Sometimes the best ideas are associated with a red couch. . .

Day #17 – Rejections

By Dawn Frederick

My apologies for not posting this officially on Day #17. Between the MN Publishing Tweet Up and Aimee Mann in concert, it was a busy day yesterday.

So back to the NANO Bites, Saturday’s post regards rejections. Something that’s never easy for any author, but very much a part of the publishing process.

Over time, one needs develop a thick skin and be able to handle the rejections. The most important thing to remember is to NEVER take a rejection personally. With the heavy amount of queries received on a daily/weekly/ monthly basis, most agents are happy to even have the time to respond to all of them in a reasonable window of time. Here are some common reasons we turn down book ideas:

1. The agent is not accepting submissions (at the time)

2. The book idea is outside the agent’s representative categories

3. The book idea has already been written, i.e. it’s just like another book(s) on the market

4. The category is flooded, in that there many similar books along the same lines with a similar message.

5. The book idea competes with a current client’s book (already represented by the agent)

6. The author platform needs to be significantly developed and/or grown

7. Timing is a problem, ex: providing a book idea about a current event that may not be of importance by the time it’s shopped to publishers and published 1-2 years later.  

8. The book idea is still very much a work-in-progress vs. being fully fleshed out.

9. The book’s official category isn’t fully defined. Pick a category and stay with it vs. trying to embrace multiple ones.

10. The idea isn’t commercial enough. Some ideas are better suited for academic, library, or niche presses.


Hopefully this helps, as I imagine many will be preparing for the query process post revisions after NANO.

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