2/26/09

Rejection Can Be a Positive Thing

I’m a newbie, writing for a national market, not the LDS market, but I’m hoping you can help with this anyway. I’ve been querying agents for my first novel. I’ve gotten three rejections but the rest haven’t responded yet. However, one of the rejections had a hand-written comment at the bottom. It said, “Sorry I have to pass this one up. Looks good. Please submit again.”

I may be stupid to ask this—(Thank goodness you keep us anonymous. You do keep us anonymous, right? Right.)—but would he mean that I should rework the query and resubmit it? Or to submit another book? Also, am I wrong or is this comment on a rejection letter actually a positive thing?

I can't speak for everyone, and there may be an agent/editor out there who has time to hand-write a little note on every rejection, but most of us are way too busy doing the other parts of our jobs to soften the blow of rejection out of the kindness of our hearts.

I only added hand-written notes to rejections if I thought they were very close to publishable or if the rejection was for some other reason other than quality of the work (like my calendar was full or it was too similar to something else we already have). So I would have to guess that yes, that comment was a positive thing.

He's asking you to submit a new book. That's a very positive thing.

2 comments:

Sariah S. Wilson said...

It is a positive thing, and the invitation to submit again is meant for your next book, not the current one. It sounds like the agent thinks you're on the right track and while he/she's not interested in this one, the next may be right for them.

Marny said...

This is a post from a literary agent on why she sometimes rejects a manuscript. Keep submitting, both new stories to this agent and this story to new agents.