Tag Archives: rejection letters

Rejection Letter Translations: What am I REALLY saying?

canstock12444309When I say, “I’m not the best agent for your work,” what I really mean is:

1. Although this looks interesting, or although I think you can write, I really, really, really don’t represent thrillers, romance, western, fill in the blank…

2. I’m not the best agent because this needs so much work  I wouldn’t even know where to start with it.

3. I’m not the best agent because I do very little self-help, memoir, cookbooks, etc… and you need someone with strong knowledge and connections in your genre.

4. I’m not the best agent because I don’t think your non-fiction idea has legs but I don’t want to hurt your feelings or discourage you because I could be totally wrong.

5. I’m not the best agent because I don’t get it and I’m not connecting to your story or your writing or something about your query.

When I say, “This isn’t a good fit for my list right now,” what I really mean is:

1. I’m already representing something similar to this. Sorry, but your idea isn’t totally unique. (I know! Can you believe it?!)

2. I really, really, really don’t represent thrillers, romance, western, fill in the blank…

3. It’s not a good fit because your query letter is so horribly written I couldn’t even finish reading it, so why would I bother to read any of your manuscript?

4. Seriously, vampires are so over, zombies never interested me, and if I have to read another portal fantasy I’m going to scream.

5. I’m just not feeling the love. Finding a new client is like dating and sometimes the chemistry is just off because it’s off.

When I say, “This isn’t a good match for me,” what I really mean is:

1. Dear God, please send me better queries because this one is pretty terrible.

2. Your manuscript may be well written but it’s on a topic that holds no interest for me. Zero. Zip. Nada. Not a bad idea, just not for me.

3. I’m not kidding when I say I really, really, really don’t represent thrillers, romance, western, fill in the blank…

4. It may fit all of my “criteria,” but I’m just not feeling the connection.

5. I need to be totally, unabashedly, head over heels in love with a manuscript, and for me yours is just ok. I’m the wrong person for it.

When I say, “I wish you the best of luck with it,” what I really mean is:

1. I wish you the best of luck finding an agent who will champion your work.

2. I wish you the best of luck in improving your craft.

3. I wish you the best of luck revising your story.

4. I wish you the best of luck on this crazy path to publication.

5. I just wish you the best of luck, for crying out loud! I like to see people succeed in fulfilling their dreams, even if I’m not the right one to help them.

How do you translate rejection letters?

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