5.23.2006

Rejection Collection Addiction

Okay, I might have been cruising rejectioncollection.com instead of writing, but in my defense, uh... I found some hilarious ones.

Aspiring author Rejected once, but not twice. got the old 'doesn't meet our standards' rejection. It's not hard to guess why once you reach the part about "Being that this was my first book, I knew that I would be rejected. If I had been Steven K. it would have been sucked up quickly."

He adds that revenge is sweet; he mailed the agency's prepaid postage reply card back to them glued to a brick. Ahahahahaha, oh, Rejected, you're so funny. And, frankly, you scare me. This just doesn't really seem the best way to, ah, build a working relationship with the professionals in the business you're trying to get into.

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Shocked In Canada insults and berates the agency he was rejected by, then adds a virtually incoherent ramble that indicates why he was rejected.

Tangent here, but why don't people proofread their comments and posts? I'm not saying you need to go over them with a fine-toothed comb; mistakes happen, and it's not supposed to be polished anyway. But you're trying to communicate, people! Jovial, giggly, unpunctuated, and/or uncapitalized stream of consciousness comments do not further this purpose. End tangent here.

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A guy in Maryland who just self-published his novel has been taken for a ride and hasn't figured it out yet. Hint: when an agent or publisher rejects your novel for free but offers to enter it in contest for money, you aren't going to win. Unless you're involved in a poetry anthology scam, of course.

Here, put it in a different context; the "selling your car" analogy. You be the hopeful guy selling his car, and I'll be the buyer. First, I test drive it and, well, shucks, it's just not right for me. But... $50 will buy you another test drive, and maybe this time I'll like it enough to buy it. Sound like it's "worth a shot" to you? Didn't think so.

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Here's another good one, from someone who styles himself Novelist. Essentially, the person he was slushing responded with "We don't accept mss. submissions.". The rejected writer was shocked and outraged; how could a publisher stay in business without accepting manuscripts? The nerve! Why am I not surprised to see that this writer was shotgunning his manuscript to boot? If nobody has hit you with the clue stick yet, Novelist, it's called a query letter. Google it.

Anybody can make a newbie mistake; the tragedy is that Novelist sent a heated email off to the publisher while under this misconception. He got no answer, but I'm willing to bet that this one ended up on the publisher's bulletin board. Ouch.

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My all time favorite has got to be Rejection Queen, though (see here as well). She describes herself as a "carpet-bomber"; to quote, "people that shoot out copy & paste proposals to any vaguely publisher related email". Ugh. In her case, this means 1,000 rejections in ten months, and "a number of" email addresses shut down as spam. How would an interested party even respond in that case? Ugh again.

Reading those two posts is like a little mini-lecture on What Not To Do; someone should make a quiz out of them, and if you fail to recognize any part of what not to do, you have to actually study the industry you're trying to get a job in. Hopefully RQ has grown up a little (the second post makes it pretty clear that she wasn't very old at the time of the posting) and figured out that publishing is a business.

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Okay, that's enough from me... I'm not being productive at all. But it's like a train wreck, I just can't look away. Some of these people seem just fine; they post standard form rejection letters or ones with suggestions from the editor, and offer a polite "glad he liked it, wish he'd bought it" as commentary. The vast majority, however, are downright scary.

The sense of entitlement is shocking, even to me (and I'm jaded and cynical. You know this because I tell you so). And the lack of research is crippling. If I wanted a job working retail, I would at LEAST determine if the store I was about to apply at sold hardware or lingerie first. Of course, I remember there was a study a year or so ago that showed that incompetent (I would have said 'stupid' but I'm not a scientist) people tend to be unable to judge their own level of incompetency properly. Maybe it's a survival mechanism.

I suppose I can chalk up the last few hours of wasted time as research in the event I ever decide to write a novel and attempt to sell it.

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