Author Topic: Getting discouraged ...  (Read 2232 times)

Offline Jillik

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Getting discouraged ...
« on: November 09, 2009, 07:04:35 PM »
I'm new on this site but have been sending out query letters for my YA novel since I finished it in April.

I have received so many rejects that I can literally wallpaper my kitchen with them.

I have had three requests from agents to read my full manuscript, only to have them all say that they are not "100% committed to the project".  Is that agent slang for "your book sucks"?

Really, I am getting very discouraged and am ready to pack my book away in a closet, never to see the light of day again.  What I want to know is, how many rejections does it take before you get the inkling that your book maybe ... stinks?  I had 53 rejections in the last two weeks, is that enough?

I'm pretty sure I have queried all of the agents in the YA market by now.  Any advice for me?

Offline violet

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2009, 07:19:29 PM »

Don't read into boilerplate rejections--they mean nothing.

All I can tell you is I queried approximately 115 agents before I got representation. I'd also tell you to query widely--not just YA, but those that represent commercial fiction  etc.

Have you had a beta read your ms? What about your query? Have you posted it here? Before you send out more queries, make sure yours is doing its job.


Offline Magic_Seeker

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009, 08:23:23 PM »
Karma, Jillik!  Don't give up!  Regroup and call for the cavalry! :ride:

If you got three requests for fulls, your writing definitely doesn't suck.  Agents need to feel fully commited to be willing to go through the query process with editors.  Getting an agent is 50% effort, 40% timing and 10% luck, in my opinion.

Post your query.  Let us have a shot at it.   :draw:  Maybe we can help make it work harder for you.

Getting a beta reader, as Violet suggests, is a great idea.  The reader might point out places you can improve your work.

And after a few months, rewrite your query, change the title, and query the whole lot all over again!

Best of luck!  And welcome to QT!!! :welcome:
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Offline ElanaJ

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2009, 09:39:20 PM »
Here's my opinion. Now, keep in mind that I queried my first book. And then my third (the second was so bad, I've filed it away forever more.) My first book saw some good success with the query...and that's it.

And you know what? I knew it. I knew the book was flawed. I knew it.

So my opinion is that you know if your book isn't ready for the market.

Now, with this second queried novel, I knew it was good enough. I don't know how, but I just knew. Still, I got requests for revisions--without the promise of an offer. One paid off, one didn't. But no matter what was going to happen, I knew. This book was good enough, while I knew the first wasn't.

So I didn't give up. And I queried closer to 200 people. I'm not kidding. I had dozens of submissions rejected. And that doesn't even consider the queries that were R'ed.

So after all this, my thoughts are these: If you know your book is good enough, keep going. If you know it's not, stop. Good luck!
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Offline Cheree

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 12:09:11 AM »
I agree with the previous comments. Post your query to get some feedback on it. Get a few readers who will give you honest criticiscm - try joining a critique group, they offer really helpful feedback, I know my novel's improved since I started working with one.

But, the biggest suggestion is: Don't give up. You're putting it out there, that's one step closer to landing that agent.

Good luck with everything.

Offline newday11

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2009, 07:48:24 AM »
 ;D Like they say, post your query so we can have a look. And take a hard look at your ms - see if anything strikes you; listen to that inner voice. On a personal note, I received 1 zillion rejections until I rewrote my ms from fiction (faction) to NF - then the request started coming in. "Hold on Tight to that Dream." newday11
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Offline pilot27407

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 08:50:24 AM »
You sure have a story to tell…. powerful one too. That said, I’d advise you to trim down the query; make it as succinct as possible; flesh out all redundant words. Don’t be afraid to hit the majors… you cooked up a beauty. Congratulation and good luck.   

Offline Jillik

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 10:07:54 AM »
Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.  I feel stupid, but what is a beta?

Offline Tzalaran

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2009, 10:25:54 AM »
what is a beta?

a beta is someone who reads your work before the submission stage.  they read and give you their comments on structure, flow, plot, grammar, and the work as a whole and in pieces.  beta readers give you an outside opinion on the manuscript and help to point out what they think are flaws, trouble spots, and also what they liked about the text.  we're so closely tied to our own work, another set of eyes can see those small and large problems better than we can, and they let you know what is working for them, and where you need to be more concise.

don't let rejection get you down.  you have finished a novel, and that is farther than the vast majority ever get (i've not yet finished my first novel, but hopefully will before thanksgiving).  get working on your next project, and let the chips fall where they may once you have polished everything to your satisfaction.

good luck!
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Offline Kimmy

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Re: Getting discouraged ...
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 10:20:39 AM »
Jilli, I used my sister as a beta and she did such a good job that I bought her an expensive coffee pot for all her criticism!  I would say that 90% of what she said was right on.  She told me change this, add that, this person cries too much, this one has no motive, I like the end, etc etc - and I did most of my revisions based on her suggestions.  I am 100% sure that my book is a thousand times better because of her!  I write YA and she reads a ton of YA.  Find someone who reads your genre, someone you trust, and make them be honest with you!  Good luck!

Kimmy :)

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