It’s happened. My first rejection letter came zipping into my inbox this week.
“I don’t feel I’m quite the right agent for your project. I’m regretfully going to pass.”—A very nice, albeit canned, way of saying “Your novel SUCKS.”
I know it’s not really fair to put words into the agent’s mouth like that. And I don’t actually feel that badly about it. In a perverse way, it’s a little vindicating. I’m a REAL author now—with the battle scars to prove it. And I still have a long list of agents to solicit. You only need one “yes”.
One friend suggested I print out the rejection email and frame it. Maybe (hopefully) one day I’ll look back on it from the lofty heights of my success and laugh.
My second rejection looms as well. It’s the silent type, the “I’m too busy sorting through the gazillion queries I get each week to actually respond to you. So if you don’t here from me in two weeks it’s a NO.” kind.
I get it. I do. One agent I met at the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference said she had 1,500 manuscripts in her inbox awaiting judgement. And I’m sure a lot of them are woefully sub-par—I just never thought my query, my novel would underwhelm in that fashion, eliciting nothing more a than a languid click of the delete button.
Oh well. I read once that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was passed over twelve times before being picked up. Dozens of agents passed on The Help. I don’t deign to compare my book to those illustrious tomes, but it’s reassuring to know even the best combat rejection.
Ultimately, it’s a battle with yourself, a trail to remain steadfast and focused. Those authors won that battle. I will too.