Friday, September 9, 2011

The 'REJECTIONLESS' Rejection!

For those of you in the "book world," myself included, chances are you have received, seen, read, or at least heard about rejection letters from agents. You know what I mean...when you send your ms (which stands for "manuscript" of course) to an agent for what you hope will be an acceptance of your masterpiece, which will hopefully lead to your ms being published, which will hopefully lead to a blissful life as an author. WINK ;-)

Well how many of you have actually received the infamous rejection letter or letters??  The ones that say thanks but no thanks to that beautiful piece of work you spent months, possibly years, working on that you thought would lead you to be the next J. K. Rowling! WINK WINK ;-)

How about those literary agencies where you hear NOTHING AT ALL!?!?!? What I call, the REJECTIONLESS REJECTION aka "No Response Means NO"!

Has that ever happened to you? The "No response means no" policy has definitely happened to me. However, I didn't have a problem with it until I encountered ONE particular agency, you can read about it from my Blog at this link
In lieu of the "No response means no" policy, I ran across an agent's Blog that addressed that very issue from the AGENT's point of view. I found it interesting and thought I would pass it along, the agent's post is highlighted below...

I have been asked by quite a number of people why I don't send rejections, so I thought I'd post my answer here as well...

The answer is 2 prong...time and karma

First, I have not found an easy way to send a form rejection. I have to cut and paste every rejection into a response email and that takes hours. Right now I read many of the queries on my phone, getting to them as quickly as I can thus making that 1 month deadline....I reject most within a few days (sometimes minutes or seconds) of receiving them but hold on to the ones I am thinking about so that is why it is a month and not a 2 week turnaround time.

With rejections comes authors fighting back sometimes, sending followup questions, etc. I wish I had the time for that but with 3 kids I feel that the time spent on authors I am not taking on as clients is time away from my family.

I spent the first year sending out declines and it definitely took away from work time, family time, etc. Also, the negativity of sending so many no's really weighed heavy on me. Now I work only in the positive, sending yeses and encouraging emails when I feel moved to send them.

And this is where karma comes in. I announced my change to no answer means no policy on this blog and other places on March 4th, 2010, one year after becoming an agent. One year with NO sales. Yes, it was the worst time to be selling ms in this industry and yes, I was new and had very few clients to sell but still, zero sales.

On April 30th, 2010 I had my first offer for a book--the wonderful PURPLE DAZE by Sherry Shahan pubbed by Running Press. After that first sale (and no more negative rejections coming from my mind/hand/computer) the sales kept coming in....and coming, and coming. Fast forward to today, 1.5 years after the no answer means no policy, and I have sold 28 books with more offers on the way. Plus, I have a book deal of my own in which I am giving voice to 30...count 'em...30 poets in

So that is why I don't send rejections. It is a huge time suck as well as time spent in a negative vibe which I do not feel helps my clients, my future clients, most writers, my family, nor me.

I know that feeling of not hearing....I lived it for years. It sucks but if you keep a database and check the no box after a month, you know the answer.

Although I'm not sure I entirely agree with all the opinions expressed above, I definitely understand where the agent is coming from, I too have a family equipped with 3 active kids!! I know all too well about having that work/life balance!! And like I stated above, I am O.K. with the "no response means no" method many agencies have adopted, as long as it is clearly expressed in their submissions policy.

However you weigh in on the subject matter, try to keep a positive mindset when receiving those rejection letters (or lack thereof). Trust in the Lord and allow Him to direct your steps...that rejection(s) just might be a Blessing in disguise! The Lord may be leading you down a different pathway!!!

 I will leave you with this scripture;
"They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7 (NIV)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary