What to read into rejection letters: nothing except no

I can’t decide which I like better, the rejection letters from agents that sound sincere, personal and encouraging or those that sound like they were computer generated.

Every agent has her own style, and they definately run the spectrum, at least based on those I’ve received. In the end it doesn’t matter. No is no. I’m reminded of the lyrics of the song “She Loves to Be In Love” by that ’70s rock band Charlie:

The postman came today

Another letter from the USA

That makes it four this week

Just put that with

The rest of the heap.

This is a business, so I tend to receive the letters (actually e-mail in most cases) with the same dispassion.

Of course, it doesn’t start that way, does it?

We peruse, we read up, we look around. We find the agent we love. It’s got to be her. Yes! She’s going to love this! We massage that query until it is exactly for her, and we send it with our love.

Three weeks later, she writes back with something like: “Thank you but this isn’t right for me. Best of luck placing it elsewhere. Best, (the agent you thought you loved.)

So… just put that with the rest of the heap.

And move on.

Actually, I recently got one response that I thought went above and beyond what I ever would have expected. Her note was gracious and personal sounding, and then she said that she did a little research and found several other agents out there who might be better fits for the manuscript and sent me their names.

Wow. Turns out I had already queried two of them and had already been turned down, and the above rejection is from a third. But that fourth?

Does she know how much I love her?

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