October 24th, 2007


advice from matociquala

First of all, if you're going to argue with a rejection, don't.

Second, if you are going to argue with a rejection, don't.

Details: here

This happens to me all the time. And on top of arguing with rejection, I get other replies.... I'm not sure if they are supposed to induce me to change my mind about my decision. Or just make me feel that my decision was incorrect.

I particularly like the ones where people reply to tell me how many other agents have requested their project after I have politely declined to pursue it. I got one of these last week. (Just as an aside, I'm already well aware that other agents might have different taste than I do. It's really not a huge surprise since even my closest friends and I don't always agree on the books we're reading.)

Or the ones where they explain how awful I will feel when their book is published and a best-seller with a movie deal.

I'm also fond of the ones with the swearing and insults unto several generations of my family. (This used to remind me of the people on the street who ask for money and then start cursing at you when you walk past. It has definitely made me change my mind and give them a $20 to shut them up. No.... wait....)

Granted, this is a teensy tiny percentage with respect to queries received and responded to. Most people send either a sincere thank-you or nothing at all. Either of those is fine by me. But the others do tend to leave a sour taste in the mouth.

As for me, I agree that rejection sucks. I just had to write the hardest letter last week. I really liked the author (this was a conference request). And I found the concept utterly charming. But there were flaws in the execution, and I didn't think I could sell the book. (This is really summing up.) I struggled with that letter. Truly. Heck, I even hate sending form replies to queries. Somewhere in there, part of my brain (the crazy part my side-kick would say) wants to offer personal feedback to everything. I think this is part and parcel to the fact that one of my favorite parts of being an agent is working with my clients on the creative things. It's a rush to watch a project develop or to see a suggestion I make spark a creative storm. And seeing the writers grow over the span of several books. I just love that part.

So, yeah -- rejection sucks. But that's no excuse for rude behavior.