Stray Rejection?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Stray Rejection?

Post by BlancheKing » July 2nd, 2010, 9:24 pm

So two weeks ago, an agent asked to see my manuscript and I sent it. Today, oddly, I got a rejection, not for my manuscript, but for my original query. When I mailed her back saying that she already requested my manuscript and asked if she meant she was rejecting my manuscript with the new email, she said no.

I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I just got query rejected and manuscript requested at the same time by the same agent. Thoughts? Explanations? Does this mean she won't read my manuscript?
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Re: Stray Rejection?

Post by otherside89girl » July 2nd, 2010, 9:41 pm

She sounds a tad confused. I think it would be totally appropriate for you to send her another email asking her to clarify whether or not she's looking at your manuscript.

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Re: Stray Rejection?

Post by HillaryJ » July 2nd, 2010, 11:40 pm

Could have been any number of things. The query rejection could have been an assistant or the ms request could have been an assistant telling the agent she might like to request the ms, without the agent having seen the ms. She could have decided she'd requested enough ms's for the week and wasn't going to request anything else from slush unless it was triple-digit stellar, and then didn't remember that she'd already seen that query.

The beginning of an ms, unless you've done something strange, isn't going to sound exactly like your query, so don't worry that she won't give the ms its due because of this little snafu. If the voice and writing attract her attention, you're good. If not, it's not going to be because of this funny little issue.
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Re: Stray Rejection?

Post by John Dillon » July 19th, 2010, 8:27 pm

It sounds to me like a perfect illustration of how absurd the whole query process seems to be. I believe, even with the most professional agents, your chance of success depends largely on your timing. Did your query hit the agent's inbox when she was bored in an airport on the way back from a great vacation and had nothing else to do but ask you for more, or did it hit an inbox full of queries after the agent just battled a miserable commute to the office? Did he have a good breakfast that morning? Did she have a bad date the night before? Etc. Etc.

Your query getting reviewed twice is probably anomalous. Your query getting polar opposite reactions from the same agent/agency sounds about right.

Either way, stay persistent. I figure if we keep at it long enough, we'll catch the right person in the right mood.

As to your actual question, I'd ignore the rejection and wait 6-8 weeks for a response to your manuscript. If you don't hear back by then, follow up and don't ever reference the rejection of your query.

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