It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of the laughter here at BookEnds, but the minute this came into my inbox I knew I had to pass it along:
I discovered you through reading [Your Client’s] books. I enjoy them, but I think my cast of characters to be more interesting and my story a better read.
And here's another . . .
This is one of many books I’ve written. It is not necessarily the best, I have two more as good or better . . .
And lately I’ve been getting a lot of responses to my rejections that say something along the lines of . . .
I just signed a great deal with a small press so luckily for me I don’t need an agent any more.
That’s okay, I just signed with someone else.
Thanks for a much needed laugh today :D
HA! Well, this makes me less stressed over my query letter.
The line "I think my cast of characters to be more interesting and my story a better read." had me rolling.
"Well I didn't want to sign with you're agency anyways because I'm to good for you and my characters are more interesting and my books are longer and my covers will be prettier and I'll make a million dollars and then you'll be sorry. :'-( -->you
Have a nice day."
I think the first one might actually beat the tried and true "trust me, my book is WAY better than all those lousy bestsellers."
Thanks for sharing the laughs.
i'm glad you guys are able to laugh at those. as a writer, i'm offended when people send things like that. janet reid once copied a responce from an "author" that was just so mean...and i don't understand how people can be such jerks. ugh.
i'm glad you guys can laugh :)
Too funny! Tx for the Monday morning laughs.
Ahh! Thank you so much for posting this. Hilarious! :)
Oh, my! what a riot...don't people think before they hit send?!
hilarious...thanks for sharing ;)
These are priceless!! I hope you're saving them all in a file somewhere so you can publish them in a book someday....
LOL. I've been getting student comments back to me on my feedback as well this semester. Hmmm.... I teach creative writing at the college level. What I'm seeing this semester is a blatant dismissal of feedback or I didn't "get" their brilliance. I love the kind of questions about what I meant or what they were trying to say & how they might say it better .... but I've never in 20 years of teaching had people just smack-down the feedback. 'Tis the dawning of the Age of Arrogance. :-)
Awkward. It's amazing what people think it's okay to say.
I always go with the classic "I know you are but what am I?" when I get a rejection.
I think it's a little hard not to come across as errogant when you are a writer. It's not that you really think you are better but it's hard to come up with a great way to promote something you love without dismissing other works.
I have been working on editing with other authors and have to remind myself that if I have to defend my work against a critique then I missed something that the reader did not catch. I may think I am brilliant but the stories live in my head. The characters are real to me but the reason writing is hard is making the characters and stories real to the reader.
@Sara Thompson. I feel like that--that they are not alive unless someone else reads about them, but I do remind myself that most people don't care. Mostly, I fear, I am writing for myself.
Great post. I linked to it on my blog.
Ms. Trite says:
Those that can do, those that can’t, think they can, therefore they must convince the ones who really can, that they can, but in actuality they can’t, but are stupid enough to think they can.
Ms. Trite’s head hurts and she has decided to reference Strunk and White on the usage of the comma because she never used so many in one sentence before. It is obvious, regarding the comma, Ms. Trite 'can’t'.
Oh dear. At least the comments aren't overly rude. I've seen some posted that make me cringe. There's no excuse for being nasty. What if someone wants to query you on a second project? Don't they realize agents keep track? I guess it's easy to act up when they're not face to face.
In all fairness, the same day you rejected me I was asked for a full read by another agent. That said I didn't want to write anything snarky back because A) that's unprofessional, and B) your rejection obviously had no intention of being cruel.
That said, "I just didn't feel strongly enough to ask for more ..." for some reason did kind of sting a little. I find other agents tend to say things like, "I don't feel this project is right for me." Which for some reason feels better. I think because the later statement side steps the obvious power dynamic a bit better.
Of course your problems most likely stem from crazy people...
I think you could submit a few of those to http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com/
I'm always amazed by the amount of stupidity out there.
What I love most about these is the fact that someone would be seeking an agent for their third-best book.
I actually thought that your response time was extremely quick, and your comments, though short, did direct me to take another look at my query letter and try to make changes. Thanks you. It is hard to keep emotions out of something that you have labored over. I am sure that the minute your snarky writers hit "send" they regretted their decision.
Joanne, that occurred to me too, but it might be that the author feels this is the "third best" book in terms of the writing, but it's the most marketable because of the subject matter, style and genre.
I still wouldn't *say* such a thing in a query letter, but if you have a writer who's got a backlog of unpublished novels, the writer might want the agent to know s/he isn't a one-trick pony. "See, I can write about vampire unicorns who juggle, but I also have an artfully-written story about how alcoholism tore apart five generations of the Kendall family."
That's a very clumsy way to say it, of course. But it explains why an author would query something s/he didn't feel was the best.
It reminds me of the comments made by newly-rejected American Idol contestants. During the audition they are all sugar and sunshine, but when they don't get a pass for Hollywood, suddenly they turn on the judges. It always makes me laugh (sadly) when they say they don't need American Idol to be a star. Then why did you wait for hours and hours for the audition?
These all gave me a chuckle. With the first two, I can see what the authors were trying to say. ("Your clients' books are good, but you'll like mine even more!" and "I've written a lot, and they're all pretty good, so I just picked one to query with.") The last two are just potshots to deal with the rejection (or to ease your poor, agent-y mind that things have worked out OK for them in the end).
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