The first time I heard Kristy Kiernan speak, she said that she knew she was making query-headway when the "good" rejections started piling in. I said, "What the heck is a good rejection?"
If you don't know, let me explain. The most common type of query rejection is the form rejection. It usually sounds something like this:
Dear Laura (or worse, Dear Author),
Thank you for contacting [Really Awesome Literary Agency] with your query. Unfortunately, we don't feel that this project is quite right for us. Good luck in placing this and all future manuscripts.
[Really Awesome Literary Agency]
Now, when you get one (or a hundred) of those, you don't really know if it's because your query was weak, or your premise wasn't interesting, or if the person reading queries that day got a soy latte instead of a nonfat sugar free vanilla cappuccino at Starbucks that morning. You just read it, file it into your Rejection Folder, and move on to the other 50 pending queries on your spreadsheet.
But, then you get The Good Rejection. The Good Rejection happens when an agent requests a full and loves it. She loves your premise, your hook, your writing. Everything. The Good Rejection might sound like this:
Thank you so much for sending [Your Awesome Novel] to me. I'm sorry if this email has spelling errors because I stayed up all night reading your manuscript. Your writing is beautiful, your characters are authentic, and I think this could win the Pulitzer prize.
However, we do not feel this project is right for our agency.
Good luck in finding representation. I really enjoyed reading your work.
[Really Awesome Literary Agent Who Has Totally Confused the Heck out of You]
So, what's a girl to do? Just keep truckin' and consider this a HUGE compliment from an awesome professional in the publishing biz. If one agent loved it, but couldn't offer representation for whatever the reason, then another might, too.
Could you wonder WHY she didn't offer representation? Sure. Of course. But, don't be a dummy. Know how this business works. It could be that her agency just signed on with an author who's written something similar. It could be that she didn't really think she could sell it. Or it could be that her boss got a soy latte instead of a nonfat sugar free vanilla cappuccino that morning. There's no way to know for sure (do NOT call and ask). All you can do is thank her for her time and consideration and move forward.
So, NEXT up is something kinda cute. I decided to enter one of Janet Reid's blog contests and I got an honorable mention (one of seven that made the first cut). If you're interested, check out the original contest rules and the results. I'm Laura 2:23.
And, for the record Ms. Shark, up in the Midwest, people DO "wale" on others with wooden spoons. It's how we rough-necks talk up there. LOL :o)
Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone! ~L
What I Write
My young adult novels are dark, edgy, and realistic. Although I love paranormal and fantasy books, I prefer to create stories that could really happen (and in many cases, really are happening). For me, the echo of a story set firmly in the real world always haunts me long after I've read the final word. If you like Ellen Hopkins, Jay Asher, and Neal Shusterman, you might like my books, too.