I need a good outlet for some writerly frustration, so here are some selected lines from recent rejections I’ve received. Can you see the common themes? NOTE: Names have been removed to protect the ego-crushing sadists.
1. Thank you so much for giving me a chance to consider your work. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I’m the right person to represent it effectively.
Publishing is such a subjective industry; so, please don’t be discouraged. I wish you the absolute best of luck finding an agent who can represent your work with the enthusiasm it deserves.
2. Many thanks for sending me your submission, which I read with interest. I’m afraid, however, that I didn’t feel passionately enough about it to offer you representation. Our business is subjective by nature and another agent may well feel differently – I wish you the best of luck with that.
3. Thank you for the opportunity to review a synopsis of the above-mentioned work. Unfortunately, having carefully considered your proposal, I feel that I am not the agent for you. I can not attribute my decision to any particular flaw in your work; on the contrary, I found your presentation compelling. But in my search for clients, I wish only to represent those works with which I feel a real connection. Ultimately, this query did not spark that kind of enthusiasm.
Nevertheless, I appreciate your thinking of this agency and wish you the best in finding the right representation for your work.
4. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to review your work. Unfortunately, it is not a story that I am seeking at this time. Please note that this is a very subjective business and what may not be right for me could be exactly what another agent is looking for. I wish you all the best and great success!
5. Thank you so much for allowing our agency to consider your material. Unfortunately, after carefully reviewing your query, we’ve determined that this particular project isn’t the right fit for our agency at this time. As I’m sure you know, the publishing industry changes swiftly now, as do readers’ tastes and trends. As a result, our own agents’ needs shift and change, as well; therefore, we would like to encourage you to consider querying us with future projects as you may deem appropriate. Again, thank you very much for allowing us this chance to consider your material, and we wish you all the best in your publishing endeavors.
6. Sam’s story sounds like a wonderful bildungsroman, a genre that can make for a very strong fantasy series. However, it’s not quite what we’re looking for right now, and I’m sorry to say that we won’t be able to represent you today. Thank you again for considering us, and best of luck on this project and in all your other writing.
…if wishes were horses…