Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A new record

For those of you keeping track, today's mail brought a literary agent's response to a query I mailed back on April 14.

The "no thanks" response was VERY polite and almost complimentary in a vague sort of way. The agency took pains to ensure that it didn't look like a form letter. And the scrawled signature looked real, signed with a real ball point pen.

So what's my beef? My query was sent on April 14 of 2006! The new record for a slow response now stands at: one year, one month, and 8 days!

Oh, and the post office even delivered it with the old 39 cent stamp I had put on my SASE.

Gee. To get a rejection back after well over a year is bad enough -- I'm glad it didn't come with postage due. Talk about adding insult to injury!

(COMING SOON: Interview with a squirrel)


Christina said...

Over a year...wow...I don't even know what to say about that. I guess, congrats on saving that 2 cents?

BTW, loved the egret in the last post - great pics!

kenju said...

I'm sorry, John. So far you've just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of these times, they will show they believe that you are good!

Duke_of_Earle said...

Thanks Christina and Judy. I mainly posted this for the amusement of my blogging friends who are also writers. I'm not at all worried about the rejection. I've already put that novel aside and have other focuses. And I don't equate an agent's rejection of that novel with an evaluation of whether or not I have writing talent (whether I'm "good" or not).

I learned SO much from the experience of writing that MS, re-writing it I don't know HOW many times, going through the querying process, getting an agent, and so on... I cringe at how BAD my first draft (and a number of subsequent drafts) of that first novel really was (were). My next project, when I take the time to finish, polish, and present one, WILL be of a quality that will sell. It might not "blow their socks off," but I think I know how to do it now.


P.S. Arrogance? Possibly. We'll see!

jan said...

I'm sure the agemcy spent the year contemplating whether they were capable of doing justice to the novel or should pass the opportunity on to someone more capable.

Duke_of_Earle said...


Yes. Exactly.


Badabing said...


I think you have a terrific and amirable attitude about this process. I hope I can manage even a fraction of your attitude when I get to the point of submitting my manuscript.

And, rejection is not necessarily an indication of lack of quality or writing ability. Some of today's best selling authors, like John Grisham for example, couldn't sell their first manuscripts until after they became established.

Karyn Lyndon said...

lol to the 39 cent stamp!

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting on responses from a few publishing houses, from last year. Guess there is still hope.