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Author Topic: Ghosted and Feel Like a Fool  (Read 1110 times)
rimna
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« on: May 20, 2018, 11:30:42 AM »

Let me begin by saying that I harbor no hard feelings towards this agent or any other. I’m just telling what happened to me in hopes that it starts a calm, civilized discussion.

I had never heard of ghosting until it happened to me. I submitted to an agent (picture book manuscript). The agent contacted me in less than two weeks and told me I was a talented writer, the premise was great fun, and that they admired my line by line execution and humor. They went on to say that they didn’t feel the manuscript that I had submitted was the best one “with which to break out” and asked for more of my work. I sent four more manuscripts then heard nothing so at 3 months I nudged and got no response. Waited another three months and again, no response to my nudge.

I can’t for the life of me figure out why this agent blew sunshine up my skirt but I am angry at myself for falling for it. The part that is most upsetting is “with which to break out”. I think that was the cruelest part of the email. I will be politely withdrawing my work soon. And to say that ghosting is unprofessional is an understatement; it’s downright cruel and soul crushing. 

I’ve been at this writing thing for many years and I have over 100 rejections which have never bothered me as they show that I’m serious and in the game. But this might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can learn how to strengthen my writing, or how to write a better query letter, or figure out how to network or get followers on social media but there is nothing that I can do as a writer to change this situation. It’s just something I have to put up with from the publishing world and it’s not fair but as we all know, life’s not fair.

So where do I go from here? I don’t know, I really don’t. I’ll always write because I’m a writer but will I ever submit again? At this time, I don’t think so and that makes me even more angry with myself.

So, to all of you that have also been ghosted I feel your pain and you’re not alone – hopefully there’s some comfort in that for you.
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Tabris
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2018, 12:02:32 PM »

I got ghosted by an agent after he signed a contract with me! Don't feel bad.

I heartily endorse the revenge query. Send out queries for the strongest of your manuscripts. Send them to agents who are in no way related to Ms Sunshine, and whenever you feel bad about getting ghosted, look for more agents on QT and develop a nice strong list of agents to send it to.

Don't bother withdrawing the work from them. Mark it "closed-no response" and let it clog up their hard drive. You'll have too many queries out there soon to care about these folks.
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NextChapter
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2018, 12:20:54 PM »

Before I decide to query an agent, I always check the "Only Show Queries with Submissions" part of their timeline. When I see that submissions go unanswered, especially after a year or more passes, I feel the pain of the author who had so much hope. How hard is it for an agent to send a simple rejection? Someone suggested that a particular agent might only actually read the submission if the author notifies her that they have an offer from another agent. Maybe the agent wants to keep his options open. Whatever. It sucks. Picture book authors are at a real disadvantage because so few agents will accept queries for text-only pb submissions.

Rimna, keep writing and keep querying. It will all come together eventually.

Tabris, I am especially disheartened to read that your agent is ignoring you. I keep telling myself once I find an agent, I will be on the path to publication. We are like mutts at the shelter who would make such excellent pets if only someone would adopt us and give us a little guidance. Agents dangle their fingers in our cages, then we never see them again.
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007 fan
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2018, 06:28:48 PM »

I'm so sorry about your experience. It's sad that this type of situation isn't more rare than it is. I tell myself to treat that level of interest as a mistake or a gag so I will be somewhat protected if I were to have your experience on fulls or what Tabris went through, but I suspect I would be living under my bed. I have warned my spouse, who's promised to slip food under there as I recover.

I hope that with time, you will consider entering the trenches again.  Smiley

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Tabris
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2018, 07:20:47 PM »

Tabris, I am especially disheartened to read that your agent is ignoring you.

Oh, this was ages ago, no worries. I found out later this was pretty typical for him. He'd promise everything and then POOF. He seemed to make his living by signing people who would then hustle to sell it themselves, and then he'd negotiate. Fortunately I didn't waste too much time on that dude, and I went on to have other agents that were bad for different reasons. :-D
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Terri_Martin
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2018, 05:53:49 PM »

Rimna, tell all your in-real-life writer friends who this agent is. And start keeping list of agents to avoid. Everybody in my particular writing circle does, and we share.  Evil You might not want to out this person publicly, but there are other ways of getting the word out!
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Mimsy811
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2018, 06:53:38 PM »

Feeling your pain. So sorry for what you went through. We have to remind ourselves that it's not personal, even when it feels so very personal because it's our work. I am struggling too with this rude ghosting behavior. Cruel is the perfect word for getting someone's hopes up and then disappearing. I've had this happen with a couple of agents who requested full MS, never to be heard from again... of course they're on Twitter all the time. I just severed my relationship with my agent because of a lack of communication. I just can't work with someone like that. We will both be better off in the long run with someone more professional and compassionate. Wishing you all the best of luck.
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