Taking The Sting Out Of Query Rejection


Believe it or not, writing the novel is the easy part. Once it’s finished and polished, it’s time to send it out in the world in search of an agent, editor, or publisher. The writer now has to undergo the often daunting task of condensing their entire novel down to two paragraphs. For tips on writing query letters, see the links below.

I’m here today to talk about taking the sting out of rejection, or at least a technique that has worked for me. It has taken the fear out of hitting the “SEND” button because either way, it’s a win win situation.

For every rejection (or 3) I get a book.

It can be checked out from the library, borrowed from the Kindle Lending Library, a free download e-book, new book, or a not-even-out-yet book like Gena Showalter’s new book Alice in Zombieland.

Don’t be tempted to cheat with this technique. It only applies to query letters written to the best of your abilities. Since I started this, I’ve earned a few nibbles from interested agents. Awesome! I’ve also received a few rejections. Only now, instead of thinking my work isn’t good enough, when the truth is my project isn’t right for that particular agent, I think NEW BOOK!

How do you take the sting out of rejection?

Related Post

Why You Should Only Query 6-8 Agents At A Time
Operation Query Critique: A Good Egg
How To Format A Query Letter
Writing A Query Letter

How To Write A Query Letter

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Why is hitting “SEND” so scary?


Writing a query is tough. Taking a 60,000+ word document and boiling it down to two to three paragraphs is a daunting task. I went through six editing rounds (though, fights feels like a more befitting word) with the query letter for my YA paranormal romance, EDGE OF TRUTH. Then, I took it to my critique group where it underwent another three rounds.

Meanwhile, I researched agents I learned about through WritersDigest.com and other sources.  Then, logged into QueryTracker.net, an awesome and FREE database of literary agents, and started making a list of those I’d like to query. After visiting websites to make sure I had the most up-to-date info on what they want, I decided it was time to start submitting.

I prepped that first email, pasted the query in the body along with the synopsis (don’t get me started on that) and the first ten pages. My mouse hovered over the SEND button…one click away…and I lifted my finger. I couldn’t bring myself to click SEND for fear of a typo somewhere. So I read through everything again, found nothing, and ran out of excuses. Now, I can say I have queries on the loose.

Why is hitting SEND so scary? Does your finger gain ten pounds before you click send? How do you muster up the courage to submit your query?