How would you respond to agent reply?

by Sonya Kar
13th December 2013

I submitted my work to a handful of agents, having not taken a professional edit or review.

3 rejections so far, the most promising on the top. Would you reply to the agent's reply listed under no.1? Juts sharing battle scars!

1: I've now had a chance to look at your submission and while I was (sic) very much liked and admired the work (and your writing!) I wasn't confident that I could secure a home for it - (it's a tough subject matter to place and

perhaps I'm not brave enough) but if you were to write something else

please keep me in mind.

I am sorry to disappoint.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take a look and I hope that

other agents/publishers think differently.

2: Many thanks for being in touch regarding your novel. While I enjoyed reading your synopsis and sample chapters I wasn’t entirely convinced that the overall concept of the novel is quite unique or captivating enough for us to feel confident that we could represent your book successfully in what is currently a very challenging market. As a small agency we are only ever able to take on a handful of new writers providing we feel fully confident. To that end I’m afraid we cannot offer you representation but we do wish you the best of luck.

3:Received one day after submitting 3 sample chapters, Cover letter and synopsis, ‘Thank you for sending us this material, which we have now read and considered. But we are sorry to say that your novel is not something we would feel 100% confident of being able to handle successfully.

However, there are as many opinions as there are agents and publishers, so we wish you all success in finding suitable representation elsewhere.”


To me the first one doesn't sound like a standard reply. Certainly the request to send them something else is definitely a good sign! While I wouldn't reply to it directly if I were you, they really do mean what they say about keeping them in mind.

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thanks all for your answers. I was so sure the topmost answer wasn't a standard one ; ) Quite disheartening to know it is.

I am currently looking at works published in my genre and how writers develop the plot, pace and characterisations. Trying to deconstruct other people's work might help me look at mine more objectively. I have not looked at my novel while waiting for the responses.

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Sonya Kar

Nope, those kinds of replies don't need responding to.

IMO, 3 is the standard form rejection you'd get even if you sent something written in green ink absent of vowels; 2 sounds like a form reject of which the agency may have a couple of versions; 1 is a form reject with a slight personalisation.

Bottom line: these don't mean anything. Trying to read anything into them is the route to madness because a rejection is designed to stop you following the agent home afterwards. The only thing they are telling you is "No".

Now get sending some more subs out. :D

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