5 Reasons You Were Rejected - article

You crafted a query and a synopsis and sent it out to an agent. Finally the answer came. You opened the email to find, “Thank you very much for your submission but no, thank you.” Keep breathing. Rejection means you are a real writer. It means you are on the true road to publication. Here are five reasons why you may have been rejected.

  1. Overlooked. Agents are busy. They want to get to every query but they are bombarded on a daily basis. Your query might have shown up on a particularly busy week. The agent might have had hundreds of rejections to send out. They scanned your manuscript but instead of focusing on your brilliant words they were thinking about the needs of their current clients. You were overlooked.
  2. Good writing, wrong book. You might be the best writer that agent has ever seen but you sent a book in which the agent absolutely has no interest. Perhaps your book with its humorous take on deep sea diving is brilliantly written but this agent has a fear of the ocean that is bigger than, well, the ocean. If you have something else or plan to write something else, you might try again. You need to move on and find someone who shares your passion. 
  3. Too similar. The agent thinks your book is fabulous but she just signed a book exactly like it and must pass. Or, perhaps you write books that would compete with her top client. Again, she must pass. That’s tough luck. The good news is some research might help you. Search for someone who handles similar books. They may be interested in representing a competitive book or a client similar to another agency’s star. 
  4. Your book wasn’t ready. You had good ideas. The agent was moved by these ideas. They even sent you a nice little note. “Good ideas, keep trying.” This means your book wasn’t ready. You need to work on your craft. You need to invest much more time into your book to give it professional polish. You might want to invest in some professional editing from a service like the fee-based ones provided by AuthorHouse. This type of service will help you put the needed polish into your work.
  5. Wrong agent. You wrote a fine book but the agent doesn’t handle your genre. This mistake happens because you didn’t take the time to research the subjects a specific agent wants. You should check out QueryTracker and AgentQuery. You need to read agent blogs. They are generally linked to their agency websites. You might consider following agents that interest you on social network sites like Twitter or Facebook. Get your book into the hands of the right agent to increase your chances for success.
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  • My book is in the process of being published so I have not received a rejection yet. Your positive approach should this happen is wonderful. Keep the focus. I really appreciated your insights into this area.