea of seeing Eeyore, that would be perfect.

  11. I've not used Query Tracker, since I've mainly been working off of Agent Query. Hmmm, I think I'd have the same problem you have with the emoticons though, since I don't get angry really. And I agree--I received one personalized rejection that was so nice I almost wanted to frame it!