Why You’re Getting Rejections

Awhile back, Nathan Bransford had a terrific post on “Why You Are Receiving Rejections.” He says if you keep getting rejections, it boils down to two reasons: either your query isn’t strong enough, or your query is fine but your project isn’t resonating with agents. So true! He’s nailed it! He’s absolutely right! But I have…
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When No Response Means “No”

Agent Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency wrote a terrific post on her blog on August 30th: Why I Don’t Send Rejection Letters. With a few minor tweaks (i.e. I have 2 kids and she has 3), I totally could have written that post! Please go read it. Our agency has a policy that if you send…
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Think YOU Don’t Like Pass Letters?

Neither do I. Here’s a look at some that have hit my inbox: “It’s not clear who the intended audience really is.” “It felt like a class research paper at times.” “I like the plot and hate the execution.” “The setup has so much potential for conflict, yet the story is dull.” “The content and…
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Why Agents Don’t Give Reasons with Rejections

“Two Minute Tutorials” Ohmygosh! Another video! And guess what. I decided to name my video series “Two Minute Tutorials” and wouldn’t you know, today’s video is 3 minutes. C’est la vie, as they say. So this installment of “Two Three Minute Tutorials” answers the question, “Why Don’t Agents Give Reasons with their Rejections?” (I’m trying to get…
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Rejection Isn’t Fun For Us, Either

“When am I going to stop feeling so bad about rejecting people?” My husband muted the football game. “What?” “When am I going to get thicker skin? When is it going to get easier for me to tell people no?” Okay, I probably should’ve waited until half-time to get into this conversation. But I’d written…
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You Thought YOUR Rejections Were Tough?

Rejection is part of the process of pursuing publishing, and I had to give my share of it at the writers’ conference this weekend. But lest you think rejection ends once you get through the query stage… just wait till you have a published book! Below are some book-reviewer quotes that I found compiled on…
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The Learning Curve That Never Ends

I was chatting with a friend and she happened to mention a mutual acquaintance of ours, a multi-published author who is widely regarded as an incredible novelist and has several books out. It so happens that this author delivered a manuscript to the publisher, only to have the editor reject it and send the author…
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Sometimes It’s Not About Your Book

I’ve said this before, but after all the comments on last week’s guest post about rejection, I thought it would bear repeating. Just because you receive a pass letter from an agent, it doesn’t necessarily mean your project wasn’t “good enough.” It doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t fit the agent. It might not mean it…
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The Rejection Ballet

Last week on the blog we discussed rejection (as we so often do) and reader Daniel Friedman made an interesting comment, which I am reprinting here because I thought it was an unusually matter-of-fact perspective from a writer. Guest Blogger: Daniel Friedman Here is what I have learned during my submission journey, and in my…
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Frustrated with your Rejections?

Last week I received a query for a YA story and after taking a quick look, I sent a standard pass letter. I soon received a plea from the writer for me to explain why I passed. I find myself in a difficult spot whenever this happens. I enjoy helping people and steering them in…
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Everyone Gets Rejected

[I’m taking a blogging break, so this is an encore presentation of a previous post.]Lately I’ve seen a lot of writer blogs that speak poignantly about the pain of repeated rejections, and how it sometimes makes it hard to stay the course. Why do we keep writing? Why do we stay in this business? If…
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Rejection Stinks

Over the weekend, Janet Reid wrote a blog post called Exclusives STINK. It was great, and I’m unashamedly stealing her wording because I can’t think of a better way to say this. Rejection STINKS. I suppose I could also say Rejection Stings. That’s true, too. I have a whole lot of projects out on submission.…
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Giving Reasons for Rejections

Let’s talk about rejection letters! Lately I’ve been thinking about how writers wish they had a “reason” when agents reject their work. I’ve explained before (ad nauseum) all the reasons we can’t always give reasons. (And by the way, even though my policy states no response = no interest, I still respond to as many…
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Don’t Take it Personally

Happy Monday and I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend! Today I want to talk about that age-old platitude, “Don’t take it personally.” I think writers probably hear this a lot when agents and/or editors decline to take on their work. But I don’t think you hear what we mean when we say…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.