Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When Rejection Takes Forever

I been a bad bad girl. I haven't sent an agent query out in months. I have sent one submission packet to a publisher, but not much on the radar with regard to agents. Call it lazy. Consider it procrastination. Rationalize that I'm taking a break from querying to work on polishing other submissions. (Lord know that's what I do.) But no matter what the theories are, the fact is that it's been a while.

Today, one of my little lost SASEs came home. (I still have about a half-dozen unaccounted for.) It was a rejection. Once again, I wonder what the delay was. Were they thinking it over? Were they so swamped, they didn't open my query until recently? They didn't say.

The reason for rejection was fairly pat - Caldera wasn't right for their list. They did take the time to personalize the letter, and it's signed personally rather than stamped with the agent's signature, or just printed as a form. So, it could mean they were really thinking about it before they made their decision that Caldera wasn't a novel that blew their skirts up. I dunno.

Sometimes agents can be so confusing. Well... No matter what the answers are, the only answer that really counts is the NO. Back to the interminable wait for the remaining lost lambs, and meanwhile, back to work.



Wendy Roberts said...

Keep going. Keep putting one finger in front of the other on the ol' keyboard. My rejections filled many files and prolly an entire file cabinet before I sold or got an agent. You'll make it!

Alex Adams said...

Their loss!
Which reminds me, I received a rejection on a query from William Morris on Monday. When did I send the original query? Yup, June 2005!! I'm stunned that it made it back with postage increases and whatnot.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks, Wendy. I'll keep plugging away. If not this one, then the next one. (Or the next one... etc.)

Yeeouch, Alex. You win the award for the longest turnaround on a query. My worst was 11 months, but now that I think about it William Morris never did send either of my SASEs back.

Stephen Parrish said...

Hi. Whenever I got a request for a partial or full it came very quickly, almost always within one week. The responses that took longer than a week were almost always rejections.

It seems agents really do look at materials right away; they have to, otherwise the good stuff gets snatched up by someone else. But for some reason those same agents take their time mailing rejections. Maybe it's just because there's no benefit in prioritizing that part of the business.

ERiCA said...

My experience was similar to Stephen's. The requests came right away and the rejections took forever. So who knows.

Fastest rejection was under 4 hours. (e-query). Longest? I dunno. I might still have some SASEs floating around out there, hard to say. But I can't beat Alex! Yikes!

Keep writing, B.E. And keep querying! =)

Travis Erwin said...

I feel you pain. The entire query process can wear you down, but keep plugging away. One yes makes up for a lot of ... sorry not right for us form letters.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks everyone. I'm just trying to stay positive, ya know.

Don't worry about me. I'm still plugging away.