What Does It Mean When an Agent or Editor Says, “NO?”


What does it mean when an agent or editor says, “NO?”

While I was at the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop, July 12-16, Editors, Molly O’Neill and Noa Wheeler, as well as, Jennifer Laughran, Associate Agent explained what it means and doesn’t mean to them. I am not quoting them. I am just telling you what I believe they said and meant from their talks in the sessions. Links to their websites are at the end of my post.

Editors and Agents
What their response means if they say, “no” is that it’s not for them. It doesn’t light their candles. It doesn’t envigorate them on an outer level and inner level. It’s not their cup of tea.

It means that it’s not something that interests them on many levels:
1. It doesn’t mean that you are not a good writer. You may write a blockbuster book about sports. If this editor/publisher/agent says “We are not interested in sports stories,” don’t send them your prizewinning sports story. Send it to someone who likes sports stories.
2. It’s not something they are as passionate about as you are.
3. They don’t get excited about your topic. They might loathe it.
4. They don’t think they can sell it to the committee that has to approve it. They don’t think they can market it. They don’t think there is a universal appeal in your book’s plot and characters.
5. It could be they have just bought a book with a similar plot or character.
6. It could be you didn’t follow their guidelines.
For instance, if it says, “All queries must have “query’ in the subject line of an email.
When you choose not to put query in the subject line, your letter will probably go into the spam folder or to be deleted by their email software program. They have it set up that way. Follow their rules.

What does it mean when an editor/agent wants your book and says, “YES, I WANT TO YOUR MANUSCRIPT.”

1. They are as passionate about it as you are. They are excited and have an abundance of excitement and love for your story to stay excited and committed to your book for at least three years or more.
2. They connected with your manuscript on many levels: as a reader, as an editor, as a marketer, and on several emotional levels as a human being.
3. They believe they can sell it to their co-workers on the acquisition committee and to the readers.
4. They are excited about your writing and know you can handle any revisions essential to making it a better book because of the skills that are evident in your manuscript.

Keep on writing and submitting and reading the marketing guides. Look online for the latest books bought by the publishing house you want to publish your books. Check out the storytime website of Barnes and Noble. It has different authors reading their picture books and author interviews about their books, such as: Smash Crash by Jon Scieszka and Jeff Kinney author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid It’ll give you insights as to how to improve your writing. It’ll get you one step closer to hearing the rhythm of a good story.

The editors and agent at the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop were:
Molly O’Neill, Editor Harper Collins Children’s Books , Noa Wheeler, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, Jennifer Laughran, Associate Agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Never give up on your writing or yourself! I hope this information helps you.

The sixth person to subscribe after May 12th where it says “Sign me up here” in the left hand column, will receive a
free paperback copy of my book, Flip Flap Floodle.

Happy Living and Writing
Joan Y. Edwards
http://www.joanyedwards.com/FlipFlapFloodle.htm

Copyright 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses

  1. Joan,

    A list of possible reasons for receiving a “no” may help when the ego is bruised, but the tip about Barnes and Noble was a real gem. Thanks for all the information.

    Linda A.

    Like

    • Dear Linda. I’m glad you thought the Barnes and Noble Storytime was a gem. It’s definitely enlightening and inspirational for me, too. Thanks for writing.

      Have a Flip Flap Floodle Day!

      Joan Y. Edwards http://www.joanyedwards.com/FlipFlapFloodle.htm

      Like

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