After the Draft: Episode XI, Rolling with the Punches

Brief update on Let Sleeping Gods Lie. A second agent has gotten back to me after reviewing a partial manuscript (the first four chapters in this case) to let me know it wasn’t quite what they were looking for in epic fantasy. This agent was timely, polite, and sent out a personalized rejection. In short, they were very professional. So instead of giving up entirely on them or sulking in a corner somewhere, the best thing you can do when you find a good agent is put them on a list and keep them engaged. Here is the email I sent out in reply to the rejection:


Dear XXXX,

Thanks for the quick reply and the personal note. Both are rare these days and I appreciate them. I’m about 3/4 through a sci-fi murder mystery that might be more of what you’re looking for. If you don’t mind, I’ll query you in a couple months once it’s finished. Have a great day.


I thanked them for their professionalism, didn’t question or criticize their decision to reject the last book, and gently opened the door for another project. Quick, direct, and painless. Brevity is very important. The shorter your email, the more likely it is they will spend the time to actually read it. Remember, time is an agent or editor’s most precious commodity. If they’re spending any of it on you, whether to read you query, review your manuscript, or even send you a personal rejection, they are showing your efforts are valuable. Respect the time they’ve put into you, even if it didn’t give you the result you’re ultimately after, and they will remember you more fondly.

As it happens, this agent replied almost immediately to the above email and encouraged me to query them once The Ark is finished. Cool, huh? That’s it for today. I have another post percolating in my brain for next week, and I’m busy lining up new guest posts for the coming months. Now I have to go write, and so do you.

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