You Hear from us...and it's not enough!

Miss Snark hears from Agent Fabulous:

Email response to a form rejection:
You are only about the billioneth person who has turned me down. Any advice?

Agent Fabulous:

Yes. Don’t tell agents that they were your billioneth choice.

Agent Fabulous to Miss Snark:

She’s the third person in a row to respond to my rejections today, although this was by far the stupidest reaction.

Miss Snark laughs, glad she's not the only one with a target on her asterisk!


susan said...

After a billion rejections, everyone should be entitled to one mild rant.

Paprika said...

If a billion agents tell you your work's not enough to make the cut, shouldn't that tell you something...?

Still, in all fairness, I have to point out that Agent Fabulous being the billionth (or "billioneth") rejection doesn't necessarily mean that s/he was the billionth choice. It could have been that the author sent out a billion queries at the same time and this just happened to be the last rejection to come back.

Yikes. A billion queries. You realize how much postage that would be? Even if they were all single page ones in business envelopes, it would still be $390 million. You could just start your own publishing company for that.

Anonymous said...

The trouble is, the honest advice is 'write a better book'.

A friend started her first editing job with a tiny children's publisher. Her first ever rejection letter - for a novel for 8s-12s which had a full-on sex scene on page 20 - was kind and helpful. The rejected author stormed into the office and threatened her boss physically until he wrote an apology. Can't really blame agents and editors who just say 'sorry our list is full' can you?

Anonymous said...

After a billion rejections, one should have got the message by now, i.e. 'your writing isn't good enough'.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Dear Miss Snark,

I love the rejection letter options from your last post. I wish I had a dollar for every time an inmate asks me to write his story. I tell them, "Write it yourself. It's your story, not mine." Also, I must confess, I nominated one of my stories for the Million Writers Award. Hey, I thought I was a shoo in for a Pushcart nomination (16% chance from the published stories of a certain literary journal); however, the editors passed it up.

J said...

That story about the children's publisher literally made my jaw drop. I guess I'm not as liberal as I thought I was.

Actually that reminds me of a quote from "Friends" (yes, "Friends"):
"I write erotic children's novels, they're wildly unpopular."

writtenwyrdd said...

I am reminded of that old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." There is nothing so dense and impenetrable as the human Will To Be Stupid. These writers love their dream of being a writer more than the reality of the job, and who the hell do we think we are to disrupt that?

Well, it's less competition for the rest of us.

'steene said...

I wouldn't describe writing a full-on sex scene for pre-pubescents as "liberal." More like "bug-fuck crazy."

Anonymous said...

Terse, pithy advice!

And good advice it is too, Ouch!