Rejection Stats

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
Post Reply
User avatar
HillaryJ
Posts: 434
Joined: February 3rd, 2010, 7:22 pm
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by HillaryJ » June 9th, 2010, 4:53 pm

Rejection Strikes Back!

Queries Sent: 10
Full MS Requests: 3
Partial MS Requests: 1
Rejections: 1

Blanche (if that's your real name, and I know it's not) - I will run through my MS after a rejection, looking for ways to tighten and obsessing over the placement of commas...as if one comma splice was the reason for the rejection. However, if you're revising/rewriting then you might not have been ready to query in the first place. Also, unless you've got readers/critics on stand-by, hasty changes can open you up to continuity problems/typos etc. It might be a better idea to let the MS sit for a month or so and, if you're mind doesn't come up with any necessary changes in that time, then look at querying again. If you're still working out the story, then give yourself time to do that.
Blog http://www.hillaryjacques.blogspot.com
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hillaryjacques
CARNIEPUNK - http://books.simonandschuster.com/Carni ... 1476714158
as Regan Summers - The Night Runner series from Carina Press

BlancheKing
Posts: 157
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 7:38 am
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by BlancheKing » June 9th, 2010, 7:49 pm

It's easier if you call me Blanche. My real name means the same thing, just in a different language and harder to spell.

I see what you're saying Hillary. Thinking back, it probably wasn't a good idea to query agents one and two when i did. I'd originally intended to send those out to test the waters; I didn't actually think they'd come back positive.

I'm curious though... when agents make revision suggestions, are we not suppose to follow them right away? Half the changes I made was because one of them wanted to revision on the part of character development and another mentioned character development as the reason she passed, but maybe I changed too much...
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

User avatar
FK7
Posts: 190
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 1:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by FK7 » June 9th, 2010, 7:51 pm

HillaryJ wrote:Rejection Strikes Back!

Queries Sent: 10
Full MS Requests: 3
Partial MS Requests: 1
Rejections: 1
40% positive response so early in your querying is fantastic, I hope you're not saying you're unhappy?

User avatar
HillaryJ
Posts: 434
Joined: February 3rd, 2010, 7:22 pm
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by HillaryJ » June 9th, 2010, 8:02 pm

FK7,
Not unhappy (sometimes I lie)...it was time. It only takes one yes, right?
Blog http://www.hillaryjacques.blogspot.com
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hillaryjacques
CARNIEPUNK - http://books.simonandschuster.com/Carni ... 1476714158
as Regan Summers - The Night Runner series from Carina Press

User avatar
FK7
Posts: 190
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 1:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by FK7 » June 9th, 2010, 8:06 pm

Indeed it does, but you're doing amazing already, so you should at least feel a wee bit confident :)

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by Quill » June 9th, 2010, 10:41 pm

BlancheKing wrote:It's easier if you call me Blanche. My real name means the same thing, just in a different language and harder to spell.
Is that your real picture on your blog?

BlancheKing
Posts: 157
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 7:38 am
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by BlancheKing » June 10th, 2010, 1:30 am

@ Quill: yes, though I dyed my hair back to black again.

does it bother people that I don't use my real name?
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

wildheart
Posts: 89
Joined: March 15th, 2010, 1:28 am
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by wildheart » June 10th, 2010, 5:48 am

BlancheKing wrote:@ Quill: yes, though I dyed my hair back to black again.

does it bother people that I don't use my real name?
Actually I rather like it that you call yourself Blanche... even though it reminds me of a sweet old lady. It gives you character, makes you different. And I like that. Although I am curious about what your real name really sounds like!

Keep your heads up everybody! I hope I do as well as you guys when I start to query. But that won't be until the end of this year. I feel so left out. :P
http://wildheart90.blogspot.com/
A mother. A writer. A dreamer.

Nessa
Posts: 26
Joined: December 24th, 2009, 6:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by Nessa » June 10th, 2010, 8:57 am

Blanche I want to know your real name too! Anyways here is a quick update on my horrid stats and the newer query I have been sending off.

Dear Mr. Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod, born without magical powers, and sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death.

Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. Determined to save herself from forever losing her identity and sanity, Nayla manages to escape after being drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines. Presumed dead by her captors, Nayla has a choice: run or turn back and bite the hand that hit her.

Choosing the tougher path, Nayla joins the Liberators, an underground society preparing for war against the government. She earns respect in the male dominated rebel clan, when she presents a plan that they believe will topple the magicians' regime. Pitting stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic, Nayla and the rebels declare war on the place they once called home. Nayla knows this might turn into a suicide mission, but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, even the magicians start to fear the uprising that will change the course of history.

BORN TO DIE is a fast-paced, 90,000 word YA Urban Fantasy novel. Pasted below you will find the first five pages. Thank you for your time and your consideration.

I sent out 20 queries. 10 last week and 10 yesturday. Today I got my second rejection. Damn! Here it is for you guys to see if you like. Just a regular form. BTW thanks Krista, that sort of does make me feel better.


Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your manuscript doesn't sound like something that’s right for us. We wish you the best of success in placing your work elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC

wildheart
Posts: 89
Joined: March 15th, 2010, 1:28 am
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by wildheart » June 10th, 2010, 9:52 am

Nessa wrote:Blanche I want to know your real name too! Anyways here is a quick update on my horrid stats and the newer query I have been sending off.

Dear Mr. Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a sixteen-year-old Yeeod, born without magical powers, and sent to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death.

Her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. Determined to save herself from forever losing her identity and sanity, Nayla manages to escape after being drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines. Presumed dead by her captors, Nayla has a choice: run or turn back and bite the hand that hit her.

Choosing the tougher path, Nayla joins the Liberators, an underground society preparing for war against the government. She earns respect in the male dominated rebel clan, when she presents a plan that they believe will topple the magicians' regime. Pitting stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of magic, Nayla and the rebels declare war on the place they once called home. Nayla knows this might turn into a suicide mission, but as she lifts the spirits and the sympathy of regular magical citizens, even the magicians start to fear the uprising that will change the course of history.

BORN TO DIE is a fast-paced, 90,000 word YA Urban Fantasy novel. Pasted below you will find the first five pages. Thank you for your time and your consideration.

I sent out 20 queries. 10 last week and 10 yesturday. Today I got my second rejection. Damn! Here it is for you guys to see if you like. Just a regular form. BTW thanks Krista, that sort of does make me feel better.


Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your manuscript doesn't sound like something that’s right for us. We wish you the best of success in placing your work elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC

One thing that hit me right away was your word count. 90,000 words is a little long for a YA. What I really mean is 90,000 is long for a writer who has never been published. That could be one thing that turns agents off.

Another thing, which you can't really fix is it just might really not be their style. From the sound of it your story is pretty dark. It almost sounds like she dies in the end. But, that isn't something you should worry about because no matter what genre you will always have rejections. Always. And I am very interested in your story. I would read it.

Also, I found it really tiring to read you query, even though the genre interests me. I think that is due to your long sentences. Maybe shorten them if you can?

And this is just me personally....if I was to escape like your MC did I sure wouldn't turn around and fight them just to get revenge, especially if I thought I would die! Maybe agents don't really understand that part? It's a pretty big thing to look over.

Oh! You shouldn't paste any pages unless the agents tell you to do so. So if they only ask for queries...just put the query as hard as it may be. I say this just in case you didn't know.

The plot of your book seems pretty interesting, and there does seem to be conflict and change. I'd say try to mess with your query a little more if you keep getting rejections. That would be my first bet. There really isn't any way to tell since you just started.

Hope that helps.
http://wildheart90.blogspot.com/
A mother. A writer. A dreamer.

BlancheKing
Posts: 157
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 7:38 am
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by BlancheKing » June 10th, 2010, 1:32 pm

Thanks wildheart! love the description =) my roommate's having a field day over it.

(my real name is pronounced like "Shoo-in", but it's spelled like "Chew-on". In my native language, my name means "white", but in English, it just connotes that I'm a rubber bone. I think "Blanche" sounds better, don't you?)

Interesting premises Nessa. I just have one suggestion: find another phrase to use besides "concentration camps". That phrase is too closely associated with Holocaust to be used as a description.
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by Margo » June 10th, 2010, 2:23 pm

BlancheKing wrote:Half the changes I made was because one of them wanted to revision on the part of character development and another mentioned character development as the reason she passed, but maybe I changed too much...
Did the agent who passed say what it was about character development that made her say no?
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

CafeCliche
Posts: 46
Joined: March 1st, 2010, 12:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by CafeCliche » June 10th, 2010, 2:32 pm

I envy you, Blanche! I got an R&R on a query+sample pages that turned into a partial request when I edited the first chapter, but other than that, I haven't gotten much agent feedback. The one manuscript rejection I've gotten was from an agent who didn't have a specific reason to turn me down, and I haven't gotten responses from my other requests yet. And I've been querying since February!

Well, I did get a personalized rejection the other day, but all it said was that the agent liked the feel and premise, but that it would be a hard sell. Which isn't helpful so much as depressing.

BlancheKing
Posts: 157
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 7:38 am
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by BlancheKing » June 10th, 2010, 2:56 pm

Margo wrote:Did the agent who passed say what it was about character development that made her say no?
Yeah. She said she loved the writing and that "in fact, the quality of writing is better than most of the material that crosses my desk". But she also said she couldn't empathize Claudia very much and wants to see her "better developed". I guessed it was because my Claudia was too much of the generic "quiet lonely girl who didn't have much of a life before the events of the story". Anyways, I decided to change her into a diva-former-cheerleader because it would give her more to lose when she realized she's a freak, and it would explain a lot of her vapid thoughts and shallow obsessions... (and also gave Jerry something only he could fix)

@ Cafe: I'm sorry to hear that. :(
I'm not sure if this helps... but I thought I'd put the idea out there. Sometimes before I fall asleep, I would run my entire manuscript through my head sentence by sentence and pretend that someone else wrote it. Would I still care what they're saying? If not, I'd make a note change it. It usually takes me a few tries to catch on to the fact that a certain piece is not as clever as I thought it was, but I always like the result better than the original.

... I wish we could all catch a break. It's so sad that all this work could possibly be for nothing.
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

User avatar
February
Posts: 27
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 5:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Rejection Stats

Post by February » June 10th, 2010, 11:03 pm

Man, I'm only doing this because I seem to be frozen and trying to get up the courage to send out another round of potential (likely) rejections. Thanks for sharing your experiences, everyone, I really do appreciate it.

I have to break this up to show you the dumb things I did so that others may learn from my mistakes...two manuscripts, queried one after another too quickly. Watch and learn from my idiocy.

First Manuscript
Queries sent: One
Requests for full: One
Three months later: Rejection, with kind words and invitation to send more work.

So, like an idiot, I started doubting the work immediately and sent out...

Manuscript Two
Queries sent: Two
Request for Full: One
Form Rejections: Two (one was from the first agent who said the kind things about manuscript one- that agent also requested the second full)

Lesson learned- listen to the Guide and Do Not Panic. Do not query a second work too soon.

Two agents tried- the rest of the world to go.

I'm going backward down the 'evolutionary chain' of rejection I've read about. Wow, it's shocking to get a request for a full on your very first query and I sure panicked- I didn't send anything else out while I waited to hear on the full (now I know that you're not supposed to do that, live and learn) and worse, I jumped ship on the first manuscript which got the attention of the first agent which was absolutely the wrong thing to do. Knee-jerk. I went to the second manuscript before it was ready and now I'm back to working on it again.

So total queries in all, three, on two projects, to two agents.

I had no idea when I sent that first letter out though that my first manuscript is too short to be considered a novel by many agents and so since I don't want it to go into the auto-reject pile on that basis alone, I'm looking at adding to it though the idea is killing me and I may just shelve it because I really feel the length is right. I'm not making any immediate decisions on that now though- hence leading to my query freeze.

Second manuscript- in round three of revisions since both agents rejected it and one with only a query and the first few pages.

From the looks of the numbers of you brave souls I have a very long way to go...thanks again for your openness.

So that's my cautionary tale. If nothing else I hope posting it here will be a service to others as I try to gear up for my second round.

One thing's for sure all the reading I've done on blogs like Mr. Bransford's the past few months have been an education and there's no way I'd want to possibly try to get published without an agent. So I guess if in the end I can't get one- then it's not meant to be for me to be published. I'll still always write, I just won't be able to inflict my work on a large portion of the population :)

~bru

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests