Author Topic: Form or Not Form  (Read 943 times)

Offline Wolfimoon

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Form or Not Form
« on: June 14, 2020, 02:32:11 PM »
I got a response today that looked like it has customized content, but when I went through the comments, I found it was a form. Does anyone know if agents have different forms depending on where they made their decision? This form said my beginning didn't pull her in. If that's what she rejected me for, great--I know the query letter is sound and just need to do another revision. But if that's the same form for every denial (except the ones based on wordcount that she also sends according to comments), then I may be ignoring my query letter when I shouldn't. Obviously, improving is always a good thing, but I'm also trying to balance time with writing a new novel. If I knew that the concept described appeals, then that will help me ensure that what time I put towards my first project is spent wisely.

How do you tell when the agent is being helpful vs just being polite?

Offline MegTravelz

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Re: Form or Not Form
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2020, 03:46:02 PM »
Hi Wolfimoon, I've always heard that unless an agent specifically mentions one of your characters by name, or something particular about the setting, or pace, etc, it is most likely a form letter. To my knowledge, agents don't have different form letters. I think that might be a bit too much work, to identify specifically for every query, what wasn't working. So to answer your question--- I would always assume an agent is just being polite, UNLESS they specifically mention something intrinsic to your story.

Offline 217mom

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Re: Form or Not Form
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 02:39:54 PM »
There are agents (and certainly editors) who have different forms they click to respond with. But the reply above is correct: it's a form unless it is clearly specific to your manuscript with evidence that specific story was read.

General advice: don't spend any blood sweat or tears mulling over forms. They really don't matter in terms of content. Use such energy for personal replies or even better, to write as best you can.

Offline Cherylking

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Re: Form or Not Form
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2020, 03:39:07 PM »
If an agent gives a personal response in her rejection, am I expected to respond in any way?
Querying: Sitting on Top of the World

YA historical fiction, 64K words

Offline Tabris

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Re: Form or Not Form
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 06:01:38 AM »
You are not expected to reply to a personal rejection, no. Most agents prefer not.

If you're ever not sure something is a form, look in the QueryTracker comments for that particular agent because most likely it's a form. Or google a specific phrase out of the rejection. The above advice is my guideline: unless the note mentions a specific about my book, I always assumed it was a form letter.