Yesterday I received the first rejection email in response to my query on behalf of my novel, “The Boards of Stillwater.” So far, I have sent seven email queries to literary agents. The response I received today came from one of those seven. Here is the response, edited slightly to protect the sender.
On behalf of Jennifer [name redacted], thank you for your query regarding THE BOARDS OF STILLWATER. We’re sorry to report that the project is not quite right for Jennifer’s list, but rest assured this is a completely subjective response.
We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
The email was signed by someone. That indicates that someone might have actually read the query. And since the response is “subjective,” I feel pretty darn good right now.
I decided a week or so ago to ask several people (not agents or publishers) to read “The Boards of Stillwater.” I didn’t have to ask, because two individuals volunteered their services. They are, as we speak, making their ways through the novel. I’m hoping they will provide some feedback so that I can correct any glaring errors or omissions before an agent or publisher requests the manuscript for perusal.
I have compiled a list of potential additional agents that I can send query letters to. There must be thousands of agents out there, most of them waiting for a query for a novel like mine. They just need to get interested enough in the query to ask for a sample of the real thing.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a literary rejection, but, you know, the one I got yesterday didn’t really hurt at all. I expect to get lots of them. If I zero out with all seven of my original queries, I’ll consider tweaking my query to make it more appetizing. Then send out eleven more.