Thursday, October 20, 2011

Battlestar Agentica: The Final Score

A form rejection for a partial sent in July trickled in yesterday, pretty much putting the final nail in the coffin of my quest for literary representation. Technically, the search isn't over because there's one more partial out there, but being realistic, I've already closed that out as "Closed/No Response" on my QueryTracker account.

So, the final score is as follows:

Agents queried - 285
Partials/fulls requested - 26 (about 9 percent)
Rejections/no response - 259

Of the fulls that got read, the responses were:

-- I loved it but then six months later after I led your around by the nose my bosses told me we don't know the right kind of editors -- Nice Agent Lady who broke my heart

-- I started out really liking it ("You're a fine writer!") but then decided it got worse as it went along ("I'm pretty sure everyone will agree with me [that it's not publishable"]) -- Long-established agent who really made me feel bad

-- I thought it was great, entertaining and ingeniously plotted, but in this market we have to be 150 percent enthusiastic and we're not, so... -- L.A.-area agent

-- Feh.  It just didn't do anything for me. -- A couple of agents.

The rest were just form rejections or close enough to that to be just as anodyne.

That's precious little for more than two years' worth of agent-searching.

I hope your search for an agent is going a lot better.


  1. Oh wow. You have to have a mind and heart of steel for this business.

  2. I'm so sorry. I wish I had something cheerful and uplifting to say right now.

  3. Write something new and move on, Travs. You have to.

  4. I'm with Sierra. Write something new.

    Based on the comments you received, it sounds like you've done solid work. Have you considered the e-pub route? Not your first choice obviously, but these days the game is changing...

  5. Thanks for sharing your efforts in all of this. That takes courage. I can't even begin to dwell on the rejections. And, yes, I've had a few requests for fulls but most were ultimately rejected with no explanation, so you've at least had some feedback. The only cure for the rejection blues is to continue writing. But you know that.

  6. It sounds like you have done an extremely comprehensive job of querying, and your request rate is really good (9%). You certainly don't have to worry that you haven't done a thorough enough job. Maybe in a different market this book would be on its way to publication now, but it is what it is. So put #1 in a drawer - for now, at least - and forge ahead with #2. You no doubt learned a ton by writing and querying #1 that will make #2 better.

  7. I agree with Sierra, Trav. So many authors say they never published their first novel. You just have to set it aside for now and write another book - or self-publish. I guess that's the decision you have to make.

  8. Quit your bitching man.. I'm basically 3 years in and still haven't finished a draft of my WIP. Wait, but don't quit bitching for reals, because you know I love that quality in you... PSspice, sorry -- i forgot that we were going to be email friends. I think it is my turn to write. Miss you!