A bit of funny

March 13th, 2008 • Kate

Care of The Onion:
So let’s have some fun, readers. What’s the best (i.e. the worst and/or funniest) reasons you’ve heard or heard about for a book being rejected? Feel free to make up answers!

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5 Responses to “A bit of funny”

  1. Dwight Says:

    Oh man.
    The meanest rejection I ever got was for my first novel, the one I wrote in college:
    "This is terrible. Find your true calling. Somewhere there is a table that needs clearing."
    Some of my most baffling rejections resulted from a thriller I shopped last year.
    "This is too male."
    "I find the male-ness of this book off-putting." (My new favorite criticism, BTW, "off-putting.")
    "Well written. I think men would love this. Unfortunately, men don't buy books."
    Oh, Mighty Spirit God of Tom Clancy and Chuck Palahniuk, AVENGE ME! It's not like the plot was a bunch of guys degrading women or talking about their weezers. It was just two construction workers talking about their assignment for the day. All I can figure out was that the female characters didn't kick in until after the window of sample pages.
    NOTE TO SELF: Start all new novels with female protags prominently featured.
    And then… Yuck. There was an icky matter of receiving a 90 second e-rejection from another, less classy Colorado agent. I noticed said agent repped no male authors.
    One week later I set up a freemail account featuring a girly-girl woman's name, resent the identical query, changing only the title of the book and signing it with my female pseudonym.
    Request for partial. No effing kidding. Needless to say I didn't send the pages. That would not have been a business relationship founded on mutal respect.

  2. Trish Says:

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be), I didn't get any really interesting rejections. Mostly "not the right agent for this project."
    The rejections that stand out in my head were the ones from agents who behave as if they are doing me a monumental favor by "stepping aside." I realize those agents were trying to spare my feelings, but I think I'd have rather had "not the right agent for this project" instead.

  3. Mary Butler Says:

    True tales of rejection:
    The SASE that came back with nothing in it. Rejection presumed ???
    The SASE comes back with the original query in it, but nothing written on the query. This happened to my friend just this week.
    Oh, an the agent who "loved" the book, but wasn't "in-love" with it. ??? 'Scuze me? Is that like "It's not you, it's me?"

  4. Helene B Says:

    My most baffling Editor rejection for a picture book written in verse:
    A crumpled-up packing slip stuffed in my SASE. The packing slip (I gather) was from a store to the Publisher for returned picture books–written in verse.
    Huh (?)

  5. gogirl Says:

    1. Your protagonist is a jelly bean eater. BIG no, no.
    2. I suggest killing off your heroine by page two, and bringing her back as a gold fish.
    3. There was a full moon the night I read your novel. Need I say more?
    4. Too much intrigue.
    5. Characters were so happy I almost killed myself.
    6. Title page gave me a paper cut.