Friday, September 29, 2006

If at first you don't succeed

From Storytellers Unplugged. Gulp!

A good, legitimate agent has about a 98 percent rejection rate. This is why you must play the numbers (and write a professional query letter and an excellent book). Many writers will give up after ten or twenty or fifty rejections. This is not enough. You should aim for at least a hundred. You should resign yourself to the fact that finding the right agent is a process that could easily take one year or longer. By that point – especially if you never got to first or second base before the frustration of being cut off – it might be time to either massively revise the manuscript or retire it as a ‘practice novel’ and begin something new. There is no shame in this. It is part of the learning process. We all have our rejections, our near-misses, our heartbreaks. You have to crack some eggs and Rome wasn’t built in a day and if it came in a bottle everyone and their Aunt Edna would be a published novelist. Etcetera.

And from
Et in arcaedia, ego

...I was just talking with a client who mentioned that he had 49 rejections of his manuscript before it sold. And one of those rejections was from our agency. We're a few books into that series now and having a blast.

And if that's not enough evidence of how wacky this publishing gig is, try finding the story of how Tom Clancy first got published.

I'm just sayin'.

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