“Thank you, but…”

“Thank you, but…”

“…this is not for us,” or “we’re going to pass,” or “we don’t see a fit,” etc etc etc. I’ve been seeing quite a bit of this lately. So let’s see, that makes three down, seven to go. Rejections, that is. After weeks (months) of editing and deliberating (dithering) at last I took the plunge, subjecting my opus to the unerring judgement of that second most coveted of things for an aspiring novelist, the literary agent (the first being an actual book deal).

The prelude to this was as follows– edit, spellcheck, save, close, open, save as PDF, close, forget auto signature, open, add auto signature, save, close, open, save as PDF.  (Did I spell my name correctly?) Open, (duh) save, close, open, save as PDF, close. That’s just for the cover letter. Bear in mind this is after I had already recruited (duped) a handful of willing parties to give the submission the once (or twice) over. By the time I had spit-polished the thing to within an inch of its literary life my eyes had gone cross with the effort.

Finally, all was ready (ha! so teasing are the gods of prose). Twelve point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced generously margined PDFs ready to go. Friendly but formal cover letter: check. Synopsis: check. First three chapters and teaser: check, and a shameless, self-promotional CV thrown in for good measure. But what is this? They want what? This one a one page synopsis, that one a two page synopsis in 1.5 spacing? (mine was five whole pages!) Word doc? No, PDF? Ten page mission statement? Of course, silly me to presume one template would do. One size does not fit all, each agency unique in their strict (and not a little bit curious) demands when knocking on the door of opportunity (wedged shut and Banham locked, though it may be). Right. Back to that synopsis. AGAIN. Delete, cut, edit, cut, edit. Cut, cut cut, edit, edit, edit. Yawn. You get the picture.

The entire process has been tedious, mind-numbing, exhausting and in all likelihood entirely fruitless.

By the end of this I have around fifty different files saved in varying degrees of completion and a new paranoia I mistakenly attach the wrong files to the wrong agencies.  That very first submission, I remember it well– cursor lingering over the SEND button, my twitchy thumb hovering over the mouse pad for what felt like an eternity. A well of self-doubt bubbling within (reinforced a few short weeks later). Just DO IT!


Then I spot it. The typo. Sigh.

In view of this, I suppose I’ve been too apathetic to bother logging my melancholy into cyber space. And in any case who wants to hear it, right? I figure I have a more few weeks grace before receiving all ten rejections, lending if but for a brief period the vain hope of validation. But, much like this spirit-sapping, interminable rain and remorseless winter I expect the no’s to keep on coming. Ready for spring… and plan B.



  1. Jerri White
    Feb 25, 2014

    Janny, take heart!! You are just the beginning. There have been many famous books that were rejected multiple times before they became huge success stories. Here are just 4 of many links that will show you what I mean:





    If you check these out (and google others) you will see that you are in good company. Meanwhile, start a new book while you’re waiting.

    Hugs and kisses to you, David, and the boys,

    Aunt Jerri

  2. January Hope
    Feb 25, 2014

    Great links, Aunt Jerri! Thanks for the encouragement, words of wisdom as always!

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    • January Hope
      Apr 7, 2014

      Hi Alex,
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