On Rejection Letters


Some of the Samhain authors have been privately sharing some pretty funny thoughts on their rejection letters from various publishing companies. They range from ridiculous comments that seem irrelevant to the submission to standard form letters that have, well, a pretty standard effect. But some are funny. I only got one scathing rejection, but that company isn’t in business anymore, so it seems kinda mean to share it. The ones that started making me crazy were agent rejections on fulls that say something like: “I didn’t love this QUITE enough.” To which you want to respond, “How much more did you need to love it, and what can I do.” I learned eventually that this was also a form letter. Don’t form-letter me hope. The one I like the most so far was from HQN’s Nocturne line: “Does not suit our current needs.” Very kind. It’s kinda like the break-up line: “It’s not you, it’s me.” George Costanza comes to mind.
I’ve been on the other side of this business in nonfiction, in which your letters typically address the market issues directly, because folks have to submit involved sales projections. I wouldn’t want to be in the place of someone having to reject a novel. You really can’t win.
What’s your funniest rejection? Or maybe you were never rejected? Oops, I mean your work was never rejected?

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2 thoughts on “On Rejection Letters

  1. Tempest Knight says:

    I sent my novel twice to contest before it was accepted by Cobblestone Press, so their form of rejection comes in silence. Your name is not on the list, then you lost – they don’t want your story. *lol*

  2. Ciar Cullen says:

    That doesn’t sound too bad LOL. Evidently you did something right with it! I got smacked by karma for this blog, because I opened my mail today and there was a rejection from an agent for an old book, and it was kinda harsh, even by my tongue-in-cheek standards. I’m not going “out of house” again for a while. Kinda like writer agoraphobia.

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