Monday, 15 December 2008

Not right for our list

Finally heard from the agency who requested my full two months ago. While they enjoyed reading it they didn't think it was right for their list. No feedback other than that, so I've emailed to ask.

Oh well. It's disappointing of course, but I don't feel too bad on the whole. I'd more or less convinced myself this would be the outcome. So it's back to subbing and waiting.


Lori said...

I'm sorry, Sandra. The truth is not that you were not right for them, but they were not right for you. Something better will come along, you'll see.

Sandra Patterson said...

Aw, thanks, Lori. :-)

Tracy said...

Sorry to hear your news, Sandra. I know how disappointing it can feel but hold on to the fact that they read the whole thing. That's a huge step in itself.
You're allowed to feel disappointed but keep going - it'll be worth it. You'll get there.
Tracy x

Sandra Patterson said...

Tracy, I have a suspicion they didn't. It was an assistant who asked for the full and the agent's note only mentioned an "extract". Not only that I got an email this afternoon from the assistant saying they would not be returning the manuscript (despite the fact I sent return postage) or giving feedback as they are too busy! What do you make of that?
TBH I feel like I've been led up the garden path.

Tracy said...

Hi Sandra
They asked for the full therefore I think someone read the opening and thought it merited asking for more.

Is this a big agency?
If so, chances are the assistant is the slushpile reader. She/he or someone else in the line thought it worth looking at.
Whichever way I look at it I think you made an important breakthrough in getting that far. So I believe wholeheartedly that you should feel proud of that.

To be honest I'm not surprised they didn't give you more feedback as most places don't. I know that doesn't help you but don't take it personally.
Do you remember I said a friend of mine asked his agent to look at my work? Well, her rejection after reading the full was a simple 'no thanks'. No feedback.
My friend ended up asking her why and that's how I found out the reasons. And she thinks I have a great voice and the book has lots of potential. Do you see why I don't think you should take it personally, that's just the way some people work?
Again, I know it doesn't help us when we're sat here pulling our hair out.

Also consider how the agent works. Some are prepared to spend time helping the author if they see potential, others want a virtually perfect ms.

The agent who has given me lots of advice and help, but who ultimately turned down my full, said there was a lot of potential there, it just needed more work. She said that if she had the time she'd like to go through the whole thing with me and help me through the process but sadly isn't in a position to. I was gutted - grateful for the advice but felt like I was so close yet a million miles away. She wants me to re-submit but only after I've done the work myself.
I'm going to be candid with you now - and I hope you'll take it the right way. I think you should take a good, hard look at the comments the agent made, the one who said he was interested but it needed more work. Perhaps that is why the full isn't quite working yet?

Don't get me wrong - I think you're entitled to feel down. I know how disappointing it all is. But perhaps you just need to look at it all with a different perspective as to how you move forward from here. Do you have a good crit group you could turn to? And I don't mean the YWO crowd? Someone who's judgement you trust and will be honest with you.

I think all we aspiring writers need to acknowledge that, yes, it was bloody hard before, but now with the'credit crunch' it's even harder. Some places have frozen taking on new acquisitions, jobs are being axed. Apparently the children's market which is a tad more resilient than adult's, is finding times tough. I'm of the impression that good isn't good enough anymore - stuff needs to be great.

I hasten to add, I'm no expert, I'm simply going by the things the agent has told me about various issues. I've had a small insight into how she works and it's been enlightening.

Take heart, Sandra, I think you're a lot further down the line than you perhaps think or feel.
I'll shut up now.
Tracy xx

Sandra Patterson said...

Blimey, Trace! Thanks for taking the time to do such a long post. You're right - yesterday I was a bit p***ed off, more that anything because of not getting the manuscript back or any comments. After waiting and hoping I felt like a prize chump. Sometimes it feels like you're at the bottom of the food chain and no one respects you. But the other agent is still there in case no one else shows an interest. And there are loads more places to try - I still have a few I'm waiting to hear from. And even then, if NO ONE wants this book they will want the next one or the next. You can write on my gravestone "She Died Trying"! :-)

Thanks so much for your words of support, you've no idea how much it helps. Rejection is such a lonely place, isn't it?

Tracy said...

Rejection is a lonely place when we feel so in the dark. But you're not alone and I'm glad you're still fired up. Way to go, girl.

And blimey is right - that post was longer than I realised!! Boy, I don't have go on. ;-)