Two agents, two rejections, same book.
The first one, Mr. Big Agent, had the requested full manuscript since November 12, 2004. Here's what Mr. Big's assistant wrote to me via e-mail today:
Thank you for your patience. I know you have been waiting quite a while for a response. MR. BIG AGENT just took a vacation so he finally got a chance to read everything that needed catching up on.
He enjoyed YOUR BOOK and felt you had created a clever plot with lively characters. Unfortunately he is taking on less and less fantasy lately, and ultimately decided that YOUR BOOK is not right for him.
If you have not already, I would suggest that you continue your search for an agent by contacting the Association of Author's Representatives. The AAR is a professional organization that could help you to find an agent. You may view information about this Association at the website, www.aar-online.org or contact them via written letter at P.O. Box 237201, Ansonia Station, New York, NY 10023. Their phone number is (212) 252-3695.
Big Agent's Assistant
* * *
Now, this would be quite lovely, if the assistant hadn't sent the EXACT SAME MESSAGE to another writer buddy of mine today. Okay, not exactly the same. The name of the book was different. And whereas I had "created" a clever plot, etc., my buddy had "sculpted" a clever plot, etc.
Although, I will say that the AAR information is useful. Not to me; I already had it. But if any writers out there are thinking about researching agents, the AAR is a good place to start. You should also look at Agent Query, which I believe is http://www.agentquery.com/
Here's the second rejection, which came in my very own SASE today. Some authors have said that they've gotten good news through the postal mail. That's never happened to me. Anyway, after six weeks with the partial, here's what this agent said:
First, many apologies for the length of time we've held onto YOUR BOOK. We've had an unusually heavy flow of manuscripts, and yours had been set aside after an initial favorable reading. Despite the strength of your work, I'm afraid we didn't respond strongly enough to be able to offer representation.
((Standard form disclaimer follows about being increasingly selective, etc))
* * *
So I guess this is a close, but no cigar form letter.
Where's the ice cream? Two rejections on real material in one day? Gah.
To top it all off, I just mentioned to my mother that I received two rejections today. In her Mother Knows All Voice, she responded without missing a beat, "So it goes. It's all par for the course. That's what the industry is all about. It has nothing to do with talent. And if you get accepted, that's a fluke."
Er. Thanks, Mom.
Forget the ice cream. Where's the booze?