EVERY WEEK, REJECTION LETTERS FROM MY PAST. BECAUSE THE HURT GOES AWAY AFTER A COUPLE OF DECADES.

THIS WEEK IN REJECTION!

This Week in Rejection!: Priest Literary

A good lesson here…

Priest Agency

When aspiring authors hear something like, “I’m sorry, but I’m just not passionate enough about this project to take it on,” they tend to take that very personally. But it’s not a judgment on your work. It’s a sober-minded distinction, a reminder that ultimately this is a business of perspectives and subjectivity. “Not passionate enough” does not equal “you suck.” It equals, “It’s not my cup of tea.” Period. Full stop.

A lot of folks also get bent out of shape by the “not passionate enough” argument because they feel that the commercial potential of their work is so obvious and so enormous that passion shouldn’t matter. “I don’t care if you’re passionate, you Philistine! Don’t you want to make gobs and gobs of money? Aren’t you passionate about that?

Again: This business is subjective. You need and want an agent (or, indeed, an editor) who is as in love with your book as you are, someone who will take care of it, look out for it, shepherd it safely through the dangerous valleys and gullies of the publishing world.

Look at it this way: Would you rather have a babysitter who cares deeply for your child…or just someone willing to take your money?

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this — handling rejection is such an important skill for writers. I’ve had plenty of practice, but still…

    Here’s one that might sound familiar:

    Thank you so much for sending me your work. I’m afraid, however, that I am going to have to pass up the opportunity to represent it. I am currently taking on new clients quite selectively, focusing exclusively on work that really stirs my passions. I honestly don’t feel that I could represent your work with the requisite enthusiasm in this tough market, but hopefully another agent will feel differently.

Leave a Comment

*