Don’t Give Up the Search

books on writingIf you are a writer who’s serious about getting your next article or book published, then you no doubt have endured some rejections. Ow. That’s a harsh word. Let’s call them “declines” or “no thank you’s.” Or, how about you comment with clever names for the letters and emails we get when an agent, editor or publisher doesn’t want our work.

You’ve probably also grown accustomed to waiting, waiting, waiting for a response. Fortunately, many  agents are more lenient now and accept queries that have been sent simultaneously to other agents, making our wait for one to respond less of a time waster.

And boy can time be wasted. I sent a query December 2015 and received a reply July 27, 2016. Here it is:

Dear Author,

On behalf of the agents here at Lowenstein Associates, thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your work. I apologize for the form letter, but the volume of query letters we receive means we cannot send every writer a personal response. Please know that we do give each and every query serious attention.

Unfortunately, we do not feel strongly enough about your project to pursue it further. Agenting is very subjective, however, and even though we could not take on your project, another agent might feel differently. 

Please accept our best wishes for success in your writing career.
 
Sincerely, 

Assistant to Barbara Lowenstein and Mary South
Lowenstein Associates
www.LowensteinAssociates.com
I’m not giving up. I know my query is written well and my novel has a readership waiting for it.
How about you? Do you know you are sending your best work out? Will you give up?

 

 

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Did You Get Your Feedback Yet?

ken's war cyms 1

Before Ken’s War was accepted by Melange Books, I asked readers for feedback on sections of it and, if I thought they had time and interest, I asked some people to read the entire manuscript.

This is a delicate, yet oh-so-important step in the writer’s editing process.

First, I had to surrender my ego to sincerely solicit comments.

Then, I had to find people who know how to express constructive criticism. The writers’ circle I attended provided a pool of readers.

I also wanted to choose readers with knowledge about aspects of the story. Because the protagonist in Ken’s War is male, I asked males to be among my beta readers. The story takes place in a military setting during the Vietnam War, so when mistakes were pointed out by a Vietnam veteran, I verified that the suggested corrections were accurate and used them.

Fanstory (http://www.fanstory.com) members pointed out areas in characterization that needed shoring up.

Thank your readers for their critiques. Do not argue with them about their comments. If you have to explain or justify your writing, it’s lacking something…you won’t be able to explain or justify your story to agents or publishers.

You’re the author. You have the final word. In the meantime, get feedback. It’s one way to make your manuscript even better than it already is.

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Ken’s WarWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide.  https://www.facebook.com/kenswar.

Author reveals insights ken's war cover

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award-winning author of YA books.

Nicest Non-rejection Rejection and Then Some

Read this “no thanks” I got on my query from FinePrint Literary Management:
Thanks for writing to me about your work.

I’m sorry, this is a pass for me.

Right now my list is very full, and I’m fortunate that business
is very good so I have to pass on projects that are not only
good and publishable but ones I really like. That’s a good
problem for me, but it just stinks from the writer’s
viewpoint, yes indeed it does.

I strongly encourage you to query widely. Other agents have more wiggle room
on their lists and are able to take on more than I can.

Please think of this as redirection to another agent, not rejection.

Very best wishes to you!

Janet Reid
FinePrint Literary Management

help on query letters- http://www.queryshark.blogspot.com

my blog: http://www.jetreidliterary.blogspot.com

my website: http://www.jetreidliterary.com

Wasn’t that nice of her to write a gracious rejection and include helpful links?

About my published YA novel Ken’s War: As the conflict in Vietnam escalates, army brat Ken finds himself in Japan when his hot-headed dad, Captain Paderson, is suddenly deployed to a remote post there. Culture clash is one of the many sucker punches that knocks Ken’s world upside down. He struggles as his assumptions about friends and enemies, loyalty and betrayal, and love and manipulation are fractured. An army misfit, a Japanese girl and a martial arts master play unforgettable roles in Ken’s rocky journey in this coming-of-age story.

http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/bkfowler/kenswar.html

https://www.facebook.com/kenswar