Blogger: Rachel Kent
Last week I wrote about what to do when your query letter is rejected by agents. This week I’d like to remind you all that agents experience rejection, too. Each day we receive rejections from publishing houses for authors’ projects we’ve submitted. When I receive one of these rejections, I feel it. I’m disappointed and it’s hard to tell my clients that a publishing house has turned us down. While these books aren’t really my projects being rejected (I didn’t write them), they’re still important to me. I want to see those books in print. I love them–that’s why I chose to represent them. I want other readers to have a chance to read them too.
Agents also experience rejection when we’re negotiating contracts. Sometimes we present a change to the contracts department at a publishing house and we believe the change is mutually beneficial to the author and the publisher, but the contracts negotiator is immovable for one reason or another. When this happens, it’s frustrating and disappointing because we are unable to get what we want for our clients.
We’re also faced with rejection when we work on obtaining the best titles and cover art for our clients’ books. Most of the time covers and titles are presented to us and they are fabulous, but sometimes we would like to see them tweaked in one way or another. This isn’t usually a problem, and the changes are made, but once in a while the sales people (or some other in-house source) demand that a certain title or cover be used. Though we’re pretty sure that another design or title would have a broader appeal, we’re unable to convince the publishing house to make the change. This is disappointing, but it’s also a lesson in trust. We move forward, hoping that the publisher is right and that the final title and cover will sell more books.
So next time you receive a rejection letter from an agent, remember that we understand the feelings that you are experiencing. And if it’s your agent passing along a rejection, know that your agent feels the sting along with you.
What do you do when you receive a rejection letter?
How do you get past the negative feelings so that you can press on in your publishing journey?