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Ah, Crap: The Boom is Lowered

June 16, 2011

I was having not a great day but not a terrible day either.  Then I opened my Email and saw that the agent who requested a full finally responded:

Sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. In the long run, I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass on A Hero’s Journey. You are a wonderful writer, but the story just went a bit too far out for me. This is a very subjective business and you need an agent who falls in love with your characters. I wish you the very best in finding a home for this.

I had been expecting this since about eight weeks had gone by without a response.  The longer these things drag out the less likely it seems anything good will happen.  Still, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a bummer when it finally happens.

From this response maybe I should have cut out the witches and magic and done something more straight-ahead.  But didn’t I say yesterday I suck at coloring in the lines?  Case in point right here.

Of course what really sucks is, why now?  The weekend’s coming up and then I’m going on vacation for a week and now I got this hanging over my head.  That blows.

Anyway, on to Plan B now.

And in summary I sent out 69 queries, got 1 full (rejected), 35 form rejections, and 33 non-responses.  Not exactly glowing stats.

That is all.


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  1. That’s rough. But you intrigued him (her?) enough for a full submission, which is good — so build on that?

    And indie-publish the CRAP out of “A Hero’s Journey.”

    • Thanks. I’ll check out a few small publishers first. Maybe I can find one who specializes in “far out” literature!

  2. Sorry to hear about the rejection. I would imagine a rejection on a full is worse than a form letter rejection. The reason being is that one can get their hopes up.

    • Yup. It’s like when they call you back for a second interview when applying for a job. You think maybe this time you’ll finally get it and then…nope. Or if you’ve gone on a few dates with someone and then they break up with you. The higher you go, the farther the fall.

  3. This game certainly can get demoralizing. Like Briane said, you got a request and that’s saying something!

    I’m waiting for a response on a request too. I agree, the more time goes by, the harder it is to stay positive.


    • Again to use the job hunting metaphor, it’s like after the interview you wait by the phone and every time it goes off you think, “This is it!” Then a few days go by and you lose that edge until you forget about it almost entirely.

      But good luck on your full! Maybe yours isn’t so “far out.”

  4. Hey man…but the agent did give you some solid feedback. Affirmation that you are indeed an astounding writer. Maybe you could use a beta reader to help you reign in some of the crazy whackiness your mind thinks up. Someone that says… Patrick… I really think this part here could be cut because it is waaaaayyyy out there.

    • She probably says that to everyone who gets a full…except the far out there part.

      Sadly good beta readers are about as hard to find as agents.

  5. lol I think readers are hard to find. I think reading and a person’s innate sexiness are directly related. The sexier a person happens to be (or more attractive) the less that they are inclined to read…with the most beautiful people at the top hardly turning any pages at all. Ugly fat people read cause we got nothin’.

  6. Have you tried MuseItUp Publishing? I have some friends published with them and they seem to be happy with them. If I hadn’t Indie published, I would’ve tried them. I still might at some point.

    • I like this under the things they won’t accept: anything that includes bodily fluid (solids included)

      Um, what? You mean my characters can’t go to the bathroom?

  7. Oh bummer. 😦 I know the feeling tho. I got one once right before a big trip and it brought me down. But I tried to look at the fact I was close enough to get the request in the first place. Baby steps, Rogue. Baby steps. Patience we must have. 🙂

    Try to enjoy the weekend anyway. He said your writing is good, so be proud of that!

  8. A request for the whole thing is a great start. Hang in there.

  9. “Far out” is good. Think of all the “far out” concepts that ultimately ended up making their creators bazillions of dollars. This just means that that one agent isn’t there yet.

    As for having this hanging over your head, don’t let it. Enjoy your vacation. Forget this. When you return, you might find that you’ve come up with a better plan than you otherwise might have.

  10. I’m gonna be honest and just lay this out there. I really hate the whole “having to get an agent” thing. I don’t understand their purpose at all unless it is to take money for being social people who wine and dine editors who don’t feel the need to communicate with authors anymore (because most of them weren’t social and had no social skills to begin with–hence why they write).

    • I’m with you Mike, I think I’ve mentioned it before, but after reading Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesely Smith, and Laura Reisneck’s blogs, I don’t think I’ll ever go fishing for agents. They tell horror story after horror story. And some of this stuff I’ve been reading about some of them opening up their own publishing houses and demanding lifetime royalties against future works (even if you fire them and self publish) makes me not want to have anything to do with them. If a publisher won’t read my stuff because it’s unagented then fine. I won’t submit. Or maybe I will anyway. I don’t know.

  11. Hey Rogue. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by Liz above. And I speak as one far out author to another when I say: far out is good. Far out is THE POINT. Don’t sweat it. But actually I think the line “you need an agent who will fall in love with your characters” tells you more than anything else. This agent is saying that he or she did not fall in love with your characters. And that’s fine. I’ve read plently of truly great books where I did not fall in love with the characters (the latest, for example, was Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. But I digress). As readers we don’t necessarily need to love the characters, we just have to find them compelling enough to keep turning pages. But agents are different: ultimately they have to be able to defend every decision you’ve made about these characters, because mainstream publishers want to make your book accessible to the widest possible audience, and are therefore looking for any tiny excuse to pass on your work. Agents can’t defend your creative choices if they haven’t felt the love. You can respect and admire great work without loving it, but promoting something to the world that you just don’t feel the love for is hard, grinds you down, and does the author of the work a serious disservice.

    This person was definitely NOT the agent to represent you. Be glad: you dodged a bullet. The right avenue for this book is out there, I’m sure. And for god’s sake, don’t sanitise your work and try and make it “safe”. The last thing I want to read is safe work.

    “Far out is the point” is my new mantra, by the way.

    Good luck, keep working, but have a good holiday!

    • The “I didn’t fall in love with your character” thing is the part that annoys me the most. It makes me start wanting to scream: Why didn’t you fall in love with her? Because she’s too smart? Because she’s too nice? Because she’s not “sassy” enough? Because she has red hair? What the fuck is your problem? And then I punch a wall and break my hand.

      I sent an Email to ask if I could change some of the “far out” parts and resubmit. I have a few ideas on how to tweak some parts and still keep the important things I want. Thanks to the magic of computers I can save a copy of each version so all it’d probably cost me is a couple weeks of effort in rewriting a few chapters.

  12. Lisa Potts permalink

    Sorry to hear that. Keep at it though. I’m sure the right agent is out there, you just have to find him/her.

    Have a great vacation!

    PS, I’ve tagged you back on my blog today.

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