Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thanks For The Funny

The first rejection came in today.  From an agent I'd assigned to the non-response rejection pile after a year of nothing.  I queried him again, using the same email address from last time.  Only this time it bounced back as a bad address.  Apparently one missing letter makes all the difference.  Oops.

So this time, having read an interview in which he laments the success of Stephanie Meyer against the odds every other writer faces, I threw in what I thought was a funny line referencing what he'd said.  The rejection came back as follows:
Thanks for the funny query letter. I'm afraid this is not what I'm looking for, but I wish you much all the same with your agent search.
At first I thought he appreciated my sense of humor.  Then, like any thinks-he's-a-good writer, examining the long corridor of rejection, I began to wonder what he really thought was funny.  Was it the query itself?  The heart of it?  Did he find it laughable that someone would not only construct such an abominable collection of words, but that they would send it to an expert, who no doubt called in every member of his staff for a group guffaw, forwarded it to every agent and editor in publishing, posted it on a myriad of social networking sites, and is most certainly basing an entire lecture series on that one horrific letter?

Sadly, I may never know.  Much as I may never understand the last line - I wish you much all the same...


At least it's not just me who can't write.

In happier news, today is Mrs. Sarcasm's birthday.  If you come across her, wish her

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Amy Saia said...

I seriously doubt he thought your query/pitch was the funny part, I think it was the comment you made about Meyer. I've had two responses to queries that made me wonder, just like your'e doing today. The first one said, "Not right for us. Good luck." Wow. The next said, "Your query confused me." Okay . . . Can't blame them though, that was a really bad batch of queries. I killed them fast and eventually crafter better one—it's gotten me quite a few requests. Hang in there! Each rejection means you're one step closer to success.

Traci said...

LOL - I totally think he "got" your sense of humor and was complimenting you. I think it made him smile (when probably lots of other query letters make him wince). Nicely done!

By the way -- I GOT AN OFFER TODAY!! Seriously - the guy who asked me to snail mail my book read it in 2 days and sent me a contract today. I'm still pinching myself!! I'm thisclose to saying yes, but there are still 4 other fulls out, so as a courtesy, I sent those agents an email and gave a deadline of Tuesday.

Of course, it's taken me since May - major, major querying, and I've had more rejections than I can count. So, I hope this is encouraging - it CAN happen, even after ridiculous amounts of rejection and heartache and frustration. I know it'll happen for you!! Just be tenacious! In fact, here's a quote I gave my Creative Writing students. I've never believed it more than today:

"Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Matt said...

Amy - I'm hanging in there. I've been rejected enough to be unfazed. I'll keep at it.

Traci - That's awesome! Congratulations. Since you and I often blog on the same topic, and started on the same day, I expect my offer will come tomorrow.

Way to steal my thunder, by the way.

Traci said...

ROFL, Matt - you're welcome! :-)

Yes, I fully expect your offer to come tomorrow, too! Hey -- it's always possible!! If you'd told me last week that I'd have a contract by today, I'd laugh in your face -- but it happened that fast! *still pinching myself*

Holly Ruggiero said...

Whew, I'm glad I'm not the only one who floundered on "I wish you much all the same".

And who knew email could be so darn picky. I’ll keep that in mind when it’s my turn to query.

Matt said...

Holly - did you flounder here, or did you get the same rejection. Just curious.

Jeanne said...

It is so tempting to "read" something into what the agent writes. I always think of the times I have sent an email where my message was totally misconstrued, usually when I am in a hurry to get the email out. I think that the same thing is true with agents and publishers. They don't agonize over every word, thinking about how it will affect you. Plus every person who reads a message will get a different interpretation. Try not to interpret their "no." Just keep moving.

Jeanne said...

Matt are you thinking of going to SCBWI in January?