Query Tips – Dealing with Literary Agent Rejection

There’s a lot to say regarding “rejection” from Literary Agents.

If you are not getting any requests for your novel, the fault may lie with your query letter. Are you sure it satisfies all the necessary requirements? Be honest with yourself and have others critique it. See my previous posts regarding how to write a query letter and read other people’s opinions on this as well.

For now, just go into your Query Quest with the knowledge that most published authors got rejected 50 – 100 times before they found their agent. I’m not sure where I read that, but it stuck with me. I’ve only sent my query to about 8 agents, so I have at least 42 to go before I should start getting frustrated.

I will say this about rejection: it is never fun, but it can be useful.

But in order for the rejection to be useful, you have to handle the rejection correctly. For revision purposes, keep track of why your novel gets rejected. If several agents provide the same reason for rejection—then you should probably revise the novel (maybe just a little, maybe a lot).

However, don’t revise after each rejection! That would destroy your novel’s pace, structure, voice—everything! Besides, so much of this is about personal taste. So if one agent says the pace was too fast, the next agent might claim the opposite. And maybe the best reason why not to re-write after each rejection is this: you’re not going to send it to that agent again anyway. You had your shot and it hit the target (because she requested it), but it wasn’t a bull’s-eye, so now you move on.

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