Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Just Not Right For Me

I was reading submissions this last weekend and found that I had passed on several projects for the same reason. The story just wasn't right for me. This is an answer that many of you might have received, or eventually will receive when you start submitting. Let me explain what this means.

First of all, yes, this is a rejection letter. But, in this case, this is not one of those letters you can do much with, in terms of working with the current project you are submitting. It is something you can work with should you choose to submit to this editor or agent sometime in the future.

As you receive each of those rejection letters, start tracking what they are saying and why they are passing on the projects. You will (or should) start to see a pattern with their likes and dislikes. This is something that I do as an agent. I know that while there are many authors who might take historical romances, some like a certain tone that others would pass on. This is that whole issue of the industry being a subjective business. It all comes down to personal tastes.

For many authors, however, passing on a project simply because "it wasn't right" for that editor or agent isn't enough. Authors want us to read their story. They seem to believe that "if we would just give it a chance" we would come to like this. The problem is, that is not the approach you would want as an author.

We often speak of the agent-author relationship as being a marriage. To make this last, you both have to be madly in love (metaphorically that is). The author has to love the approach the agent takes with projects and the agent has to love the work and the approach the author takes to his or her career. For the agent, you want that person so in love with the project that in conversations with editor, it is your name that is always being brought up.

This is also an issue of the amount of times the agent or editor will read your project. We have to love it so much that it doesn't bug us to read it multiple times. You want that person committed to your project enough to want to push it.

Again, while this is a rejection letter, this is not one to get worked up about. It was simply a matter of taste.

1 comment:

  1. Nice point to make. As always, your posts are refreshing and give food for thought.