Yet, I took another step toward my goals, even though failure stood by the entrance to greet me, while I continue to search for that one door of hope to transform my dreams into a reality!
Denial after Denial.
No…Sorry…Good Luck Elsewhere…Thanks but No-Thanks.
The query letters continue to escape past my clutches and enter the hunger games of the editorial world, even though they are thrown back into the maze, where the search had initially begun.
So…I have a 70,000 novel searching for the door of opportunity to open, searching for an agent to sign the deal, searching for that chance to showcase the world my capability, and , searching for a shelf to rest on for eternity.
Not saying anything rude about agents, because after all, it’s their opinion. However, if the agents don’t give me a chance, how are they going to be able to see the elaborate ideas that twirl in my head.
If J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer were not given that one lucky chance….the world would have never discovered the wonderful world of Harry Potter or the Captivating passion that stirred between Edward and Bella in Twilight.
I’m not comparing myself to them and neither am I stating that I’m surely the next star author. What I am hoping for is that my book finds a shelf in the bookstore. Nothing has happened with wishful thinking, but I can hope for the best, nonetheless.
Here are some of the emails that I have received back in response to my query letter.
I’m not Roasting Agents here….I’m just stating how I perceived their reply.
Before I begin…Thanks to all the Agents who, even if it was 8 months later, took the time to send me a reply. I have sent out more than 50 queries and have yet to receive a response.
AGENTS PLEASE DON’T BE AFRAID TO REPRESENT MY WORK AFTER YOU READ THIS BLOG. IT’S JUST AN OPINION.
Agent: Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, I don’t think your project is a good fit for what I am looking for right now. As such, I am passing at this time. Good luck and thanks again for thinking of me. Sincerely, DongWon Song, Literary Agent, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency
My response: (Okay..Good Fit…I’m not asking for your dress size! Passing at this time? Really, are you planning on taking the offer if I send you another email months later?)
Agent: Thank you so much for sharing THE FORBIDDEN ARROWS with me. Though I think you have an interesting story here, I didn’t quite fall in love with it in the way that I need to in order to request more. In this subjective industry, I’m sure another agent will feel differently, and I wish you the best of luck on your writing journey.Warmest, Jennifer Azantian, Azantian Literary Agency
My response: (Wait..my story is interesting, but not enough for you to fall in love with it? I really hope another agent feels differently!)
Agent: Dear Ruby, Thank you so much for writing me about your project. I read and consider each query carefully and while yours is not exactly what I am looking for, I would certainly encourage you to keep trying. I know your work is important to you and I am grateful that you wrote to me. All best, Jenny, The Bent Agency
My response: (Yes, my work is obviously important to me. Grateful that I wrote to you? Why? Rather, I would be grateful to you if you would represent me.)
Agent: Thank you so much for allowing our agency to consider your material. Unfortunately, after carefully reviewing your query, we’ve determined that this particular project isn’t the right fit for our agency at this time. As I’m sure you know, the publishing industry changes swiftly now, as do readers’ tastes and trends. As a result, our own agents’ needs shift and change, as well; therefore, we would like to encourage you to consider querying us with future projects as you may deem appropriate. Again, thank you very much for allowing us this chance to consider your material, and we wish you all the best in your publishing endeavors. Sincerely, Kristy Hunter, The Knight Agency
My response: (Reader’s tastes and trends change? Okay, so far, I have seen old stories that are repeated with a new twist. Consider querying future projects – Okay, I get it, If I have another project email you otherwise…there’s the door…sigh)
Agent: Thank you for your query. I personally read—and thoughtfully consider—each query and writing/art sample sent to me. However, due to the high volume of submissions received, I regret that I am unable to respond to every writer individually. If I am interested in seeing further material, I will reach out to you directly within the next 8 weeks. If that window has passed and you have not heard from me (except for this auto-response), I apologize, but I have concluded that I am not the right agent to represent your project. While I wish I could offer a more personalized response to your work, please do know that I hold you and your creative efforts in highest regard, and wish you every success in your publishing endeavors. Molly O’Neill, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
My response: (Okay, why are you sending me a page long auto-response, seriously!)
Agent: Dear Ms. Khan. No thank you, but thank you for writing to me about THE FORBIDDEN ARROWS. Yours sincerely, William Reiss, John Hawkins & Associate
My response: (OUCH! Laugh OUT LOUD!)
Agent: Thank you for the query Ruby. But this is not for me. I wish you all the best. Bill Contardi.
My response: (Okay. Fair enough.)
Agent: Dear Ruby. My agency only offers representation to authors who are Australian residents. Best Lyn t
My response: (Aah…hmm..I thought your website stated you represented international authors also…guess not)
Agent: Thank you for including me in your agent queries. I have reviewed it and am afraid I must step aside on this proposed book. In any given year I must be selective taking on any new author and I was not enthused enough about this project to read more. I wish you all the best with your endeavor. Sincerely, Laura Zats
My response: (Why are you afraid…I’m not going to bite you.)
Agent: Dear Author, Thank you very much for giving us a chance to consider your work. Unfortunately, your project is not right for us at this time. Publishing is a matter of taste, however, and another agent may feel differently—we encourage you to keep looking for an enthusiastic editor or agent. We wish you the very best of luck with your work. Best, The Strothman Agency
My response: (Publishing a matter of taste huh? Come on agents, there must be one that likes the taste of my book?)
Agent: I’m sorry. This is not for me. Andy Ross Agency
My response: (I’m sorry I sent it to you.)
Agent: Thank you for sending your query and first pages. Unfortunately, I’m
afraid I wasn’t captivated enough to ask to see more material. But it’s a
subjective business and I hope another agent will be interested. Thank you again for sending your query and I wish you the best of luck in your publishing endeavors. Best wishes, Becky LeJeune, Bond Literary Agency
My response: (Why are you afraid? You hope another agent will be interested? Guess what? ME TOO!)
Agent: Thanks for sending me your query. I’m afraid this doesn’t seem like the right project for me, but I’m sure other agents will feel differently. Best of luck placing your work. Caitie Flum. Lizadawsonassociates
My response: (Another afraid agent.)
Agent: Dear Author, Please forgive this impersonal note but the high volume of correspondence makes it difficult for us to respond to you personally. Thank you for your query. Unfortunately it doesn’t match what we are looking for at this time. We hope other agents feel differently. Best of luck. Sincerely, Laura Dail Literary Agency, Inc.
My response: (Okay. I forgive You.)
Agent: Thanks so much for sending along the sample pages of The Forbidden Arrows. I’m sorry to say, though, that I just wasn’t as completely drawn in by the material as much as I had hoped. What with my reservations, I’d better bow out. Thanks so much for contacting me, though! I really appreciate it, and wish you the best of luck. Andrea Somberg ,Harvey Klinger Inc.
My response: (Better bow out? Cute. I had hoped also.)
Agent: Thank you for submitting your query and giving me the opportunity to consider your work. Unfortunately, in today’s increasingly tough publishing market, I cannot offer you the support that you need for your project. Though my limited time precludes me from recommending other specific agents, a good place to start would be the Association of Authors’ Representatives website. Please do not allow this letter to discourage you. Many best-sellers have been passed on numerous times prior to being successfully published. I wish you the best of luck finding an enthusiastic agent and publisher for your book. Sincerely, Maura Kye-Casella
My response: (Thanks for the detailed “No Thanks, I’ll pass, paragraph”. I also hope I find an enthusiastic agent.)
Agent: Dear Author, Thank you for your query! Unfortunately, it’s not quite the right fit for me, I’m afraid. I’m sorry not to have better news. As you know, publishing is a highly subjective business: what may not be the best fit for me may be exactly what another agent is looking for, so don’t give up! I wish I had the time to offer individual and constructive criticism for every query, but that would be overwhelming, hence this form letter. Rest assured, I read your query myself and gave it my careful
attention. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to get to know you and your
work. I wish you the best of success with your current and future creative endeavors. Sincerely, Lisa Rodgers, awfulagent.com
My response: (Again, here we go with the afraid…is that the only line agents have. Nonetheless, thanks for reassuring me that you read my query yourself…only to carefully deny it.)
Agent: Dear Writer, Thank you for your patience while I considered your query. While I wish I could write a personal response to ever query I receive, time does not permit it. Regretfully, your project is not a perfect fit with what I’m looking for at this time. I wish you the best of luck in finding the perfect agent for your project soon. Keep writing! Best, Danielle Chiotti.
My response: (Patience is all I have about now. No regrets!)
Agent: Thank you for querying us regarding your manuscript. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we have decided to pass on this project. Thank you for thinking of 3 Seas Literary Agency for representation. We wish you all the best in finding a home for your work. The 3 Seas Literary Agency Team, Michelle Grajkowski, Cori Deyoe, Linda Scalissi, Literary Agents
My response: (well, looks like the seas aren’t interested.)
Agent: Please send the first 50 pages of the manuscript (no prologues) and a brief synopsis (1-3 pages). These should be attached as two separate documents or PDFs. Thanks! Trish Skinner
2 months later: Thank you for sharing your work. Unfortunately, I’ve decided to pass. Right from the start, events took place in the blink of an eye. I had to re-read the first three pages twice to make sure I understood what was going on. I didn’t feel extremely invested in or connected to the main character Anna. After finishing the partial, I went back and read through the synopsis, and the storyline felt cliché. While this wasn’t a fit for me, I truly wish you the best of luck with your writing career. Trish Skinner, Fuse Literary
My response: (Story-line felt cliche – well, most enchanting stories are re-told with a twist. Thanks for the luck…at this time…I need as much as I can get.)
Again, I’m NOT ButtHurt! I’m just expressing how I perceived the unfortunate, good luck elsewhere, thanks but no thanks, responses that I received from Agents.
So moving forward, the hunt continues for an agent. Wish ME LUCK folks…and hook me up with an agent if possible!
AGAIN – REMINDER TO PROSPECTIVE AGENTS:
AGENTS PLEASE DON’T BE AFRAID TO REPRESENT MY WORK AFTER YOU READ THIS BLOG. IT’S JUST A PERSONAL OPINION.
Thanks to all the Agents who, even if it was 8 months later, took the time to send me a reply.
FYI: MY QUERY:
When fifteen-year old Anna Marie Rose turns sixteen, she must untangle from a love rectangle, outsmart a deceptive friend, and unravel the mysterious forbidden arrows.
Nothing is hidden in the gossiping town of Sunbury. When Anna stumbles upon an immortalized tree in the midst of the Shikellamy State Park, she finds out a secret more heart throbbing then the sweaty fights that brew in the girl’s locker room.
During a trip to Greece, her wannabe boyfriend Matt Baringson known as JJ (junior jerk), her friend Jade Plantoon, and her fatal attraction, the new guy in school David Darlin, all become puzzling characters. What begins is a cat-and-mouse game between the four. To make matters worse, mysterious robberies throw the town into an uproar, and her freshman sidekick Lijia Kiklite, repeatedly warns her of a betrayal.
What follows is a death defying adventure that strolls down the Susquehanna River and across the Atlantic Ocean and into the enchanting Mt. Olympus. They must unearth the secret pamphlets, hurdle past death, solve mysterious riddles, meet the painted lady, survive the Island of Flora, and finally take the leap of faith, all while escaping the infamous tip of Cupid’s forbidden arrows.
The Forbidden Arrows is a young adult novel and is approximately 70,000 words. I’ve also written an outline for a sequel.
Thank you for your generous time and consideration.