Friday, December 14, 2007

Mclean's Idiot SavAgency

This is a rejection letter from Laurie McLean, an agent with Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada at an agency they call Agent Savant, or maybe that's the name of Laurie's blog. I don't know. Anyway, this letter is so incredible that I think I will let it speak for itself (with thanks and condolences to the reader who sent it to me):

"Dear Writer: Thank you for sharing your work with me. I know that writing a book is a time-consuming and emotional process, so I appreciate the effort you have expended to reach this point in your publishing journey. Alas, I must reject what you have been kind enough to submit. Like the rest of the arts, publishing is a very subjective business. Even though the founders of the agency have written or coauthored 14 books, most of which have been successful, they still get rejected. And although we have sold books to more than 100 publishers since 1972, our clients' work is still rejected. Nor do all of the books that we sell succeed. Michael, Elizabeth and I are eager to find new books and writers, and we love to get excited about them. But the only way we can make a living is by selling books to the large and medium-sized New York publishers, and selling small books by new writers to big publishers is becoming more difficult. So finding new writers is the hardest part of our job. And it's getting harder. Like editors, we receive thousands of submissions a year and reject more than ninety percent of them. This forces us to use a form letter. But rejecting manuscripts that become successful books is a publishing tradition. Assume we're wrong. Persevere until your books reach the goals you set for them. I can't suggest a publisher or an agent who might be interested in a particular writer's work, but directories, your publishing network, and the Association of Authors' Representatives might lead you to the agent you need. Persistence rewards talent. I can't make a living saying no, but as author Joe Girard says: 'Every no gets you closer to yes.'"

Why is she quoting Joe Girard? "Every no gets you closer to yes?" Does she think we are cheesey motivational salesmen? One word: pukey.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's true that every no gets you closer to yes. Sometimes no just piles you up with more no.

RGame said...

Except for the last two sentences, that are indeed cheesy motivational, it sounded pretty good. Long, yes, but I think a lot of writers need all those words of wasted explanation.

TIV: the individual voice said...

I agree with rgame. It was actually an attempt at a compassionate rejection, only she went too far, was alarmingly wordy,got totally carried away with herself emotionally and began to sound like a preschool teacher leaning over a first grader and explaining about bullies. But, yes, the green vomit was funny.

Writer, Rejected said...

"Alas, I must reject what you have been kind enough to submit. Like the rest of the arts, publishing is a very subjective business. Even though the founders of the agency have written or coauthored 14 books, most of which have been successful, they still get rejected. And although we have sold books to more than 100 publishers since 1972, our clients' work is still rejected. Nor do all of the books that we sell succeed. Michael, Elizabeth and I are eager to find new books and writers, and we love to get excited about them."

___________________________________

Please! She says "alas!" That alone is cause for 50 lashes with a wet noodle. (Plus TMI re: her agency's co-authors. Who cares?)

Anonymous said...

Also, I hate this little tid-bit: "Assume we're wrong. Persevere until your books reach the goals you set for them." Yeah. Thanks for nuthin'

TIV: the individual voice said...

OK, OK. I see your point. Also, since when is publishing one of The Arts? I thought publishing was a business. Oh, yes, Poetry, Literature, Music, Painting, Scupture...maybe even Healing. But Publishing? I wonder what the Muse for The Publishing Arts would look like? Now there's another post for you WR. What would she look like and what would she be doing? Something Sado-Masochistic I would imagine.

TIV: the individual voice said...

Also, while I'm on a roll, may I add that Ms. McLean is sadly a terrible, terrible writer who should be arrested and put in Writing Jail for all the extraneous verbiage and convolutions. I'm feeling really sorry for her now, being in publishing, with actual writers and all.

Writer, Rejected said...

Yes, good heart, but bad writing. She *does* claim to be an agent savant, which offers a certain excuse, don't you think? Awww, now I feel sorry for her.

Anonymous said...

So verbose for what is actually a form rejection. And the last sentence is indeed vomitous. It reminds me of the Kristin Nelson rejection: All it takes is one yes! It makes me feel like I'm being patted on the head and told to run along now.

Lobster Face said...

There's a robotic quality to this rejection, and a faint odor of threatened desperation emanating ever so slightly from it.

Does the following ring any bells?

"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that. I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do. I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do."

Writer, Rejected said...

I love the music from that movie. Now it is playing in my head, which I rather enjoy.

Clutter Chonny said...

For me the worst part was the need to include the inspirational quotes within what she admitted was a "form letter." This letter is sent to the 90 percent of people who may have submitted anything from wonderful, but not appropriate work to an empty Hershey's kiss bag. Why bother extending your encouragement for a product you clearly don't want to endorse...

L. Shepherd said...

Holy crap, that's just ridiculously annoying. I do like a nice, polite form letter as opposed to the type that say something like thanks but no thanks. But, to send out a such a voluminous letter of self promotion and call it a rejection is just cruel.

Meena Ali said...

You should have seen the letter I got from the agentsavant, the crazy alter ego of Laurie McLean. Mine was nothing like yours. Yours were short. Really, the thing was a whole three pages long, top to bottom with all her sad, long regrettables.
If her husband loves her, he will get her the psychiatric evaluation and assesment which will benefit her whole family.
Look out for her on 'straightening gay characters.' There was a woman who said she was promised representation if she was willing to change a character's sexual orientation. McLean said the publisher told her it was much like something he had which to me hints that it was an adaptation, a clear product of piracy and plagiarizm. McLean should have the decency to give the woman closure. How does anyone know the writer actually borrowed the work? McLean, told me in her regrettables that her agency is really one we should all stay away from due to its alarming fail rate. She said either she or the agency takes 20-40 manuscripts each year and work feverishly at pitching them to many agents but the vast majority are never published. I assume that unpublished figure may be 85%. She said of those published, the vast majority are unsuccessful so I assume that another 85% fall out of print at the end of the first year due to poor sales. Do the math. We are lucky to steer clean of her!
McLean insisted in another post that she was always looking for something new but in the before mentioned post she claimed to be hoping to find the next Catcher in the Rye and on top of all that she made empty promises to two of her clients. She told me the high fail rate but promised two writers whose main characters are gay, that she will secure sales for them.
Was it a split personality speaking of looking for something new but actually taking on multiple projects with close similarities and also looking for another Catcher in the Rye?
The vomit on the homepage is a great metaphor of who she is. She sent me an instant and automated, three page long rejection of her fail rates. Continue to blog about her. I left a comment for her on a name discrimination blog site. The key word in Pomada is MAD!