These are a few of the rejections I’ve received over the years. A few were addressed to me, though many were addressed to Dear Author.
Due to the current status of the publishing industry–and the selectivity that the market now demands, we regret that we cannot consider your material at this time.
I can’t decide if they both didn’t like it, or just the senior agent.
Thank you for sending us the full manuscript of your novel as we requested. Two of us have now had the chance to read it, and we found the subject matter both compelling and relevant, as well as incredibly moving.
Ultimately, however, —– did not feel strongly enough about the writing to agree to represent this book with the greatest possible enthusiasm. Hers is only one opinion, of course, and we both wish you the best of luck in finding the right agent to represent your work.
This one sounded the harshest to me.
Please accept my apology for this form response, but the volume of mail received in my office makes a personal reply impossible.
I have reviewed your material and it is not anything I wish to work with at this time. Thank you for the submission and I wish you the best of luck with other agents.
What makes a person enthusiastic?
Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, I was not sufficiently enthusiastic to feel I’d be the right agent for your work. In addition, I’m taking on very few new clients so I must turn down a lot of good submissions.
Aren’t impersonal rejections easier than personal ones?
Please forgive this impersonal note regarding your query, which we have considered but must decline. As we receive a tremendous number of queries, we are unable to respond to each submission individually, but we thank you for the opportunity to review your work.
We encourage you to keep writing and to try other agents.
Who does connect to my writing? Enough people to sell a book?
Thank you for sending the requested materials for our consideration and for your patience while I spent far too long considering it.
It is clear you have devoted a lot of time and effort to your novel, and you have every reason to be proud of the result. …..is not a simple subject to write about, but your work was very well done and certainly intriguing. I’m afraid though that I couldn’t connect with your writing enough to justify taking this on and submitting it into a market that seems to grow more and more difficult to enter.
As such we are passing, but thanks again for the opportunity and I wish you all the best of luck in placing your work elsewhere and in your future as a writer.
Well, it is good they are dedicated to the clients they have. Some agents aren’t.
Thank you for your letter regarding representation. Unfortunately, we’re taking on very few new projects at the moment due to an already full load with present clients and are not able to ask to see your manuscript.
This one was one of the most disappointing.
I so apologize for my delay in getting back to you. We were cleaning out the office and came upon your query for —. And while this certainly sounds like an original premise for a novel, I can see from my extraordinary delay that I’m simply too overwhelmed with work lately to be able to responsibly agree to take this on. I thank you for thinking of me here, though, and have no doubt that you’ve found other representation by now. I do wish you the very best of luck with this work.
Again, I’m sorry for my inexcusably slow response.
This was the rare hand-written note.
Thank you for thinking of me, Marta, but unfortunately the novel you describe doesn’t sound like what I’m currently looking for, so I’m going to pass. Good luck elsewhere.
Elsewhere is beginning to sound like a magical land.
I’m suspect (and does this make me naive or pretentious?) that my work is too quirky (or perhaps woo-woo!) for a mass audience. So what would any agent do? (WWAAD–I can see the plastic bracelet now.)