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  1. #11
    Dave Kuzminski, Preditors and Editors

    Re: p.s.

    And I swear that I typed "write" and not "writer". Them thar gremlins is lose agin.

  2. #12
    Roy Abrahams

    Re: p.s.

    Nice save, Dave!

  3. #13

    Re: p.s.

    98% reject rates are the norm in fiction publishing. I'd say 80-90% of what is out there is flat-out bad or at least below-average writing.

    The next 5-8% might be good writing, but not quite "good enough", or perhaps not to the editors' taste or the perennial "not quite right for our audience" type rejects you see a lot from the genre magazines. I get a lot of those rejects myself, as my writing is generally considered good, but since what I write is often very odd, it gets rejected more for taste-related reasons, although I often get praise with those rejections. That leaves 1%-2% of what fiction that actually gets sent out to editors/agents making it into print.

    And then of that 1-2% that makes it into print, count only 3-5% of that published material ever becoming bestselling.

    Writing is a very, very tough business. It takes perseverence, nerves of steel, skin of iron---and sometimes, a heart of stone.

  4. #14

    Re: p.s.

    . . . and drugs.

  5. #15

    Re: p.s.

    98% is just fine for me. Does that mean by the time you send out your 99th query, you'll get an agent . . . because I'm almost there.

  6. #16
    Dave Kuzminski, Preditors and Editors

    Re: p.s.

    No, it means if you can't count 98 other writers you know who are worse than you, then you're one of that group.

  7. #17
    Sponge Bob

    Re: p.s.

    True, a lot of the stuff circulating out there is just plain terrible. However, there are more than enough people who do write well to fill every single available publishing slot ten times over.

    It's like scoring in the 99% on your SATs and finding out that you still can't get into Harvard. True, relative to the general population, few people can write well enough to sell a book. But don't let that fool you. Among people who can write well enough to sell a book the competition is still fierce.

  8. #18
    Dee Power

    Re: p.s.

    Here is the question itself:

    5. What is the most common reason you decline to represent
    a writer?

    ___ The writer is unpublished
    ___ The writer and you just don’t ‘click’
    ___ Your client base is full, you just don’t have time to
    take a new client
    ___ Outside your genre (for example you don’t represent
    science fiction)
    ___ Poor writing – whether query letter, proposal or sample
    ___ Other, please specify ________________________________


  9. #19
    Nell Gavin

    Re: p.s.

    Here's another reason: Multiple genre manuscripts. If the agent can't pinpoint a book to a specific market, they presume publishers won't touch it and will give it a pass. For instance, an unpublished author with a "Science Fiction/Mystery/Romance/Historical/Inspirational" novel is going to go begging, even if the book won awards. A clear-cut "mystery" - or anything - will be more apt to find a niche and an agent.

    I learned why that was when I owned a bookshop. Where did I put a book like that? I ended up putting it under all applicable genres just to see what flew where, but that got to be a pain.

  10. #20
    Jennifer Lyon

    Re: p.s.

    Re: Putting the book on the right shelf...
    Every mainstream bookstore I've ever been to has a large section designated for "Fiction" or sometimes "Fiction and Literature." There, you'll find everything from Edgar Allen Poe to Tom Clancey to Toni Morrison to Virginia Woolf.

    Re: Writers who can't write...
    One agent, one editor at a major publishing house, and a handful of small publishers told me my last novel was "well-written" but not marketable. We'll see what happens with the new book. (The aforementioned agent has the manuscript.)

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