My Life, Writing Tips

Monumental Decision Ditched With Agent Feedback

I really should wait before I announce my really awesome ideas, at least until I know if they actually are as awesome as I think they are….

I started submitting my book to literary agents a few weeks ago. Perhaps a little bit tentatively to be honest. I say to myself that it has to be this way, I can’t do too many at once because I don’t have time, when in fact maybe I am just a bit scared of rejection after all. I am very good at pretending that I’m not really that bothered because I know I’ll get there in the end but then I get overwhelmed with the age issue and think I might die younger than I thought and maybe just before I sign a massive deal and I’ll have to look on as my family write ‘Should of got off her lazy ass years ago’ on my gravestone.

Well I have had my first rejection on this manuscript. It was a very nice and very helpful one it has to be said. As I have made it public that I was thinking of self publishing I had to read a list of reasons I should not! Some of them were not even on my radar. I thought I’d share a couple of them with you if you are having the same dilemma.

  1. Publishers will not be impressed with  4-5,000 book sales, not even a teeny weeny bit. They will only give a shit if you’ve sold 100,000 and at that point you wouldn’t give a shit about them so…. hmmm, this was a wake up call. Obviously lovely agent did not say ‘shit’ in her email.
  2. You will have lost the element of ‘what if this is the next best thing?’ for an agent because they may think you’ve hit your limit and me being a marketer and everything. If I can’t sell anymore then how will they sell it to a publisher? Another very valid point.
  3. The last crucial bit of advice was ‘Do you like bragging about yourself?’ because if you don’t then duh. Well I don’t. I’m fine bragging about my clients as if I were them but myself?? No way. I have a hard time even talking to people I haven’t seen for years about myself. I always turn the conversation back to what they’re doing in case they think I’m showing off. Hmm, not a good starting point. I may just have to re-think this issue.

Another thing I gained from this rejection was the fact that what I write is Chick Lit. I have to get over the fact that it’s a saturated market and how will I even break into it. There’s no getting around the issue by calling it women’s fiction or attempting to call it intelligent chick lit as my husband suggested I did. I would never of course because that’s like saying I think I’m a bit above all other writer’s out there who are actually making good money working in this genre and everything I have read is clever, witty and extremely intelligently written.  I cannot write dead serious stuff because it’s just not in me. I cannot help but stick a funny in there or write as I think and that is definitely never serious!

So here I go again. I am going to take said advice and also the advice of submitting to no more than 6 agents in one go. This is pretty sound and it’s three more than I’ve already done so seems like quite a lot to me!

I’m sure that eventually I will get good at rejection, well better at least. I will continue to keep you posted as to my progress or lack of it. One thing I will be doing is going full throttle. I will not be holding back anymore. I’ll make my workload lighter by outsourcing if I need to because this is what I want. If you want something this much then you can’t sit around and wait for it to land on your lap.

2 thoughts on “Monumental Decision Ditched With Agent Feedback

  1. Hi Rachel,
    I have been querying for almost eight months now. Seriously rejection sucks the big one!!!! I was thinking of kicking it all in but I’m going to push on for 12 months and then maybe think about self publishing. Not sure how much my heart can take. Great blog posts.

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