Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Many Rejections is Too Many?

Just a thought on this. We read all the time how many rejections those best-selling authors received before catching a break. But how many rejections is too many, before it's time to move on to the next project? A writer on Query Tracker announced that she received 115 rejections before obtaining representation. Would you hang in there that long? Would I? While I haven't received quite that many, I have received enough to make me think it's time to move on to my next project. And then I get a request for a partial, or encouraging feedback from an agent--just enough to convince me to keep shopping it out. So what about you? How many rejections before you call it a bust?


  1. This is a great question! I usually follow my gut. Even if my books are getting rejected I still move on but I haven't given up on the others. It's a tricky situation. Who knows next time you might get the attention you're hoping for! DOn't give up. =)

  2. 150. If I haven't found anyone that loves my book after querying 150 agents, then it's time to put it away for a while, look at it in a year or two and see if I still love it.

    Of course, if I don't get any responses to my query letters after, say, 22 tries, then I think I'd revamp my query letter.

    Knowing me, I'll revamp and tweak my query letter after every try. Thank goodness Query Tracker lets you keep a copy of your letter with each agent you query!

  3. That's a good idea, Suzi. Maybe it's not a "no" it's a "not now." And T. Anne, following your gut is good, too (mine proceeds quite a bit ahead of me these days, what with all the chocolate associated with sending out queries!). And if you're still getting requests in the midst of all those rejections, I'd say keep going even after 150. Agent Janet Reid says it's a number game, especially if you're getting interest. So I say put that funny-looking sunscreen on your nose, grab your floaties, and keep swimming!