I don’t know about you, but I hate getting rejected. Then I got married.
For now, however, I think it’s best if I focused on letters of rejections from agents. I’ve had my fair share. Over the last 5 years, close to 100 of them. Now…that could be because I was so persistent that I wore them down and someone finally just gave up and accepted me. (Guys might call that a mercy … fill in the blank) It could have happened because I got lucky and just happened to find an agent who was so bored because of a lack of things to do, that she agreed because she didn’t have anything better to do. Then, there could be another reason, one that might surprise you.
I learned what I was doing wrong.
I’m a pretty smart guy. I understand the concept of rejection. I used to tell people that “if someone doesn’t like me, they’re just a lousy judge of character.” It was said in jest, of course, but with a certain amount of truth. I’m pretty confident about myself (with just a touch of arrogance). But even I can figure out, with 80 rejections+, that I was doing something wrong. I read all the books. I even check out some of you bloggers, and still no agent.
I then did something different. I decided that the only way to get an agent was to emulate someone who actually did it. I found a successful author who was willing to share with me. What he told me, after I explained my situation, was that I wasn’t doing it right. He told me that agents are looking for authors (even new authors) because we are the lifeblood of the industry. They need us, but they won’t make it easy on us. We need to give them a reason to WANT to work with us. They need good work–correction, great work–from us. They need a reason to want to read our first 50 pages and synopsis.
Most of you have more experience and probably write better than I do. I can accept that. It doesn’t matter if you can’t get that across to an agent.
Personally, I wasn’t willing to compromise how I got my work to market. If you haven’t reached that agent who’s willing to give you a chance, then stay proud and buy someone else’s work off the shelves. Or… make a bold step and realize that maybe you too need to change something about your presentation.
I’m not doing this to put anyone down. I’ve screwed up more than any of you can imagine. I want this to be a reality check for anyone who wants the success of reaching the next level.