3 S.R. Johannes: Just not that into you - rejection letters vs dating

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Just not that into you - rejection letters vs dating

No matter what stage of writing you are in, we all get different kinds of rejection letters. I have had my share. What we forget is that agents and editors get them too and they are just as painful. (ok maybe not JUST but they hurt).

As I hear of other's rejections, I started thinking about how much getting published is like we're dating all over again trying to find Mr. Right (or Mrs :).

I've heard of many rejections over the years and think I can safely categorize them into the most common dating scenarios so it will be easier for you to tell which editors or agents are just not that into you.

This is just to show you that even after you have a commercial idea, with a good voice that has been edited to death - sometimes - it is just about being at the right place at the right time. Finding the right person.

It's the X factor.

Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like we all live in Alaska and there are only 50-100 members of the opposite sex and our sex consists of about 10,000 people.


1. You are not right for our list

You are just not my type. I prefer blondes and you are a brunette.


2. We love the book and premise, but didn't quite connect enough.

We love you, but we are not in love with you.


3. This one does not work for me but I'd be interested in seeing something else of yours.

Can we just be friends? BTW does your friend have a boyfriend?


4. You are a wonderful writer with great potential. After much contemplation, regretfully, I'm going to have to pass.

It's not you... it's me.


5. You deserve someone who is passionate about your work.

You deserve the best and it's not me.


6. Our list is full.

My calendar is booked for the next several weekends. I'll call you, don't call me.


7. Should you choose to replot your book, we would be inclined to see it again.

If you lose 10 lbs, dye your hair, and dress better - I might take you out (but I cant guarantee it or that I will pay).


8. While your story showed some very strong writing, it just didn’t hold my interest.


You are funny and nice, but I'm not attracted to you.


9. No response to your query

I didn't have time to call you back. I was busy. (Just not that into you)


10. You are clearly a writer to watch.

I'm moving on but I'm sure I will regret it when you date someone else.


11. Please give me some time to think through how you would fit into our list.


I have a headache.


12. Form letter


The wing man calls you to say he's not interested or you get a text.


I once heard of a guy who sent back a rejection letter to an agent rejecting his rejection.

“ Thank you so much for your rejection but I’m afraid I’m unable to use it at this time. For that reason I will have to reject your rejection. Please don’t take this personally. I receive many fine rejections every month, so I have be quite selective in the rejections I accept.”

I do not recommend this but it will make you laugh.

Here's to getting a great rejection and a few articles that might help you feel better.

Good luck and keep going. "The one" is out there for you - you just have to find them.

50 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

All too true, especially having gone through dating again in my 30s between marriages. I think I handle rejection MUCH better now than before dating again. The whole thing gave me a perspective on timing and perseverance that I didn't have before.

Portia said...

I love it! These are great and put a little perspective around some of the nebulous responses we get. Thanks for some humor to start out the day.

Yvonne said...

This was a pretty clever analogy and here I'd thought I would never have to go through all that teen angst again. I've seen some of these famous rejections. So we're in good company but it doesn't make it hurt any less.

Tess said...

Ha! Well said, and so very true. It's a subjective business that we have chosen and we've got to be patient and willing to kiss a lot of frogs before finding that match.

Kristi said...

Your list is hilarious! As I'm about to jump into this process, I'm gearing up for various forms of rejections and at least I can look back on this post and smile. Thanks!

Candyland said...

This is great! And true:(

Kristi said...

P.S. I can't believe the rejection letter to Anne Frank!

Janet Johnson said...

"It's not you, it's me"

I love it! Great and hilarious list.

Susan R. Mills said...

Ha! Great post.

nkrell said...

Love it! It took me five years to finally marry my husband after we initially met. (He was in Europe, I was here in the U.S., so part of the problem was location.)

However, if it takes me that long to get published...

Danyelle said...

I love this! You have a great sense of humor. :)

Heidi Willis said...

So funny!! And so true!! I laughed especially at #7. :)

It's certainly easier to understand the rejection once you've found some success, but still frustrating. Laughter is always a good balm.

Bish Denham said...

Oh my dear! I feel honored to be among the likes of Oscar Wilde, Anais Nin, George Orwell and Kenneth Grahame!

LOVE your rejection/dating scenarios.

Tere Kirkland said...

LOL, thanks for the laugh this morning!

Robin said...

So cute! LOVE #7!!! :-)

Kayeleen said...

I love this. At least, when the rejections start coming in, I'll be able to laugh. (And I thought when I got married, I would never have to go back to the dating game again.)

lisanowak said...

I loved #7 and #11! What a hoot.

Carolyn V. said...

That is so true. And #3...lol! =)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great way to put perspective on rejections.

Patti said...

I loved # 7 and it's funny because it's true.

Donna Gambale said...

Great post, and so so true. Love finding humor in rejection.

Ryan said...

Lol. I probably should not have read this after sending out another batch of queries. Anyway, lets see what sort of rejections I get :)

M Pax said...

And, I thought I was through with dating ... :-O LOL, great analogy.

Shelley Sly said...

Very funny post! Thanks for sharing. :D

Robert W. Leonard said...

That's funny, I've seen quite a few of your examples! Great list.

Corey Schwartz said...

Ha! Great post. I needed a laugh today, too.

Amy Holder said...

LOL! This is such a great post and SO TRUE! Thanks for the laugh!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

These are fabulous, Shelli! And perfect. I needed a little comic relief today. :-)

Cheree said...

Great post. Very funny, I love it.

Rachel Writes 4 Kids said...

Hee-Hoo! Thanks for the laugh.

storyqueen said...

this totally cracked me up!! YOu should submit this as an article....

Loved it!

Shelley

Cathy C. Hall said...

I'm sure I would have really laughed at this-if I hadn't been rejected today. Twice. (On a positive note, I never got rejected by guys twice in one day. At least, not the same guy.)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

LMAO. This was great! Uggh, I really dislike dating. I think it's way more painful than querying.

Best Bedtime Story Ever

C.R. Evers said...

LOL, very true. Fun post! :0)

Jemi Fraser said...

Funny stuff, Shelli :) I love anything that helps prepare me for that long road ahead :)

Stephanie said...

LOVE IT!! That was really great!!!

Kim Kasch said...

Great post - and it kinda goes along with April Fool's Day ;)

婉婷婉婷 said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Lol! Soooo that is what I'm in for. Good thing the end result is worth it lol!

茂一 said...

天下沒有走不通的路,沒有克服不了的困難,沒有打不敗的敵人。........................................

amy goldman koss said...

Great post!
xo
Amy

Ann Marie Wraight said...

BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT!
The analogy was SOOO apt!

Just one thing I beg to differ with, though. You talk about,

Mr. Right trying to find MRS. Right....let's hope that she's REALLY NOT a MRS but a MISS - or at the very least a MS!!! Now that really WOULD be messy. It would be like actually having representation from one Agent (or at least an offer ) and a 2nd Agent trying to swoosh in on a white charger to steal you away...ah..sigh....now I only WISH...that's my kind of scenario!!

Great post from a new follower!

Theresa Milstein said...

Great list! A few of these sound familiar, but others I haven't been "lucky" enough to get.

Rejecting the rejecters? That's excellent!

Thanks for the laugh.

Melissa Sarno said...

Fantastic! I really enjoy the rejection of a rejection. Seems very appropriate ;-) I once received a form letter basically telling me I should assume rejection unless otherwise notified. Perhaps that was a: "Right now we're just friends, but I might drunk dial you one night looking for a little something...'

Christina Farley said...

Very clever and funny!

T.J. Carson said...

Ha very entertaining post. I like it, especially the rejecting rejection haha... made my day. I would love to say that.

Amy Holder said...

I'm back to let you know that I gave you and this post a shout-out on my blog today. :)

KLM said...

Enjoyed this very much if only because it was waaaaay generous of you and it cheered me to think this is what agentese really means. Alas, I think all responses other than "yes" simply mean "no." :)

Julie Musil said...

Had me laughing nice and early in the morning. Great job!

Julie Musil said...

I shared your "not that into you" post on my blog today. Come visit if you'd like!