There’s been a lot of talk lately about rejections, and agents, and queries, and so I got off on a tear on the internet looking up information on writers who have faced down the dragon of multiple rejections. You know how I get.
So I started at Write Attitude, looking for one of their little quotes in the opening slideshow on authors who had been rejected over one hundred times. The one I hit on was J.A. Konrath was rejected 450 times before Whiskey Sour sold for six figures in a bidding war.
Well, then of course I needed to find out if that was urban mythology, or if there was any real truth to it. I found Konrath’s Web site, where he states that before he sold Whiskey Sour he had actually gotten over 500 rejections. The mind reels. Now, bless his heart, he has a free e-book on his site you can download comprising 750 pages of tips, hints, and other info about getting published. Over at Backspace he has an article on how he finally got out of the slush pile:
Getting an agent as an amateur isn’t easy. After receiving enough form-letter rejections to wallpaper my house, I began to wonder if my queries were even getting read. I’d heard rumors about agents and editors hiring college students to do nothing put open submissions and mail back rejections. These rumors, it turned out, were true.
The how-to books all stated that the way to approach agents is with a one page query letter and the first three chapters of the novel. I’d followed that route many times and failed. It was time to try something different.
A bold move ensued, which paid off nicely.
Further searching lead me to an interview on another blog, The Leaf Blower where he actually gives the text of some of his rejection letters, some very funny come-backs to them, and follow-up on what became of some of the rejectors:
“We passed your proposal around the office with great amusement and much laughter. Unfortunately, we don’t believe you intended this to be funny.”
Glad to cheer you up. Even gladder that you’re now out of business.
So here we have another very nice author who not only communicates with people, but is giving back to the writing community. He advises writers not to take rejection personally, it’s business. There are photos at the bottom of that interview of his rejection letter notebook, you have to see it to believe it.
Pity the poor agents who have been complaining about having to slave away, pawing through the slush piles to find the next multi-million-dollar blockbuster that will be translated into fifty-four languages and spawn a hit movie franchise. Sorry kids, looks like you’re stuck with hoping those college students don’t send out a rejection to the next J.K. Rowling.
Anyway, like I said, you know how I get.