Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rejections Come Late

Throughout my writing career, I've had the displeasure to receive my fair share of rejection letters. It's something that is never enjoyable, and it seldom provides any insight into why my work was rejected. Most often it simply "doesn't interest them" for whatever reason. I hardly ever receive constructive criticism, due to the swamp of slush that flows through the publishing pipeline. Big press, small press, big agent, little agent; it's all the same form letter.

I received a kind and considerate rejection note from Amy Boggs over at the Donald Maass Literary Agency earlier this week. It wouldn't have been anything of note, except for the fact that it was a year late. Apparently, there was some technical glitch with a server, so a batch of email didn't get found until recently. It was nice that she took the time to address those of us who queried her so long ago, even if it was just to say "no thank you."

It seems the longer it takes for me to get a response, the less likely it is I'll get an acceptance. I don't know if this is because my work sometimes gets set aside in the "maybe" pile, or I'm just hitting some really swamped editors (possibly both). Either way, the sales I've gotten have generally been swift and efficient, with editors responding within a few weeks of my initial submission. When it takes someone several months to get back to me, I can be assured of a negative reply. I once had a publisher take 18 months just to say "we're not interested."

I wonder if any other writers have encountered this sort of phenomenon. Is it common that acceptances are early and rejections take forever, or is it just me?

Well, I'm off to scour the internet for another Literary Agent who hasn't heard of me. It's actually quite hard to find agents who are interested in representing Science Fiction, so wish me luck.

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