Query letters to agents… so, you’ve been rejected!



This week I have been working on the dreaded “query letter.” I’ve finished one of my children’s books and last year I sent it out to a few agents. Two wrote back that they weren’t “feeling it.” Well, not their exact words, but basically they didn’t have the “wow, factor” when they read my story. Two others never responded, which is par for the course.

Rejection is hard, because it makes us second guess ourselves. Our first reaction is to toss our story into the trash can, like Stephen King did. Done, finished, it wasn’t meant to be! After a good night’s sleep and soul searching, we start to think. Was it really my story or maybe I am not querying the right agents?! We pull our story out of the trash, dust it off and start again.

We take another pass at our story, maybe have a person or two read it and give comments. We tighten up the text and we start the query process again. If you are a writer, you know the drill — research sample query letters, research agents, research publishers, etc. Trying to find that one golden nugget that sparks inspiration where we type like mad and pat ourselves on the back for our brilliant query letter.

THAT is where I am today. Focusing on the end result, which is ALL of YOU lining up for a signed copy of my book only to find out I’ve run out of books! Laughing, didn’t that sound good!

In all seriousness, if you’ve written a winning query letter, please share some pointers. It’s time to turn this story around from rejection to signed contract!

16 thoughts on “Query letters to agents… so, you’ve been rejected!

  1. The query letter I sent to Harlequin received a form reply. “Thank you for your inquiry…” I submitted the book to a contest. The judges gave me some things I needed to correct. I rewrote the story; almost half of it changed. I was able to look back on the first letter and realize that it was horrible. I would have rejected it, too. I’d geared it toward Historical Romance. I wrote another query letter, gearing it toward Inspirational Historical Romance, and I was asked for the full manuscript. It ended up being rejected, but I wasn’t sorry as I leaned more toward Christian, so Harlequin’s line wasn’t really a good fit. The next query letter, I read up on the publisher; I read their site and their mission statement, working it into my query letter. It was exactly what I was looking for in a publishing partner. They offered a contract within a couple of weeks of receiving my submission. Children’s books are a tough market. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree. Sometimes we think it is the BEST it can be. After we put it aside for a while and re-read it, we can see the room for improvement… but at some point, it is ready for publication. HOW is your children’s book doing? I’d like to read it one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hihi. Sorry for this late reply. Thanks for asking. It’s still in the painful stage of editing. I had been working on it intensely over the last few months, then took time away from it deliberately. Now that I have returned to it with fresh eyes…as expected, lots more improvement to be made. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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