Thursday, November 21, 2019

150 Rejections?

Yesterday, I had a submission from an author for two projects. Both were rejected.

There were several issues with each of these projects. First of all, neither were genres that I represented so that alone is a big issue. Secondly, this author proceeded to ignore the submission requirements and, within the email, included the proposal, the synopsis and the first 3 chapters of each of the books. This is something I make very clear that I do not want to see. So, now I have someone who might not be able to follow revision notes when I or an editor would make those suggestions.

But here is the thing. Following the submission and the subsequent rejection, the author responded by being frustrated that this now put the rejections way over 150. Wow! That is a big number.

This author is not unlike so many other authors out there. Nothing but a ton of rejections and then wondering why it is happening. Again, I return to the same thing I say over and over again. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

If you are just writing and firing off those submissions with no care, you will be rejected.
If you are sending projects to people who don't acquire your genre, you will be rejected.
If you are sending projects to editors and publishers who either don't accept that genre or only want agented submissions, you will be rejected.
If you have a story that is not something suitable for publishing, either because of the content or the writing, you will be rejected.

Here is the thing! If you have done your work, become educated in both writing and the industry and get to 5 rejections, you should stop and consider what is happening. Are you reading those rejection letters? Are you changing how you do things? If not, you will continue to get those letters.

As an agent, I always take the time to discuss the reasons with the author. Is this a placement issue of something maybe we over-looked. We don't just keep banging our head against a brick wall.

Just something to think about.


  1. This is such a good reminder. I always follow guidelines. Otherwise, I know, my submission is doomed to never being read. It just seems masochistic to plunge ahead, disregarding them.
    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. I think the key is being different enough to get them to read but conforming enough to meet their guidelines. What a tricky balancing act.