Rejection Stats

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Daryl_Blonder
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by Daryl_Blonder » May 24th, 2010, 7:13 pm

On the morning of April 7th, I dropped 24 queries into snail mail. I've not sent along any sample chapters or submitted any e-queries as of yet.

Form letter rejections: 11
Personalized rejections: 2
E-mail rejections: 1
No response as of 5/23: 10
Requests for full manuscript or sample: 0

Hence I am joining this forum to assist with bettering my chances.

The impression I got from most of the rejections is more that the agents don't deal with my genre (memoir by an unpublished author), rather than that my query itself was at fault, so far as I can see it's well-written and concise and follows all the guidelines, but it's still very discouraging because I was expecing at least one agent, somewhere, to take interest in my project. There are lots more out there, of course. Before my next go-round and after I've been a little more active on the forum I'll post what I have for a query here and hopefully I can get some critiques on it.

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mmcdonald64
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by mmcdonald64 » May 26th, 2010, 5:03 pm

My stats are skyhigh with rejections. In fact, I'm done sending out new queries. I have about a dozen outstanding, but after those roll in, I'm done querying this book.

izanobu
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by izanobu » May 27th, 2010, 1:53 am

mmcdonald64- are you getting rejected based off query? or based on full requests? If off the query maybe all you need is a query rewrite. If off the fulls, I'm going to make what will likely be a very risque suggestion considering this is an agent's message board. If the agents are all turning down your manuscript, you might try submitting directly to editors. Many novels get rejected ten, twenty, fifty etc times before they find a home. It only takes one editor to love it. So if your query is getting read and the novel itself is being rejected, maybe it is time to think outside the box. I don't know. I just hate to see someone quit because of rejections. :)

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mmcdonald64
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by mmcdonald64 » May 27th, 2010, 6:32 pm

izanobu wrote:mmcdonald64- are you getting rejected based off query? or based on full requests? If off the query maybe all you need is a query rewrite. If off the fulls, I'm going to make what will likely be a very risque suggestion considering this is an agent's message board. If the agents are all turning down your manuscript, you might try submitting directly to editors. Many novels get rejected ten, twenty, fifty etc times before they find a home. It only takes one editor to love it. So if your query is getting read and the novel itself is being rejected, maybe it is time to think outside the box. I don't know. I just hate to see someone quit because of rejections. :)
I've re-written my query a dozen times, had it up at various writer's boards, including this forum, had it open for critique on my blog, and i even had one agent tell me the query was good. It got her to read the sample pages. (my early queries were sucky, but I've sent a couple dozen--at least-- of the better versions.) That agent told me she had issues of plausibility of the opening chapter. I agreed with that when she pointed it out, and changed that scene. I posted my first page on WEbook's Page to Fame mid-April. It's doing pretty well on the ratings. 65% of the raters think it should be elevated to the next round after 130 ratings. From what I've seen, that's a good rating, so my first page is working.

Maybe it's the subject matter. I have an innocent guy detained as an American enemy combatant. Maybe they think it's some kind of political statement book, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Anyway, I could try editors, but I'm not even sure where to start to find one.

deepsesh
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by deepsesh » May 28th, 2010, 2:37 am

My STATS:

Total queries sent to date: 18
Queries still awaiting response: 15
Rejections to date: 3
Form rejections: 2 + 1 said that they weren't accepting new clients, could try back in October.
Personalized rejections: 0
Request for partials: 0
Request for fulls: 0

Updated - June 5th 2010
Last edited by deepsesh on June 5th, 2010, 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dreamstate
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by Dreamstate » June 1st, 2010, 7:52 pm

You guys might want to check out my lastest blog post at http://www.inthedreamstate.blogspot.com. I went through the last 30 Success Story interviews on QueryTracker and did the math for the number of queries those writers sent out before getting an offer. The average was 57!!! And almost 20% of the writers sent out more than 100 queries before getting an offer! I felt so much better after looking at those stats.

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mmcdonald64
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by mmcdonald64 » June 2nd, 2010, 12:33 am

Dreamstate wrote:You guys might want to check out my lastest blog post at http://www.inthedreamstate.blogspot.com. I went through the last 30 Success Story interviews on QueryTracker and did the math for the number of queries those writers sent out before getting an offer. The average was 57!!! And almost 20% of the writers sent out more than 100 queries before getting an offer! I felt so much better after looking at those stats.
That's great of you to compile those stats for everyone. However, the big thing that I noticed was not so much the number of queries, but the vast majority of writers finding agents were writers of MG/YA. I had a sneaking suspicion that it was skewed that way, but to see it laid out in black and white just drove it home. If you're a writer of that genre, the stats are encouraging, if not... For me, it's another reason to go the indie route on Kindle.

BlancheKing
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by BlancheKing » June 4th, 2010, 5:32 pm

Updated - and confused??

Genre: YA Mystery
Total queries sent to date: 35
Queries still awaiting response: 13?
Rejections to date: 13
Form rejections: 13
Personalized rejections: 0
Request for partials: 5
Request for fulls: 4 (one of them came back in a rush I think. They form copied a manuscript request and forgot to change the title of the other book once ^__^ Anyone here working on a book called SOMETHING ABOUT THE NOVEL?)
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

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HillaryJ
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by HillaryJ » June 6th, 2010, 6:07 pm

I started querying my urban fantasy Hunting in the Dark (shout out to all my query critics) last night.

Stats:

Queries: 4
Full MS Request: 1 *!*
Partial MS Request: 0
Form Rejection: 0
Personal Rejection: 0
Other: 0

I'm documenting my quest to find a great agent on my blog. Please click on the link below to follow my spiral into unsanity (intentional).
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

otherside89girl
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by otherside89girl » June 8th, 2010, 9:59 pm

Holy crap, HillaryJ, a full ms request after one day?!?!
Congrats!!!!!! I aspire to be like you.
HillaryJ wrote:I started querying my urban fantasy Hunting in the Dark (shout out to all my query critics) last night.

Stats:

Queries: 4
Full MS Request: 1 *!*
Partial MS Request: 0
Form Rejection: 0
Personal Rejection: 0
Other: 0

I'm documenting my quest to find a great agent on my blog. Please click on the link below to follow my spiral into unsanity (intentional).

superduperkool
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by superduperkool » June 8th, 2010, 10:17 pm

Mine aren't great so far.
Last edited by superduperkool on June 10th, 2010, 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HillaryJ
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by HillaryJ » June 9th, 2010, 2:50 am

otherside89girl,

No, no, no - we are not looking for requests. We are looking for offers. Say it with me: off-furs. :)

I think that every time I send a query out, an angel falls and sprains its ankle.
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

Nessa
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by Nessa » June 9th, 2010, 6:57 am

Hey there guys! I just queried my novel Born to Die last night and here are my stats and info...

My Query:
Dear Agent,

Nayla Ebriony is a Yeeod, born without magical powers and destined to be shipped off to the concentration camps where the powerless are worked to death.

When Nayla is sent to the concentration camps at sixteen, her hair is shaved off and the brand of the powerless Yeeods is burned into her scalp. Determined to save her skin, Nayla manages to escape after being drugged, beaten and forced to work in the coal mines. But the authorities are on her tail and the only place she can hide is the rebel underground city who are preparing for war. Earning respect in the rebel society mostly filled with men, Nayla presents a plan that will crumble the government’s leaders. With stolen assault rifles and hand grenades against the power of the government Nayla and the rebels storm ‘the white building’ losing many of their men yet earning Nayla a reputation of a freedom fighter, that even the magicians start to fear.

BORN TO DIE is a 90,000-word YA Fantasy novel set in modern day times. I think that you would be the perfect fit for my novel because you are looking for (This part was altered for every specific agent) dark, dark novels that combine genre style plotting with literary quality writing. Thank you for your time and your consideration. Looking forward to your reply,

Queries sent out: 9
Big red Rs: 1
Requests:0

The rejection for you guys to peak at is form...

#1: Dear Author:

Thank you so much for sending the Nelson Literary Agency your query. We’d like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. Rest assured that we do read every query letter carefully and, unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one "yes" to find the right match.

Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.

Overall I have never queried at all. I really am hoping for at least a partial. Cheers to everyone!

Nessa

Krista G.
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by Krista G. » June 9th, 2010, 2:42 pm

Nessa wrote:The rejection for you guys to peak at is form...

#1: Dear Author:

Thank you so much for sending the Nelson Literary Agency your query. We’d like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. Rest assured that we do read every query letter carefully and, unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one "yes" to find the right match.

Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.
If it makes you feel any better, Nessa, NLA is a REALLY tough agency to get a request from (but a really great agency to work with). Ms. Nelson calculated her rejection rate for 2009, and it was something ridiculous like 99.91%

And since everybody's doin' it, here are the stats for the manuscript I stopped querying several months ago:

Total queries: 76
Pending queries: 0 (phew!)
Full requests: 4 (2 requests for revisions)
Partial requests: 10 (1 non-response)
Rejections: 45
Non-responses: 17

I've been putting off those requests, since I've been too full-steam-ahead with my current WIP. But I'm about to send the WIP off to beta readers, so we'll have to see where it goes from here...
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

BlancheKing
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Re: Rejection Stats

Post by BlancheKing » June 9th, 2010, 4:01 pm

Anyone else find themselves making revisions with each partial/full request rejection? I always think my novel is as good as its going to get until I get a rejection... and then I spend the next few days staring at it wondering where it went wrong...

After Mr. One : Rewrote half of the first chapter
Mr. Two : Introduced a new character, cut out some romance dialogue in favor of more mystery.
Ms. Three (gave great revision advice): +1000 more words as protagonist's thoughts, introduced another subplot
Ms. Four : added another chapter for character development
Mr. Five (still my hero until I find my own agent): changed the protagonists role from quiet girl to popular diva

Anyone else drowning in work?
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

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