Monday, August 20, 2007

Personalized rejections

Today alone I've received five responses to standard rejections asking for more specifics. Considering how many queries I get a day (see below post), and considering my clients come first, a "this is not for me" is just going to have to suffice.


Whitemouse said...

Even if you did reply, that would only open a dialogue, and they would want even more feedback. The best way to teach people not to expect free critiques is to never give them free critiques. :-)

Anonymous said...

Jonathan: Have you noticed whether any of these people who say they are regular blog readers? I remember Nathan Bransford rejecting me a couple months after I started reading his blog. His blog makes all his readers feel like his pals & when I got the e-ject from him, I didn't think twice about emailing back, saying "so what was it that did me in?" and then listed 3 options.

After I sent it, I asked myself, "What am I thinking? He doesn't know ME!"

Kinda the same phenomenon local TV news folks have when people they don't even know start talking to them in the grocery store.

claud said...

Could you be more specific?

Kristan said...

Although I've only submitted short stories to literary mags (so far! and soon to change!), I have to say, as a writer, I'm always going to try to get more info. As an agent/editor/reader or whatever, it's your right not to give me more, but I think it's ... strange, to expect me not to at least TRY. Because maybe you're feeling generous one day. Or you have some downtime (yeah right). Or whatever. Basically there's a chance, however small, that you might tell me something I can use to make my piece better. And how could I not seize that chance? That's more or less what this whole industry is about, isn't it? Going after every small chance.

What I'm saying is, I hope you won't be upset if/when I (or any author) tries to ask you for more information. Because we're not necessarily expecting that you will reply. But we have to try.

Jonathan Lyons said...

Kristan - I will never respond to these requests, as I've made very clear. If an agent hasn't been as clear as me about this then I understand what you're saying. But in my case it is both a waste of an author's time and a bit irritating to me since the author is doing something I expressly requested that they refrained from doing.

Kristan said...


Fair enough. Having never submitted to you (yet!) I was unaware that you make your policy clear in your rejections.

Thanks for the speedy response, and for this great blog! I'm learning so much about the industry.