Friday, April 25, 2008

Don't quote rejection letters in a query

Ever.

That's just a rule.

Not even if you think they are "glowing."
Not even if the rejecter suggests you try another market.

Not EVER.

It's bad salesmanship for starters, and it makes me realize before I've ever read your stuff that it isn't something everyone is dying to get their mitts on.

Most of the projects I'm offering on these days have three or more agents in the mix, offering representation.

I'm not looking for a diamond in the rough.

Don't quote your rejection letters.

Any questions?

5 comments:

John Cecil said...

Yeah, that would be taking things out of context.

A pass is a pass, is a pass.

I really appreciate any encouragement or insights, but I would never think of showing that to anyone else by my mom, and not even she is very impressed.

ChrisEldin said...

Ahhh...Haven't made that one yet. But in theory I probably would have, given enough time.
:-)

Julie Weathers said...

I'm not sure why anyone would want to admit they have been rejected. I would be honest if asked by the prospective agent, but I'm not volunteering it.

It's kind of like saying, "Hi, E-Harmony couldn't find me a match for six months, but they thought I was interesting enough to pair me with you. They think you'll find my uni-eyebrow intriguing."

Jael said...

I did this once upon a time, and got an agent from that letter, but it could have been despite the mention and certainly wasn't because of it.

Previously represented for a book that didn't sell, looking for new representation on a new and better book, and editors had said awesome things about my first one (while rejecting it, of course).

That said, even though I'm an exception, I still agree with Janet. I'm sure it turned off more agents than it seduced -- I wouldn't dare mention previous representation in the initial query these days. Especially since I'm unagented again. "Hi! I've had multiple previous agents! I'm sure the problem probably isn't me, but you have to wonder, right? Ha ha!"

Editorial Anonymous said...

Ha! I just saw a cover letter where the author proudly said that two other publishers had read her manuscript "with interest". -Snort-