Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Rejection, the Writer's Digest Yearbook, and a Fashion Question


Here is my latest email rejection.

Thank you for contacting xxxxxxxxx about your book idea for The Spirit Guide Bar. While the story sounds interesting, we regretfully must decline agency representation since we have a full client load at this time.

Please know that this letter is sent with the utmost respect for you as a writer. I wish you the very best in your search for an agent and/or publishing home for your work.

Wow, these people really know how to say no. They obviously ascribe to James M. Barrie’s credo, “always be a little kinder than necessary.” The kindness is greatly appreciated.

Query Emails Sent: 176
Rejections received: 30
Under Consideration: 16
Failure to Deliver Notice: 5


Diligently, I read this magazine cover to cover, hoping to find the tip that could take me to the promised land. Here’s what I walked away with.

1. Paper publishers are struggling while electronic publishers are optimistic.

2. Author’s rarely publish their first novel.
Spirit Guide is my first novel. Do I get any points for the collection of short stories? OK, I’ll write another novel - dammit.

3. Agents aren’t interested in narcissistic triumph of the human spirit stories.
My book is pretty much a triumph of the human spirit story. Narcissistic? Ouch.

4. Molly Glick of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency writes,” I hate it when a book begins with an adventure that turns out to be a dream at the end of the first chapter.”
OK, now that’s the way my book starts. No dreams the first chapter of novel number two.

5. According to Scott Hoffman of Literary Management, there is a bias in the industry against older writers. He suggests, “a little bit of camouflage goes a long way."
Am I an older writer? Yikes. I don’t think of myself as an older anything. Perhaps a pair of really baggy jeans and a new tattoo are in order.


Are corduroys out of style? Somebody please tell me. My wife picked up a couple of pairs at Cost Co. I’ve been wearing them on a regular basis because I don’t have to iron them. And I do like that zipping noise they make when I run down the school corridors. My students and coworkers have been cracking wise lately. With a rock solid self esteem like mine, I couldn’t care less what people think. I was just wondering.