Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Why I Hate (But Completely Understand) Form Rejections
Status: At my husband's request, I've decided to take a few days off. Seems I've been so busy lately that he misses me. I really hope I can be a full-time writer one day. By the time I get home from work, I only have a few hours before bed time. Which means I never have as much time as I want to do all the things I want to do.
Number of agents queried: 13
Number of form rejections: 4
Number of requests for additional materials: 0
To put it as simply as possible, getting a form rejection hurts. To me, it means that my work is worth only about 5 seconds of their time. I especially hate the ones that start with "Dear Author." Honestly, I'd almost rather they forgo the salutation altogether.
BUT (and this is a big but, which is why I put it all in caps) I completely understand where they're coming from. From what I read online, these people are getting 100+ email queries a day. A day. That's absolutely crazy. If I get to work in the morning and I have more than 5 or 10 emails, I know I'm going to be very busy. So more than a hundred times a day, people are emailing these agents asking them to review their work. Plus they get emails and phone calls from their existing clients. They have to review the partials and fulls they've requested from potential new clients. They have to meet with editors (phone, in person, or what have you) because they have to actually sell the books they agree to represent. They have to go to conferences. And they have to do whatever other insane amount of things it is that they do in order to be good agents.
So I guess, when it comes down to it, I'm actually grateful that I'm worth those 5 seconds to them. Because frankly, if my only choices are get a form rejection or never hear back at all, I'll take the form rejection any day of the week and twice on Sunday. At least then I'll stop wondering and waiting. And maybe sleep normally again. That would be nice.