Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rose-colored glasses . . . Part 2

Okay, back to where we left off. The '07 ACFW in Dallas.

I had a great meeting with agent Y representing superagency X. The meeting went twice as long as it was supposed to. Very good back and forth. I was told how well I represented myself and how well I summarized my manuscript. Agent asked for my proposal and . . . well, I've never heard from her. Still this was not a rejection. Either I will eventually hear from her. Or, my manuscript doesn't fit the vision of this agency.

Agent B didn't waste much time asking for a full. AB told me my first page passed the test and AB definitely wanted to see more. I still haven't sent AB my full. Why? Because I'm not sure we're a good fit. Result: No rejection.

Editor D seemed promising. Again, meeting went real well. D asked for a proposal and full manuscript. Two months later, D informed me that my book wasn't a good fit for D's House. Okay, this is as close to a rejection as I've received. But still, all it meant was that my manuscript wasn't a good match.

Also, I couldn't miss the bright side. I was a conference newbie who received 5 requests. Not too shabby. I've yet to meet with someone who said: "Your way out of your league. Don't send me your stuff."

More bright side: Editor C from my first conference asked for a full, sent me a page and a half of notes, requested a rewrite and re-submission. Which I'm taking a long time to do, but I am doing.

Alright, I'll confess, I'm not made of stone. I do feel the sting of rejection briefly. But we're talking less than a minute. But the sting is not based on any resentment against the reject-er. It's based on realizing I did something to cause it.

Maybe I...

sent it to the wrong publisher/agent.
didn't pitch it effectively.
pitched it before it was ready.
did everything right, but it wasn't a good match
etc, etc, etc.

Okay, it's possible that the agent/editor is a narrow minded idiot who passes up bestselling books from new authors everyday because they're just upset that they couldn't sell the book they've been working on for the past 12 years, . . . But I seriously doubt it.

My advice, for what it's worth, is to look at rejections in a brand new light. Consider them information sources. Put on your special rose-colored glasses and maybe you'll see the real message behind the form letter.

4 comments:

Nicole said...

You're such a guy, Dayle. :)

Nicole said...

Here's a perfect quote for ya, Dayle.

"I haven't failed; I've found ten thousand ways that don't work."
Benjamin Franklin

Todd said...

That's one of my favorite quotes Nicole.

Rejections and failures are not the end of the world. Many very successful people have had there share of those. The important thing is to learn from the process and try not repeat the same mistakes.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I like it, Nicole.

Though, I'm not sure my optimism could make it through 10,000 rejections.