This is not a new thing. I’ve been through this twice before and was entirely unsuccessful. So, it’s created a cringy moment for me every time I see that I have mail in “that” inbox. I expect a “no thanks” and it is kind of crazy that it is giving me so much anxiety. To be fair “so much anxiety” for me is just a little more than your everyday getting through a humdrum day level of anxiety. My wife and kids suffer from anxiety disorder, so they know it much more intimately than I do, but nonetheless it is surprising.
My son tells me he is that way for any email. Even though he knows he may have important info in there he hates getting that ping.
I remember back in the old days of America Online and that little voice that told you, “You have mail.” It was a cool thing. Subbing has kind of ruined that feeling for me.
I have it out to a dozen agents and one publisher and have already got “no thanks” from two, which, good for them, it was super fast. I appreciate that. A lot of agents will not say anything, ever. I know that is a standard for a lot of agencies and it’s a crap standard in my opinion. I would never do that to a business associate, even someone I didn’t know. And that’s what we are, business associates. This is a business. It’s basically just rude. I don’t care how busy you are. How long does it take to send a pre-crafted email saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Less than a minute for sure.
But I can’t change that, all I can do is be thankful for the merciful agents that let me down quickly instead of ghosting me. I’m not bitter about it, although it might sound like it. I know how things are. I know I have to level up my game, and I have. I expect to get a yes this time, but even saying that I still cringe every time I see that I have a response. I want it, but my track record thus far has ingrained in me an expectation of rejection.
My mentor from my MFA program told me to sub each manuscript until I got a hundred rejections. The problem I personally have is finding that many agents that represent science fiction. I have around 90 on my list. I keep looking and hoping. I know it only takes one, “Yes.”
I would love to hear your submissions stories.