Rejections from agents


It has been a while. First I was busy with sending out manuscripts to agents… a long, and lengthy process, and then I was in limbo.

I was a little lost whilst waiting to hear from the agents that I was pinning so much hope on. Silly really. I’d had so many ideas and plans when writing Killing Time, declaring to friends that I was too busy to complete any projects, and yet here I was… lost. I was all at sea.

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And then the time eventually passed. I redesigned covers, looked for competitions to enter and tried in vain to think of a sequel to my undiscovered masterpiece. 6 weeks passed. Then 8 weeks. The silence filling my ears. Well, almost silence. I had one young agent ask for the whole manuscript… just enough interest to keep my heart beating.

A small aside: Her name is Sarah Manning. Impossibly pretty, with that gorgeous girl next door look, that no girl next door to me has ever possesed. Young of course, with an innocent air that may well belie a savvy intelligence. She has started video blogging details on how to hook an agent. And against my expectation, thus far they have been really good, after a shakey first episode of introduction. Please find the link below:

And yet………………………. Sigh……………. I still ended with a rejection letter from her. A lovely, kind, nicely put rejection from my girl next door, but one all the same. She said I write well, and that the story is indeed very commercial…… but it didn’t captivate her!

Am I bitter? No, of course not. They receive so many submissions that they have to be completly blown away by your MS. They have to absolutely love your story, to the point that they fall in love with it… In love with it enough to fight by your side against their bosses and future publishing bosses that they pitch to. Remember, out of the thousands of submissions a year they receive, they probably only pick 2 or 3 up.

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So don’t get upset by the rejections, even if you imagined running with off the agent to some sunny beach house and living happily ever after. Oh… is that just me?

If they are kind enough to give some feedback – read it and utilise it. Get some trusted readers to go over your first 3 chapters again. Look for the hooks needed to snare your agent. Check the tenses and the character perspectives. Hell, check everything again that might just make those chapters more exciting. Unfortunately the publishing world is run by the MTV generation now. They want to be impressed ASAP! Like it or not, it is their world, and we have to play by their rules.

Or……………………………………………………… do we?

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There have never been so may options. From ebooks, to on the kindle, nook, ibook etc, to paperbacks. Publish using Smashwords or the daddy of them all, Amazon. Amazon own Createspace… I have mentioned it on here before. They make it free to upload all your image files for the cover, or use one of their designers for a reasonable fee.

And free to upload the interior file for the book contents. Just make sure the quality is good, because quite frankly, there are a lot of people putting some crap out there, and it is making it difficult for the rest of us. Check the spelling, grammar, formatting, fonts used at the very least. You will be helping yourself, and every other struggling author out there.


Use one of a new service, such as Red Door.


These  publishers are a step up from vanity publishing. A very important step though. One in which requires integrity, because you will be parting time and most importantly, a lot of money to try this route out. Basically, they work just like any other smallish publisher. They get editors and copywriters and cover designers to make your book look as good as you both feel it should be, and then start promoting it, and using thier contacts to get it into bookshops. They work out the logistics of warehouses, printing and distribution.

You have to submit a munuscript to them just like any other agent, and they can reject it just like any other agent, except that they can take biggers risks than traditional agents because you are lessening the financial risks for them. You are spreading the bet because you take a big part of the financial risk away from them by paying for most, or all of it yourself. This is the time when you put your money where your mouth is. If your book is so damn good as you keep telling people, then you should be the one taking the risks.

The reward? Simple. Your royalty percentage. A typical deal with a publisher will see you getting just 8%. A deal with Red Door, or Matador or a similar reputable service, should be 60% going to you if you pay everything. That initial outlay may be £5,000 or £6,000, but it’s a hell of a return.

That said Kindle ebooks give you a 70% return, and cost nothing to produce or sell on Amazon. You can sell them cheaper as no printing, distribution costs etc – but they are still only about 40% of the market, so quite a gamble.

And whilst Red door etc can be an easier way in, with bigger margins… do they have the clout to turn you into a best selling author? This is where it all hangs on what you want. I’m greedy for attention and money if honest, so want to give the big boys a try first. I have to admit though, the Red door alternative is looking more attractive every day.

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For now though, I will just have to wait for my second round of agent applications. Use Agent hunter btw… they save you so much time in searching out the details of the agents that would work best with your project.

I’ll also have to wait for Sarah manning to come to her senses regarding my book, and dating older men.

.Say hi sometime and check out my 2 books – The Many Lives of Adam Capello, and Killing Time, on Amazon, and for Gods sake give them a damn good review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time my friends..



2 thoughts on “Rejections from agents

  1. Bettina Dixon

    Just keep at it Mark I have every faith in you. Both books are good so am really hoping you get that lucky break soon

    • lunch21

      Thank you so much Bettina for your support – by hook, or by crook I’ll get one of them out there in the big bad world xx

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