Agent & Querying Tip of the Week: Good Things About Rejection Letters


As usual, today’s tips come from the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents. Today we will be discussing how rejection letters can be a good thing.

No one enjoys receiving a rejection letter. I imagine it’s actually pretty depressing. However, there is a silver lining. If you’re down about your latest rejections, here are some ways in which your rejection letter could be a blessing.

Ways Rejection Letters Can Be “Good”:

1. Lets you know that an agent has looked at your submission.

Now you can stop worrying about what the agent thinks or whether or not they have even looked at your submission. I believe it’s better to know than to always be kept in the dark.

2. Even famous authors have gotten them.

Kathryn Stockett, who wrote The Help, got sixty rejection letters for her famous, best-selling book. Twelve publishing houses turned down the Harry Potter series. Stephen King received dozens of rejection letters for his first novel, Carrie. George Orwell, John Grisham, Judy Blume, and Meg Cabot were also rejected many times.

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3. They can build courage.

Rejection letters can make you more determined to get your book published. “I’ll SHOW that agent!”

4. Good rejection letters can help you grow as a writer.

Not all rejection letters are negative and/or bland. Some agents put a lot of thought into explaining why they are declining you and your book. If you get a helpful rejection letter, take note and improve your skills.

5. Use your letters to reach out to other writers.

Join a site where other authors share their rejection letters and agent declines. You can vent, discuss, or find out which agents are worth it.

6. All it takes is one.

It can be easy to feel down when you get many rejection letters from agents. You may start to wonder if they are all evil. But every once in a while, you will come across a rejection letter that is thoughtfully written and meant to help you because good agents love books as much as you do.

7. Rejection shows who loves and supports you.

If you tell loved ones about these letters, you’ll find out who is really there for you.

8. Keep count until “the Call.”

If you get a lot of rejection letters, think of how sweet it will be when you receive the one letter that wants you and your book. Take Kathryn Stockett and her sixty rejections. Think of how she felt after her book became a bestseller.



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