Friday, October 16, 2009

Two Down and Four to Go


This rejection came in sounding nothing like the agent's earlier charmingly old-fashioned correspondence, suggesting, probably, that it was written by his assistant or a reader/screener:

Dear Writer Rejected,
    Thank you for sending me [title of novel]. I enjoyed reading the work and I thought that there were moments of beauty and poetry in it, particularly the scene [describes something minor that happens in one sentence occurring before page 30], but I'm sorry to say that in these tough times for publishing I think it would be difficult to find a publisher who would make an offer for it. The writing is quite poetic but I felt that the narrative could use more by the way of...linear progression....
    I'm sorry not to be able to get back to you with better news but I really did enjoy reading it and needless to say, I would be glad to look at more of your work in the future. I wish you the best of luck with the novel.
    Yours, 
    Name of Big-Time Charming Gentleman Agent

I am working on a new project by the way....so if none of this pans out, I will probably just move forward on that.

9 comments:

heynonnynonymous said...

Keep on keeping on.

rmellis said...

Feels like you're getting close...

Anonymous said...

is the point that only crap will sell in this market? Sort of like how people get fatter in econ downturns because bad food is cheap and makes you feel good for a nanosecond but you'll deal with the sick,bloated, disgusting feeling afterwards for that one moment of distraction?

Anonymous said...

piling on--see Nathan Branford's finalists...

Chazz said...

THUD. I got rejected today, too. I need to take a break and write a couple speeches for somebody--the writing I actually get paid for. Sometimes the fiction stuff just feels like a dream that will never ever be made real, like I'm fourteen again and sure I will never actually touch boobs even though they are everywhere, taunting me. You know how you go to the bookstore and see all these books--and some really crappy books--and you see this or that author and you think "That idiot has written twelve more books since I started writing. Oh shit. Regression. Fudgeos and scotch! STAT!

On top of that I had an idea for a really funny book about the apocalypse. "Funny doesn't sell," the editor/guru-type replied. So now I'm just praying for the apocalypse. It would be much funnier today.

I think I should say something helpful and uplifting to you--love the blog!--but instead I read your post and fell through the floor to share your mood.

Is Prozac really bad on top of scotch or is that like a legal thing they have to say but don't really mean?

Anonymous said...

Where is that NM fellow to kick us all when we're down?

I so get the boob reference. Which impedes the writing--it does, at times, feel like a silly dream.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

I'm pretty sure "these tough times" have been persisting unremittingly in the publishing business since at least 1991 ...

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I hate the letter typed by the assistant!

puppy said...

W,R, have you tried submitting your novel directly to small presses such as Graywolf or Salt Publishing (actually I think Salt only does poetry and short stories, but they're a great press)? I have no real experience searching for or working with agents yet, but it seems like over the past few years agents have become simultaneously more self-important and clueless. Maybe it would be more efficient to cut out the middle man and search on your own for places that really are interested in publishing new work.