Another Rejection

It’s been a while since I mentioned my continuing effort to find a literary agent. It still continues.

I sent a query to four agents on August 28 after revising the content in an effort to better pique the interest of the agents who might actually read it. I received three responses to the four queries, two of which were auto-responses because the recipients were out of the office. One response was a rejection:

Dear Bruce,
Thank you very much for thinking of me and [
company name deleted] for representation.  Due to the large volume of submissions that I receive, it is impossible for me to answer every query individually, however I assure you that your material was carefully evaluated.  After consideration, I regret to say that your project is not right for my list at this time.  As you know, this is a subjective business and another reader may feel differently.  To that end I wish you the best in finding enthusiastic representation.

I like that rejection. It it clean, classy, and upbeat. I actually felt good after reading it, but only for about 20 seconds. Then reality shook my very soul and plunged me into a deep and dreadful depression. That lasted about 5 seconds.

I’m getting used to rejections from agents and have accumulated a nice little collection. This is not unusual for people wishing to find literary representation. I won’t bother discussing how this works because most people have heard stories about struggling writers trying time after time to get the attention of agents and publishers. I’m not struggling, I’m just trying to generate some interest in my novel.

In time, if I can’t find an agent that will take me on, I will have to change my strategy. I can stop trying to interest agents in “The Boards of Stillwater” and go directly to publishers. I could publish it here on my blog and forgo any compensation. Or I could publish it myself in book form and try to sell it myself. I don’t think I’m suited for the latter option. I’ve never enjoyed direct sales. When I was a kid, I sold greeting cards and garden seeds door to door. I hated the process and vowed never to do such things again. I did manage to earn myself a Daisy Cub BB gun via the seed sales. I don’t recall what my take was on the greeting cards. It must have been cash because I can’t associate any particular material object with the effort. At any rate, whatever I gained I deemed not worth the trouble.

So now I’m trying to sell something through direct mailing. That would be my queries to the literary agents. Maybe I’m not good at selling that way either. Or maybe there’s just no market for the product I’m trying to sell.

I’m thinking I’d be more successful selling seeds and greeting cards. It would be nice to have a brand new Daisy Cub.

2 thoughts on “Another Rejection

  1. Bruce,

    Might I inquire as to what the storyline of your novel is?? Janet is an avid reader and aspires to write one of these days/lifetimes.


  2. The novel is about the early days of basketball in Indiana. It begins in 1912 during a baseball game between rival towns and follows the athletic progress of Stillwater, Indiana through the narrative of high school student and athlete George Belt. I think the storyline could be of interest to Indiana basketball fans but probably has limited utility outside of Indiana. It was something I was motivated to write after spending several years trying to find out what caused Indiana people to be so much interested in basketball.

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