So I got my first rejection on a full submission last night. Right before bed, unfortunately, which is my prime “wallow-in-self-doubt” time. It wasn’t a bad rejection – in fact, it was quite a pleasant one. Here’s what she said:
Thanks so much for sending along ZENN DIAGRAM!
I rather enjoyed what I read, but out of loyalty for an existing book/sale, I think I need to pass. It reminds me of SKANDAL by Lindsay Smith--which involves "powers' invoked by touch. I sold that book a little over a year ago to an imprint at Macmillan (Roaring Brook).
So I'm sorry to pass for such a "surface' reason, but I wanted to give it a fair look and see whether it was reminiscent or not.
Pretty straightforward, and it had nothing to do with my writing or my story – just timing. Again. And that is one lesson I’m trying to learn with this process: you can’t control certain things. I wrote the best story I could at the best time I could (for me). I have no control over the industry, this agent’s previous clients, or anything else -- only my actions.
That being said … it still sucks getting a rejection. It’s like that glimmer of hope, that possibility lingering out there, just dies in a “ping” of my cell phone. I have a gmail account set up just for my writing stuff, and when I see that notification on my phone, my heart skips around in my chest. Good news or bad news? Sometimes I literally hold my breath as I open the message.
When it’s bad news, my mind starts spinning, spiraling down to negativity. This will never happen. I’m fooling myself. What makes me think this is even a possibility? I’m nothing special. All my inner saboteurs come out to play and I believe them wholeheartedly. So I went to bed feeling pretty sucky last night.
But this morning I sent a thank you to that agent for responding so quickly and asked her if she thought any other agent at her firm might be interested (you are only supposed to query on agent per agency at a time – they don’t want you blanketing them all with simultaneous queries). She emailed me back that I should query one of them. So I did. Boom. Action taken, another line cast out into the sea. I feel better already.
So that’s the update for today. Here’s where my numbers stand:
Total Queries Sent: 26
Query Rejections: 1
Partial Requests: 1
Full Requests: 3
Requested Submission Rejections: 1
Possibilities Still Out There: 24