How Many Authors Have You Rejected?

When I go to a bookstore, I walk straight past the romance and horror and non-fiction over to the fantasy and science fiction section, and often browse the young adult (YA) aisles as well. Even though I know there are great books on the other shelves, those are the genres I’m interested in reading.

Now I want to find a book.

What I’m looking for depends on my personal tastes, what I last read, what kind of story I prefer, and what I consider to be a “good” book. My friends have different opinions and they have loved books that have done nothing for me, and I’ve been crazy about a book that they found “okay”.

In order to make a decision about which book to buy, I read the back copy. Sometimes I put the book back, sometimes I start reading the first chapter. I know within the first few pages whether or not I want to spend 3-4 hours with that book.

When I finally choose a book, buy it, and walk out of the bookstore, it’s nothing personal against all of those other authors .. but I have just rejected them.


Now – take that above situation and translate it in to an agent’s world … far more people than they could ever represent, some queries that appeal to them more than others, deciding which manuscript they want to spent 1-2 years of their life with, and then sending out rejections to the rest. Nothing personal, the agent just didn’t choose your book.


About Heidi

I write novels - fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction & young adult (YA). Then I query. Then I wait. Sometimes get to send in a manuscript. Then I wait some more. Someday the waiting will end in joyous celebration. I know this.

4 responses on “How Many Authors Have You Rejected?

  1. India Drummond

    Since I’m an ebook convert, I go by the blurbs on Amazon, and if that appeals to me, I download the sample chapter.

    Truth be told, though, I only purchase about 1 in 10 books where I have downloaded the sample.

    So, the answer to your question is….wow… a lot!

    1. Heidi Post author

      I also do the sample chapter thing with ebooks, both for finding new books, and as a reminder of books I eventually want to buy. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Jo Bryant

    The first chapter – actually the first paragraph has to grab me or it’s back on the shelf. I really enjoyed this and got a lot out of reading it. Thanks. 🙂

    1. Heidi Post author

      Thanks for the comment. I try and give a book up to the first chapter, which is why the ebook samplers are great for me. If I’m annoyed there is not more to read by the time I hit the end of the sample, it’s a book I need to buy. 🙂

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