My full romance MS is currently under consideration by a phenomenal agent. My fingers ache from being crossed for a little over a month -- they're starting to cramp too, does Gin help that? I recently received a rejection on a requested partial for the same work from another agent. My MS made it past her two readers, but her letter said that she felt I was "a competent author writing an interesting story line" but she was passing because the "marketplace is tight" and it takes an "exceptional novel to stand out with editors."
Tell me, Oh Great One, is the romance market actually that tight or was this just agentspeak for something that doesn't quite make the cut?
Yes and yes.
First of all, the market is never not tight. I've never ever ever (did I mention ever?) heard an agent or editor say "oh yes, it was so easy to sell that year, they sucked up everything I offered just like they were Electrolux at a desk". Never.
What Agent B is saying is she doesn't think she can sell your manuscript. She's probably right.
However, that does not mean Agent A or Agents C through Z not to mention Little Cats 1 and 2 can't sell it. It's a cliche of rejection letters, but nonetheless true: what's not right for The Cat in the Hat, can be just what The Grinch is looking for.
Now, while you're waiting for A, you keep querying. Send those query letters out until you have an offer on the table or the Grinch steals your manuscript..which ever comes first.
PS Gin cures everything.
*Glory Days of course. Sheesh, you didn't get that?