Tag Archives: query letters

“Rejection” Letters & Other Doldrums

28 May

So I wrote a book about the working life, particularly in corporate America, in 2007 and I pulled it out and re-edited it for the umpteenth time this past winter while snowed in and I sent another round of query letters out to literary agents. Within days I started receiving the dreaded rejection letters…

Sorry, but this doesn’t sound like something I would represent at this time. Keep trying!

We regret to inform you that we are only receiving submissions from published authors at this time.

Our agency is currently saddled with current authors.

Etc. etc.

But get this: I know the book is delicious. I do. And no, I’m not one of those writers who merely thinks that they’re a good writer. I mean, for crying out loud, I’ve won awards for my writing since the ’80’s when I was a teenager. I was always the student that the teacher would read work from. I was placed in an advanced writing class. I was writing manuscripts in class while my classmates would fight over whose turn it was to read the next installment during biology class. So I know I’m not fooling myself. (And I don’t usually toot my own horn.) People say find what you love to do and you’ll never “work” again. Well, I’M TRYING OVER HERE. 

Seriously, this is how people end up stuck in cubicles for decades.

I saw an interview with the author of the bestselling book The Help and she initially received, like, 50+ rejection letters. Not to mention the Chicken Soup for the Soul series that received, like, 1,000 rejections. There are gobs of stories like this. But dang, I’m two seconds away from stalking literary agents on the streets of NY. I’ll wear a flower in my hair so they’ll know I’m just a harmless writer desperate for a reading.

The thing about query letters is it’s your one shot.  If  the agents don’t get goose bumps from your query letter, you’re fried eggs. If I rewrite my query one more time I just may plotz. Self-publishing I’m just not interested in at this juncture for several strategic reasons.

The one good thing about writing is you can do it as you grow older. It has nothing to do with your looks, your weight, your location or your age.  I can be 80 still churning out books. Hey, don’t laugh…Maya Angelou does it.

I press on.

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