Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It Just Takes One Yes

So says the latest agent to reject me, in what they apologized for as a rather informal standard rejection.  I agree.  It was rather standard.  And then came the standard encouragement, "keep at it, it only takes one yes."  Once again, I agree.  My question:  If it only takes one yes, why are all these agents so darn stingy with them?

I'm considering shelving this project for a while.  Not that I think it sucks, but it does have life-sucking power.  As the lady said, I sent out 20 queries and got back 21 rejections.  Whilst I know many of you have endured far more, one must ask when enough is enough. 

Where is that one, elusive yes?


Kara Mustafa said...

You should check out Elana Johnson's (author of POSSESSION) story from query to agent to book deal. She submitted for a while and is a great example of "it only takes one yes." (I only got one yes!)

Angela Ackerman said...

It's frustrating, I know. And it's hard. The sound bites are so cliche, but all true, and what we must cling to, so do keep at it, and do keep writing. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Jeanne said...

Start looking at some publishing companies that take unagented material. I still believe it is harder to get an agent than to get published.

Cheree said...

I can definitely relate to the frustration. But, don't get discouraged, some send out over 100 before they get that one yes.

Traci said...

I totally understand the frustration. I sent over 100 queries last summer and got TONS and TONS of rejections (in fact, just got one yesterday - from MAY LOL).

But, after four months, I also got 4 interested agents, and finally - one YES!

I guess this is where my lottery scenario comes in - I kept looking at it this way: if I didn't buy a ticket (query), then my chances plummeted from nearly nothing to less than nothing.

And, I guess, I was just so curious. I had to do EVERYTHING in my power just to "see" if I could get an agent. In fact, the agent that I signed with was in the very last batch of agents I submitted to. And I keep thinking - what if I'd given up right before sending out a query to him?

I say keep trying! ;-)

MC Howe said...

Thanks for the encouragement. It's just so darned frustrating. I know you've all been there, asking the same questions. Does my query suck? Do my sample pages suck? Had a different intern read it, what might have happened? I suppose that one yes erases all those questions.

Never fear, I won't give up writing. I think perhaps I should focus on something else for now. I have a vision for this story that may not match the pros right now. Maybe some success later will allow me to come back to this when I can do it right. A bit of fantasizing there, but that's what fiction is, isn't it?

Traci said...

Hee-hee - look what I found, and I wasn't even trying. Appropriate, no?

You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist. Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

Travener said...

Where is the yes? I've been asking myself that question for 15 months. Yeah, it hurts. Getting kicked in the head repeatedly will do that. I got no great advice. What the others said. Just keep sending it out.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Hang in there. Rejection bites - I wish they had another name for it because it seems so darn harsh.

Natalie said...

Matt, I just saw this and I've just got to tell you I've been there! Querying is so hard. Every rejection hurts. I gave up on my first book after 2 queries (and rightly so, because it sucked), but I racked up 50 rejections with my second (and did several rewrites) before I found a couple of agents who loved it.

So what I'm saying is maybe this book isn't the one and you should focus your energy on writing something new and great, but maybe it is the one and you just haven't found that one yes yet.

Take care! It is so hard now, but whether you write a new book or query until you get interest on this one you'll be stronger for it!

MC Howe said...

Well Natalie, you've thoroughly confused me. But I think you're right. I should focus on something else. And am. Except I'm going to keep sending this one out until I get that one yes.

At least I think that was your advice.

But seriously, I'm starting to care less and less about this book, and thinking of it as a part of the learning-to-write process.