Friday, December 17, 2010

Sometimes We Pass On Really Good Projects

There is a common misconception that rejections only go to stories that have flaws. While this is true in many cases, there are those rare occassions when we have to pass on stories that are really good.

So why do we do it?

You have heard me say in the past that as an agent, we have to look at the marketability of the stories. No only are we looking if the story will sell, we also have to look at whether or not as an agent we can sell the story effectively. In other words, is this a project I would know what to do with?

This is really a tough situation. When I get these, I often find myself really struggling before finally sitting down and writing the rejection letter. One side of me tells me the story is worth really finding a place for it. The other side keeps telling me that while the story is really good, it isn't fair to the author.

Each agent has his or her strengths and weaknesses and sometimes, those weaknesses are enough to keep us from wanting to take on a project.

In the end, this rejection is really a good thing for you. Remember that you want an agent who can really represent your story to those editors. An agent can take it on, and yes, there is a chance they might be able to sell it. But as an author, you want the best deal. That might only happen if it comes from another agent.

Have a great weekend.



  1. And this is one of the reasons I am such a big fan of yours--your integrity is unparalleled and you have "heart." There is no better combination out there.

  2. So can I pretend any rejections I get are just that? lol Just kidding. That does make me feel a little less nervous about submitting my story when it's ready. A rejection doesn't mean the agent thinks my story is horrible.

  3. I agree and I love what you said. The hard thing is that many times this struggle is internal and never makes its way back to the writer. It would be a perfect world if everyone operated like you and conveyed this type of constructive feedback to the author.