Photo by: bhavanalearning.com
VENTING AND VAGUENESS
Here I am at the beginning of this post, and I'm not sure where it will be going or what the point will be. All I know is that I need to vent and I hope you'll hear me out.
So, this is what set me off. I sent a manuscript to an agent I had never queried before. She runs a very small business and only works with two other agents. According to QueryTracker, she accepts picture books and responds to all of the queries in her inbox.
To submit to this agent, writers are required to fill out a form on Query Manager. This is no big deal—I'm used to these submission forms which ask for a query letter, the pitch, the word count plus similar books (at least two published in the last 5 years) and the intended audience.
But this particular agent wanted more. She asked for the number this book represented in a series— which threw me off. Like many other picture books, my submission was a stand-alone. In addition, she also wanted to know who had edited the book and if you were participated in a critique group.
I didn't pay to have this book professionally edited. For crying out loud, it's a 300-word book, I'm a college grad, been writing for over 20 years, been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Highlights, Mothering Magazine and scientific journals. But I answered politely: Yes, I belong to a critique group. My critique partners and my first reader helped me edit this work.
When all of the fields had been filled in and the form was carefully reviewed, I uploaded my manuscript and submitted the form.
Ten days later I heard back. It was rejected. Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't too upset about her turning down this piece. Rejections are part of being a writer. Maybe this agent didn't like the fact that my book wasn't professionally edited. Who knows?
But the thing that got me was the way she phrased the rejection letter:
Dear Randi,I'm sorry, but at this time your project does not fit what I am looking for, and so I will have to pass. Thank you for considering me and best of luck with your future queries.