The Rejectionista


This week, I am the Rejectionista. 

It’s been a Query Rollercoaster this week.  Since my February Re-Charge, I’ve been diligent about sending out queries.  Monday night after the kids went to bed, I sent three and on one got a request for a full within a half-hour.  Here’s my facebook status update for that moment:



As fast as this particular agent was with the request, she was equally (and mercifully) speedy with her rejection, which I received yesterday at  11:39 am, approximately 39 hours after I sent her the manuscript.

Major bummer.

During my lunch break, I sent out two more queries. Two hours later, I received a rejection from one of them.

My totals for the week (so far):
Queries Sent:  8
Requests:  1
Rejections:  4

This was my third request for a full on CLOUD 9 and of course I was hopeful.  How could I not be hopeful?  The dream is there.  You see those words inviting you to send along your work and the dream flashes before your eyes.  Especially when this  particular agent’s clients is a Big Star in the YA World.  Maybe I’ll be the next                                              .   Et cetera.

And then – Maybe not.

No.

The querying process is hard work – that’s no big secret and my experience is not unusual.   You put countless hours into your novel itself and then you have to try to compress it into one paragraph, a paragraph that is going to get an agent’s attention, whet their appetite, entice them to want to know your characters and devour their stories.  If you hit on the right one, they ask for more.  And it’s hard to hit on the right one, and your words, your novel, might not be enough for them.

This is a business.  It’s subjective, yes.  That agent may love your book, but he or she needs to be able to sell your book on more than love.  Marketability is critical, especially for a debut author.  I get it.  Even so, it’s devastating.

It’s a little like that scene in St. Elmo’s Fire when Jules loses it.  She’s sitting on the floor in her cold, empty, freezing apartment.  She lost her job, she’s a coke addict, her father hates her, her stepmonster is dying.  She’s a mess.  Billy tells her the story of St. Elmo’s Fire, tells her that no one was buying her together-woman-of-the-80s act.  She says,  “And all this time I was afraid you’d find out I wasn’t fabulous.”

source

That’s how I felt yesterday.  Not fabulous.  Not as bad as Jules, of course, but still.  Not fabulous.

So when I get the Big Rejections, I have a little pity party that typically lasts for four or five hours.  It may involve cake.  Yesterday’s was leftover from a Mardi Gras event.  Timely.   I mourn the loss of this particular dream.  I drink loads of coffee and gear up for the next round.

Because there is always a next round.  A wise man once told me that every no gets you closer to the yes.  Now, this was in relation to selling service plans back in my retail days, but the idea is the same. 

Every no gets you closer to the yes.

There will be a yes.  Until that day, I continue to be the Rejectionista.  Rejected and fabulous.

How about you?  How do you handle Rejection?

Comments

  1. This post could not have come at a better time, I got my big rejection just 20 minutes ago! It does suck (hard!) but you know what, you have to just take it in your stride and work harder and push through. So tomorrow I will probably eat a lot of chocolate and feel sorry for myself, and then I will send out another round of queries. Until then I'll join you in Rejectionista land :)

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    1. Hi Becky, thanks for joining me in Rejectionista Land. Hang in there! Hope you're feeling better today.

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  2. How do I handle rejection? Similar to you. Maybe I load up more on ice cream or sweets instead of cake. But, then I realize that I am secure in me, my talents and abilities, my support system. I realize often that the rejection isn't a complete rejection of me; maybe it's not the right time, or other underlying issues are going on that I am not aware of, and certainly not in control of them. Then, move forward. Too many other opportunities for life than to dwell on what didn't happen.

    I am Proud to have you as a friend, and am inspired by you. Keep at it, Sarabellum!

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    1. Thank you, Shawn. That means a lot. No one has called me Sarabellum in, um, twenty years? Sweep, sweep up the memories.

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  3. Sometimes I just handle rejections with apples and caramel dip, yummy. I had one today, so I understand how you feel, but it'll be okay. Rejections come and go, but when we finally meet the right agent someday... it'll be a relationship that we can hopefully keep. :) Keep on trying; you can do it. :)

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    1. Thanks, Krista -- and same to you! We'll all be able to say, oh, I knew her when....

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  4. Honestly, I mope around for a day (only a day) and then I move on. As you say, "there is always a next round." Keep going, Sara!!!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I do think keeping it to a day, or even just a few hours, is best.

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  5. I haven't yet queried my WiP and the thought terrifies the heck out of me. Keep your chin up! :)

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    1. Yes, it is completely terrifying. Hitting "send" is like having someone rip your guts out. But that feeling only lasts a few minutes. And then you do it again. Thanks for the encouragement, Jaime!

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  6. Wow I haven't ever heard of an agent that responds so quickly (and rejects I guess). But it's good news to have such a fast request anyhow, and it sucks, but persistence totally pays off in the end. Best of luck!

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    1. I know, fast like cheetah! Thanks for stopping by, Jon!

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  7. My verdict is still out. I'm half afraid she didn't receive my partial, and half afraid she did and doesn't like it...

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    1. The worry, the wait. I know what you mean, Traci!

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  8. I find it interesting that rejection puts a person in a certain state and food is the drug of choice to change that state. All the old-school writers would have used booze.

    Remember that you're trying to crack one of the harder genres to break into. Keep a stiff upper lip old girl.

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  9. I'm in the process of jumping into the game. I'm busy polishing my query letter and figuring out how to write a synopsis. I have a special folder ready to house all my lovely rejections. I've decided I get to have a Reese's Peanut Butter Big Cup every time I get a rejection letter. That oughta soften the blow!

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    1. Mmmm, Reese's. Excellent idea. Best of luck to you!

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  10. I have not started querying either but did start writing the actual query letter. It is such a long process, painful, exciting and I now see query writing as an art of its own. So WOW for getting a full request!
    In regards to the rejections, I am scared of them and I know I will experience them. When I do, I might come back to this post to remind myself that I am too, rejected and fabulous :D
    Thanks for sharing, Sara!

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  11. I haven't started querying yet, maybe around June/July. I am terrified.

    The good thing is that you got a request very quickly which makes me think that you will get others.

    Best of luck to you!

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