Author Topic: Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript  (Read 800 times)

Offline jreo513

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Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript
« on: January 13, 2019, 01:51:02 PM »
I have recently had two agents give the same feedback on my partial, saying that while they loved my writing and concept, they didn't fall in love with the manuscript as much as they'd hoped, and so they passed. Both assured me that that was subjective and were encouraging about me finding an agent who would fall in love with it, but I'm still feeling a bit discouraged. It's just so much more nebulous than if they'd said my writing needed work or my plot still needed tightening.

I currently have 4 fulls out with other agents, and I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to make my manuscript more "lovable" while I submit
 more queries, or if it really is just subjective and I should be hopeful someone will fall in love with my book eventually. Anyone who's been here before have any advice?

Offline jcwrites

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Re: Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 02:09:27 PM »
Besides family members and close friends, who has read your ms and what comments did they have? While the opinions of two agents is not something to totally disregard, their saying they "didn't fall in love with it" is standard rejection letter fare. Agents reject for many reasons, not all of which are indicative of the value of the work (a full roster of manuscripts on submission being one).

You have four fulls out, which is pretty impressive. You might consider holding off any more querying until you hear from those agents. If they're all negative, then decide whether to rewrite or begin a new project--if you haven't already started.

Good luck.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 02:13:38 PM by jcwrites »

Offline Tabris

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Re: Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 02:13:21 PM »
"I didn't fall in love with it" is a rejection designed to make you unable to argue with it. There's something about it that made them not want to represent it, but they're not going to say because if they are fully honest, they're risking some writer shooting back an email with, "Well if you read to chapter 4 you'll see the settings are fully developed!" or "Mitzy becomes far more likeable if you just read all three books in the trilogy!" and "What do you mean, this plot has been done to death?" And the more subtle their reserve (ie, maybe they feel everything is great but it's just a shade too similar to something else they just sold, or they haven't been able to sell the last three projects with a French female attorney protagonist) the less likely they are to want to voice it.

So rather than tell you whatever subtle issue made them opt out, they tell you they didn't fall in love. That has the virtue of being true without the drawback of being specific.

Don't change anything about your manuscript because of that feedback, in other words.

DO laugh whenever you see some big publisher putting out a ridiculous book, though. Say to yourself, "I'm sure the agent and entire editorial board totally fell in love with this, and not with the money."


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Offline RJP

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Re: Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 05:28:42 PM »
I agree with what the others have said. I think you've gotten some sort of form rejection. They like to say things like "There's some good writing here, but I didn't quite fall in love with the book enough..."

I don't think it's anything to freak out over yet. Most published authors had their book rejected by multiple agents before getting represented.

I think you should maybe wait and see what happens to your 4 fulls before you send it out again. I think if you get form rejections from all 4 of those agents, you might want to rethink the manuscript.

It's great that you're getting requests. Hopefully, at the very least, one of the agents will give you some more in-depth feedback.

Good luck

Offline Munley

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Re: Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 07:51:22 AM »
"I didn't fall in love with it" is a rejection designed to make you unable to argue with it. . . . "
       Exactly.


Don't change anything about your manuscript because of that feedback, in other words.

DO laugh whenever you see some big publisher putting out a ridiculous book, though. Say to yourself, "I'm sure the agent and entire editorial board totally fell in love with this, and not with the money."

Yes, as the saying goes, "It smells, but it sells." Their bottom line in choosing to publish such a book was not the love of literature.



Offline Ro

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Re: Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2019, 03:01:15 PM »
Yeah, just sounds like a polite rejection you can't argue with. There are lots of standard replies in the industry and that's just one of them. I would try not to read too deeply into it. I hope you soon find an agent who does fall in love with your work.

Offline Waterfall

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Re: Agent Not Falling in Love w/ Manuscript
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 06:36:50 AM »
It's not reasonable to expect an agent to give a close critique when rejecting a query. I totally understand that. But once you've seen enough of them, they really fall into a couple of camps. One is the gentle breakup—"It's not you, it's me." (Which totally means "It's you...") And the other is the overworked kindergarten teacher—"Try it again, honey."

–I encourage you to keep querying as what doesn't fit for one agent is perfect for another.
–I encourage you to continue querying and working on your next book.
–I wish you all the best of luck with your future queries.
–This is a highly subjective business and another agent might feel differently.
–Publishing is a long game, keep writing and persevering.
–Best of luck and success in finding the perfect advocate for your work.

Try it again, honey.