Sunday, March 07, 2010

It's not just writers who fail to recognize form rejections

Remember the line from Steel Magnolias when Truvy says "Louie brought his new girlfriend over, and the nicest thing I can say about her is all her tattoos are spelled correctly."


I thought of that this morning when a friend in the publishing game mentioned s/he had received a submission from an "agent" that included a form rejection from another publisher - literally an unsigned photocopied form rejection from "The Editorial Staff" of another publisher - as proof of the serious consideration given her client's work.


At least all the words on her business card were spelled correctly***



***Not used correctly of course, but that's a rant for another day




19 comments:

Debra L. Schubert said...

I'm pretty sure there's a blonde joke in there somewhere.

Margaret Yang said...

Reason number 437 why a bad agent is worse than no agent at all.

Lisa Blandford said...

Isn't that along the same lines of what Jessica blogged about over at BookEnds? Never quote in your query to one Literary Agent what you received in a rejection letter from another Literary Agent?

I guess this "agent" should read Jessica's blog.

Laurel said...

I can't imagine a plausible scenario for that. Author pretending to be agent thinking that proof the MS had been submitted to an actual publisher would validate claim to be an agent? That's the best I can come up with.

Deep River said...

That agent must have a fascinating dating life

Tawna Fenske said...

Oh my. I hope the author wasn't fooled into paying this so-called "agent" up-front.

Tawna

Christi Goddard said...

I don't see what the big deal is with form rejections. I'd much rather get that than nothing at all. I'd also rather get that than an agent going 'don't expect this to succeed' or 'you aren't very good' or something else that would stab my muse.

I'd also never tell another agent how rejected I've been, so I don't see how an 'agent' would tell a publisher. They had to have either had about six minutes of sleep the night before or they really have no idea what they're doing and need to go back to interning to re-learn the industry.

Not that I think the average intern would even do something like this, of course.

Ricky Bush said...

I've worked with people pretty much like this "agent". They'll blame their lack of success on EVERYone and their cousins, before they look at themselves and their methods.

Oh, and yeah, I'll take any kind of rejection over the non-response method.

ryan field said...

Someone should be double-snapped for this...lol.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Ooops. Form rejections aren't so bad. Now the no brainer form ... that's the one we want to avoid.

The Rejectionist said...

$100 says that agent blames her assistant!

Daisy said...

I don't know, I think having it spelled correctly is a victory in itself.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Yipes! How long had this agent been an agent?

worstwriterever said...

That's so sad :(

Stephanie, PQW said...

Okay, now that's just scary. As the title says, I can do bad all by myself!

Rick Bennett said...

Sometimes we creatives completely misunderstand the effect we have on other people. I remember in 3rd grade when Gregory Rudolph pulled a three-foot bogger from his nose. I thought this was the coolest thing I ever saw, so I waited until I had the usual winter head cold and then . . . out the corner of my eye I saw I had Theresa Guerro's attention, so I pulled my own magnificent three-footer and casually wiped it beneath my desk. I heard a disgusted, "Awh!" from her and figured I'd scored. Problem is, she didn't speak to me clear through high school. Sigh

Betsy said...

So people are still sending round manuscripts?? I thought everyone was submitting electronically, where you can make all kinds of other mistakes like sending the wrong draft, or addressing your pitch letter to the wrong person, etc. When I was a p/t asst in a literary agency, we were under threat of death to pull the letters before recycling the manuscripts.

Betsy Lerner

Linda Rader said...

This is the funniest blog ever.

thewritelife2 said...

Funny! I'll remember that next time I get a form rejection letter.