Author Topic: Form Reject on a Full  (Read 293 times)

Offline Lorettakate

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Form Reject on a Full
« on: November 15, 2022, 07:59:12 PM »
OK, quick question. Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face by not querying agents who have requested a full, and then responded with a form rejection? I know it's getting to be industry norm, but I feel like it's a little bit disrespectful to an author to not give them any sort of feedback on a full request. Form rejects and ghosting on queries and even partials is fine, but a full? Am I just being a child? Is that petty? (This has happened twice so I may just be feeling a little petty. Maybe.)
Perhaps feeling a little salty, but I needed someone to ask. Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 05:36:40 PM by Lorettakate »

Offline Tallis

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2022, 08:32:43 PM »

Frankly, I applaud you.  The only thing that will reverse this dispiriting trend is if agents suspect they are being left off lists -- and missing out on possibly lucrative projects -- because of a reputation for discourtesy.

Before anyone raises the point about the volume that agents have to shovel through -- I get that.  But Loretta's addressing the much smaller category of full requests, when the agent has chosen to engage with the author directly and the author has taken time to respond.  At that point, basic elements of professional courtesy ought to apply.

Offline Prophecies

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2022, 09:51:50 PM »
This is probably breaking a thousand norms and will tarnish your name forever and the world will end... but maybe you should reply and express your disappointment, specificially in a lack of feedback, with a caveat that you don't expect a further reply.

A few months ago, I submitted an article to a magazine. I got a form rejection saying 'we don't accept fiction at this time.' I wrote back, saying I accepted the decision but my submitted work was non-fiction journalism. I got an immediate reply, an apology and encouragement to submit again. I can't promise you'll get any of that. But the ability to stand up for yourself and your work is so important.

Offline Prophecies

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2022, 11:05:15 PM »
Ah! Sorry, I didn't read the full text - you were speculating whether to query agents who send form rejections on fulls! It's honestly up to you, really. It does look bad for agents to act this way, tbh.


My advice still stands for authors who've undergone this, however.

Offline AnguisP

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2022, 11:43:59 PM »
I think it's possible that they've only read a little of your manuscript even if you've sent the full. It depends on how many pages you sent with your initial query (before you got the request). Say you only sent the first 5-10 pages with your query, the agent liked those, and they requested the full. After getting the full, however, they read the next 20 pages and realized that it's not their cup of tea after all. So even though they have your full, they've only read 30 pages in total. In that case, it makes sense that they would send a form rejection. I would only feel hurt if an agent has actually read my full manuscript and then decides to pass without a word. But if they've only read the first couple of chapters...oh well, you can't blame them for sending a form rejection, and you don't have to take the rejection too hard either (because they haven't read the whole thing).

Offline Sandbox

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2022, 05:22:18 AM »
Not sure I understand. You say this happened twice to you (in the past?) and that you are now making a point to not query agents who are known to form reject on a full? I guess my question is how do you know this is their typical behavior--and how do you know it will happen to you? What I'm saying is there might be circumstances where an agent will respond with actual feedback, given the project. You don't know until you know. And I agree that if I were to receive a form on a full I would absolutely follow up and ask for more detail, politely. What do you have to lose? I have received rejections on past projects (not forms), but I have asked for more detail and received it.

Offline Lorettakate

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2022, 08:26:49 AM »
So it’s happened to me twice with two different agents. One had a history for form rejects on fulls, so I wasn’t surprised. The other was newer so she had no information, really, but her request rate was significantly lower than the first agent. I’m just wondering if I’m petty for not querying either again with a new manuscript, or because they liked it before, should I try anyway?
I really appreciate all the feedback. It’s amazing to have such a supportive community here. It’s hard to feel like my writing is the reason I’m getting forms, even if that isn’t true. It makes you want to quit. Unfortunately I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work for me so on we push.  :huh: ;D

Offline Sandbox

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2022, 11:10:49 AM »
I'd say if you still feel like they might be a good match for you, query again. After all, something about your writing/book appealed to them for them to request. Good luck!

Offline 217mom

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2022, 06:23:49 PM »
Forms are a reality, and I don't hold them against an agent even when they had requested my full manuscript. It's a function of the ease with which the query-transom has made this aspect of their job barely manageable. Yes, it doesn't feel good. But I haven't found personal rejections to be more satisfying. A "no" is a "no," and a no on a full is the harder sort of no, form or not.
The agents I would cross off are ones who ghost on a full, and do not respond to a polite nudge after a considerate time lapse of as much six months. Hasn't happened to me, but it has happened to writing friends, and from reputable agents. That is an agent you do not want.

If you feel peeved about getting a form response to a full, just don't pursue this agent again. You are not "wrong," your feeling is your feeling.

Offline Lorettakate

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2022, 10:33:37 AM »
Thank you so much, everyone! I appreciate it!

Offline MichelleG

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2022, 03:35:41 PM »
Yeah rude and unprofessional seems to be the way of the present and the future.

For the record it is 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'.
"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline Lorettakate

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Re: Form Reject on a Full
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2022, 05:36:11 PM »
Of course it is. You know, I said deign wrong until about a month ago. It just seems fitting. Thanks for the correction.  ;D