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How to Be Rejected by Agents & Publishers

Copyright 2002; 2011 by Patricia Anderson



Here are my top-ten, personal-favorite, surefire invitations to rejection:

  1. Assure prospective agents and publishers that all your friends think you've written a masterpiece.
  2. Liven up your query with a joke or two.
  3. Begin it "Dear Agent or Publisher" and send out multiple photocopies.
  4. Never query agents and publishers in writing; show intitiative by ignoring their requests for no telephone calls.
  5. Indicate that you have 500 pages of notes and just need someone to turn them into a book.
  6. Avoid conciseness when querying agents and publishers; take up as much of their time as possible so they'll remember you.
  7. Send them your entire unsolicited manuscript.
  8. Tell them it will be the next number-one best-seller.
  9. Insist on a large advance.
  10. End with a flourish: "You'd be a fool to reject this one!"

Note: These are real-life examples of querying mistakes that aspiring authors have made in their efforts to attract the attention of agents and publishers. Just one such faux pas signals a lack of professionalism and, as a result, you will not be taken seriously. The best approach is to be brief and businesslike. Write a one-page query letter that clearly states what the book is about, its word count and genre, its market, and your credentials. For personalized assistance with queries, synopses, and proposals, please contact me...





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