I ask cause I heard that it’s difficult for them to even consider. From what I know, trendy genre or in a booming category would be more likely to get accepted. Just wanna get some views and experiences. I figure it’s best to listen to those whom have had gone thru this. The pain. The struggle. The tears. Lol. You don’t have to share everything, only what you feel like you wanna share.
This seems better suited in #industry-insider so I’ll just go ahead and move it over there.
Thanks for understanding,
Fray - Community Ambassador
When I was actively submitting, I got tons. It’s just a matter of rolling with the punches. I had a few near-miss heartbreaks, but mostly form rejection letters. I’m waiting on one submission now, but the estimated reply date is still a month away
This was for short fiction, so the markets and processes are different.
A very long time ago when I tried sending a short to cricket.
I got somewhere over 100 rejections from agents, though a reasonable percentage were after partial or full requests, before I got representation. The rejections continue though; the two novels my agent has sent around both failed to get offers from advance-paying publishers (the only kind he deals with). They are now with smaller publishers I found for myself.
I have. The worst part was having one agent tell me she really liked my work but urban fiction is in such a bad state that traditional publishers won’t even touch it.
It is difficult. Horrifyingly so. Statistically agents get roughly 100 queries per week and accept 2-3 clients per YEAR. That’s less than a 1-in-a-thousand ratio.
HOWEVER. Writing isn’t a game of statistics. Most manuscripts (upwards of 90%) have a 0% chance of being picked up, because they aren’t ready. The remaining percentage have a much higher likelihood, because they are ready, and the writer just needs to query until they find an agent who falls in love with it and has the connections to sell it.
The challenge is to produce a manuscript with a good enough story AND a high enough level of crafting that an agent will fall in love. That almost never happens with a first manuscript. It can take years and many, many manuscripts. I think Michael Sullivan’s 14th manuscript was his first published.
All that said: Try anyway. Learn from the rejections.
Getting rejections on the query with no requests for partials or fulls? Either the writing in the basic query package is a problem or your pitch isn’t telling them what they need to know. (Probably the writing, though, because killer writing in the sample trumps a mediocre query.)
Getting requests for partials, but no requests for fulls? Likely it’s the writing.
Getting requests for fulls? May taken a year, but if you get rejected you’ll PROBABLY get some basic feedback. It won’t be in depth, but at least you’ll have something giving you some insight into what’s not working. Be excited though – to have gotten this far, you are getting close. THIS manuscript may not get published, but your next one might.
Not unless you happen to hit the VERY beginning of the boom when they’re desperate for stories. Otherwise it’s actually HARDER, because they’ve seen so much. You have to write something that has an unusual spin, or they just don’t want to read it.
Don’t write to trend. Trad publishing is slowwwwwww. By the time your book comes out, the trend would be over.
Write the story you’re passionate about.
Thanks! I’m writing a story that’s not trendy, something I love to write. What you just said makes sense. By the time, the trend’s already gone. YA dystopian future was everything then but it’s already fading.
I was a successful short story writer when I decided to write a novel. I submitted it to a mid-size publisher (that was #1 for the genre) and received a rejection letter with feedback using writing terms I had never heard so I googled them. It opened my eyes on how to write fiction well so I began my journey to learn the craft.
After learning how to write novels, I rewrote the one that was rejected and resubmitted it to the same publisher. The editor now said I broke a rule for the genre. She wanted me to change something. I explained why I couldn’t and she agreed, but she couldn’t publish it like that so I self-published.
For my next novel, I set my goal on the Big-5 publishers so I knew I needed an agent. After querying a grand total of four agents, I decided traditional wasn’t for me. One agent actually took almost a year to respond. I don’t have the temperament for that.
So my first rejection was eye-opening and helped me a great deal. Everything else with the querying process turned me off to traditional publishing. Saying that, I have a great deal of thanks for that first rejection.
I sent in a manuscript once. I didn’t really expect to be accepted, but I just wanted to do it, so I’d get over the fear of rejection. Got rejected, thought “oh, okay, better next time”, and moved on. Wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. They did say they liked my writing style, which I took as a big compliment.
Hi! I’ve actually sent many queries to agents and have faced loads of rejections. They’re very common. I have yet to have a positive response, but I think it’s a matter of continuing to work hard, face rejection, and keep trying. It definitely is rough and really lowers your self-esteem, but if you stop trying then you’ll never get a “yes”. I tend to try updating my query letters, making them better, then send some more. I’ve even written new books and tried those out with agents – again it’s hard, but you kind of get into the groove of it and keep pushing until something works out.
That has to be bull. I personally believe that Urban Fiction is the future. Books need diverse characters. The world isn’t 100% white.
I seriously hope you get an agent. Get that book published, girl!
I’ve been rejected before, it’s part of the process of being a writer.
It helps make success more worth it!
And that just makes my blood boil. I do think traditional publishers are moving forward in representing diverse stories but they seem to be more of just the uber empowerment variety (like this upcoming YA book called SLAY). I’m sure SLAY is avoiding the “urban fiction” title. Not many black books that simply detail normal black lives are really getting that same push
What? That is ridiculous. Urban fiction is growing everyday. If your heart is set upon writing Urban fiction, then write urban fiction. There are agents and publishers looking for urban fiction authors.
I think what that agent was really saying was “I don’t know how to sell urban fiction but I don’t want to admit that so I’m going to say it doesn’t sell.”
Exactly! The best thing to do @ReeWritesBooks is find an agent that specializes in urban fiction and/or send your work to urban fiction publishers. There are plenty out there. This is not a guarantee acceptance, but it may work out for you
I’ve been accepted by urban publishers, lol. But I was interested in publishing with one of the major publishers. And very few agents accept urban stories, for the same reason most publishers don’t.
I can understand that. It’s very hard to get accepted by a major publishing company