Category Archives: Rejections

No but…

OK.  So Wade and Doherty were a no but they are going to get a tick in the “good guys” box because they were kind to me.

  1. They were fast.
    I submitted my query on 21 December.  Robin Wade replied to me today, 5 January.  That’s 15 days… most of which were holiday.  Top job.
  2. They were kind.
    What may well be their standard “no” is still a very good one.  I quote.

Many thanks for sending us this proposal, which I read with interest. I considered it carefully but I’m afraid on balance it just doesn’t quite grab my imagination in the way that it must for me to offer to represent you. So I must follow my instinct and pass on this occasion. I’m sorry to be so disappointing, but thanks for thinking of us. Of course this is a totally subjective judgement, so do try other agents and I wish you every success.

3. They were helpful.

I asked the e-publishing question.

Like many unpublished authors, I’m thinking of e-publishing my book.  How would that be looked upon from your side of the divide – as entrepreneurial flair or desperation?

His reply was pretty instant…

Desperation, I’m afraid, but ok of course if it will otherwise be unpublished.

Hmm… This is the second or third warning I’ve had about this from people a lot closer to the industry than I am.  Maybe I should submit to a few more agents before I e-publish my entire novel.  Sigh… the original plan which was to submit to the lot (there are only about 20 in my field who do comedy too) but I got so discouraged last year when it took so bloody long…

I’m going to have to do that, though, or shoot my credibility to bits.  When they’ve all said no… that’s when I e-publish, I guess.

And I see no harm in carrying on e-publishing free shorts… if plenty of people end up downloading those, it has to help prove the stuff appeals.  I won’t miss the e-publishing explosion either, that way… or at least even if I am last to market with a commercial product, the freebies might have built up a small following.

Leave a comment

Filed under e-publishing, Rejections


Many years ago, when I first wrote a book I was filled with enthusiasm – actually, I’m still filled with enthusiasm – but also, impatience.  You know how it is, you’ve finally manged to get from one end of a novel to another and you want to get your masterpiece out there as soon as possible… even though, in year heart of hearts, you know it’s not ready.


I think all I really wanted to know was whether or not somebody “in the know” thought I had the writing ability to cut it.  So… I had a friend of a friend who was an agent and after a very helpful and friendly initial call, I sent it to them.  He said it wasn’t his bag gave me another name.  I sent it to her, she said it wasn’t her bag, gave me another name and I decided to wait until I’d rewritten it before I tried that.

Spool forward 8 years.  I look her up and yes the agency is still going.  I send an e-mail and horror of horrors, get a very nice reply saying she died some years back but that if I’d like to send an excerpt in, they’d be happy to read it!

I did.

They said no.


Never mind they were kind enough to try to help, advise and answer questions when I rang for feedback and I still believe in this one, it is marketable.

Even so… I feel kind of flat.


Leave a comment

Filed under Finding an agent, Rejections

Rejection Number 1

My first application to an agent has been rejected.

I am unsurprised and I am surprisingly unmoved.

What does make it a bummer, though, is that they seem to be excellent types and have about the only website that talks to unpublished writers as if they are people rather than a trying nuisance!  It’s also a bummer because it means I’ve got to compose a meaningful pitch aimed at someone else in the pitiful amount of free time the mother of a 10 month old has in a day!


What does surprise me is that I don’t seem to have lost any confidence.  It sounds incredibly arrogant but I know my writing is good, I know it’s good enough to be worth publication.  That’s not enough these days, of course, you have to be a red hot seller which I am so not and you have to have a certain kind of luck.  Knowing somebody in publishing also helps.

Never mind.  I heard somewhere that JK Rowling got rejected 20 times.

Onwards and upwards, I will now proceed to agency number two on my list.  Meanwhile, here’s the letter.

Dear Mary

Thank you for your recent letter and the material which I enjoyed looking at.  As a small agency we take on very few of the many writers who approach us each year and, having considered your work, I am afraid I do not feel we can effectively represent you.

I trust you will understand that the sheer volume of submissions to this office unfortunately prevents us from providing you with a more detailed and personal response.

May I take this opportunity to wish you success with another agent or publisher.

With all best wishes etc

A decent letter.  And I know they can’t but oh how I wish I could go into the next submission with a hint, just one thing, that might need improved.  To paraphrase Rowan Atkinson… I am a blind man in a darkened room looking for a black cat that isn’t there!

Leave a comment

Filed under Finding an agent, General Wittering, Rejections