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  • When Break Ups Are Like Literary Agent Rejections

    Posted on October 8th, 2009 jean 15 comments

    If you are a querying aspiring writer you may have noticed that at times, a rejection from an agent can sound almost like a break up line. To keep myself amused, I’ve made a little list of break up lines and their agent rejection equivalent.

    (Please note: A querying aspiring writer is an unpublished writer who is emailing literary agents, asking to be theirs. In turn, they more often than not, turn around and send you back a cyber rejection. Either that, or you get the cold shoulder–no reply, because agents are like the hot chick in the bar on men’s night and are literally bombarded with more requests than they can deal with.)

    Here goes (Break up lines / agent equivalent):

    It’s not you, it’s me. / It’s not you, it’s the market.

    I need some time to discover myself. / Your project doesn’t fit my current list needs.

    I don’t deserve someone like you. / I am not the best fit/match for your project.

    You are too good for me. / You have great potential, but I don’t feel passionate about your project.

    I just don’t see this relationship going anywhere. / Your pages/character/story didn’t draw me in as much as I had hoped.

    I don’t know what I want right now. / While I enjoyed your work, I don’t feel passionate enough to offer representation.

    I found someone else. / I am not currently seeking new clients.

    We need a break. / You are welcome to query me with a new project, but please stop querying me with this same story.

    I think you are a great person, but…. / You show great potential as a writer, but….

    I don’t think we are the best match, but you’re great and will get snapped up right away. / I didn’t make the connection with your material, but another agent may feel differently.

    And two more (one of which came up in the comments section):

    We’re don’t have enough in common / I don’t represent this genre.

    A break up followed by a restraining order / Do not pitch to me in the washroom during conferences. / Do not jump out from behind the bushes in front of my office to pitch to me. / Do not phone me every day and convince my secretary you are a sick relative so you can pitch to me. / I am putting your email and story title in my spam filter.


    If I still don’t have you convinced that romantic relationships can be like writer-agent relationships, check out the literary agency Baker’s Mark and their ‘Get to Know Us‘ page.

     

    15 responses to “When Break Ups Are Like Literary Agent Rejections” RSS icon

    • That was really funny, Jean. I would like it a whole lot better if I hadn’t just gotten one of those cyber break up letters. And we hadn’t even shared a first kiss yet!

    • Yeah, most of these lines come ‘pre-first kiss,’ but they can feel very ‘break up,’ can’t they?

    • I love this one:

      I just don’t see this relationship going anywhere. / Your pages/character/story didn’t draw me in as much as I had hoped.

      Nice work, Jean.

    • Thanks, Sabrina. πŸ™‚

    • Hee, hee…

      What about the breakup accompanied by a restraining order? What’s the rejection equivalent?

      Awesome post.

    • Thanks.

      Let’s see… probably something like: Do not pitch to me in the washroom during conferences/ Do not jump out from behind the bushes in front of my office to pitch to me/ Do not phone me every day and convince my secretary you are a sick relative so you can pitch to me/ I am putting your email and story title in my spam filter.

    • LOL! Love it, Jean! This was a lot of fun πŸ™‚

    • That restraining order is a riot, Jean. God only knows how many times we’ve been stalked. Come to think of it, are we now?

    • These are great Jean! I think you nailed them. πŸ™‚ This will be good prep for all the rejections I get once I start querying.

    • Sabrina,

      This isn’t stalking–I hope! Just making fun of our most desperate selves.

      πŸ™‚

      Glad you enjoyed the restraining order one.
      Jean

    • Thanks, Suzanne.

      It takes a bit of the sting out of the rejection, if you think of them like dating rejections–or at least it does for me. Sometimes I end up laughing at the rejection which is always better than crying. πŸ™‚

      Good luck with your querying.

    • Good post, Jean. It is nice to know that when you get rejections you are in pretty good company.

      You mentioned over on Agent Query that you have software that tells you how many visitors you get and I think that would be a cool tool. Do you suppose that is available on Blogger? Will you email me so I’m not clogging up your space here?

    • Yep, we’re all going through it, Yvonne. πŸ™‚

      For Blogger, you want something called Google Analytics, for WordPress, you click on a link to set up ‘Blog Stats.’ If you have your own domain and have access to cpanel, you can look up your stats–or have your webmaster send you the reports.

      I’ll email you more info.

      Jean

    • That was really funny, Jean!!

    • Thanks, Calista.

      πŸ™‚

      It was fun thinking of the equivalents.


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