Tha AGONY! How’s about a little rejection?

I actually got a rejection letter with advice in it. I don’t really care at the moment because my book is published on smashwords, but this stuff still hurts. Thought I’d share…

L. Perkins Agency via

2:52 PM (22 minutes ago)

to me
Dear Teri,

You need to start with the title, genre and word count. You didn’t even mention it, so I assume that this manuscript might not be complete.

I also wanted you to lure us in with a unique premise. The regency heroine who is kidnapped by mistake and then succumbs to a seduction before falling in love with her captor seems very overdone.

There are so many Regency romances out there that you really have to make your manuscript stand out from the pack.

This setup didn’t excite me and I think if you send this out and dont get responses from agents it wont be about the quality of the query (although not having a wordcount or title doesn’t help). I do think they might pass based on a premise that isn’t original.

If you are still reworking this manuscript, I might suggest working on a different starting off point. A fresh reason to be scorned by the Ton and a unique way to be seduced (or to be the one to do the seducing!!!).

Then I would suggest you craft your query with the first paragraph being the manuscript stats, the second paragraph setting up the lady and her fall (or jump) from grace, the third section showcasing the male plight and then end with a question their (unique) conundrum creates. Can they overcome …? or Will they ever find a way to…? Something along those lines.

You have to up the drama and originality and then drive it home with a question that leaves us teetering on the brink and longing to read your unique novel.

Hope this helps.



I’ll give them a a break here because one, yes, maybe the query did make it seem like my novel was overdone…but then again I am not a pro query writer…but then again, she didn’t get to read my book so she doesn’t know if my book is a copycatter or not…Hence my self publishing. Oh well, bummer. I’m gonna go get drunk now…or maybe tie dye something.

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  1. Actually this is really very cool that she took the time to do this, most wouldn’t have bothered. I’d look at it as she knew you wanted to shop your story, but you weren’t presenting it right, so she gave some pretty good tips on that score, and yep, because of your query, she couldn’t accurately judge your story. Queries are all about marketing. I found that the best place to get advice and critique on mine is Because of it, I’ve got a 30% success rate (requests for partials/fulls) with my current batch of queries (which is actually pretty good– average is 2-3% but in order to land an agent you need to shoot for 15-20%).

    Even with an awesome query that captures your premise and tone, you’ll still get rejections though as not every agent will connect with either the premise or your tone or your characters, but that’s okay, because they wouldn’t have liked your book anyway– it’s like a test– which agent is this right for? It only takes one…. When you have a solid query, it’s much easier to blow off rejections…

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago
    • * bflyzone says:

      Yes, I know, but it’s hard to see the good when you’re upset. Actually it was a really helpful letter. Most of it was me messing up and not reading the directions correctly. Oh well, thanks for the comment.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
      • I know, it’s easy for me to say because I wasn’t the recipient. I told myself that I’d handle my first rejection for a full with aplomb and what do I do? Get depressed and take it personally… Sigh. It’s so easy to dispense advice, but hard to follow. Good luck with your querying!

        Posted 8 years, 3 months ago

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