I got a rejection letter yesterday from one of the four publishers I queried. They liked the first chapter, but had a problem with all the drama surrounding Paige early in the story. To quote them:
An editor and one member of our management team have reviewed The Howling Heart. We both really liked the opening idea of Paige meeting Riley when they are both so young; it was a sweet beginning to the story. While the story has an interesting plot at its core, we felt the conflict erred on the side of cliché, with far too much dramatically happening to Paige in a mere few chapters. We didn’t get a good sense of who she was emotionally before all the trauma began adding up. This takes away from the reader’s ability to connect with Paige and be excited for her inevitable reunion with Riley. This hampers the intensity that should be felt when they’re thrown together once again.
Ummm… OK. I’m not going to defend my story, but I will say I don’t think they read the entire manuscript and that’s a shame.
I’m happy to say amid all the rejections, no one has criticized my writing style or the editing yet. I know there are editing issues with A Rose to the Fallen, so I made sure to do a better job the second time around. One agent who rejected me said she loved the title and was impressed by my “classy vocabulary”. She couldn’t accept my project because she was swamped managing her current clients. I wish she would’ve mentioned that on her agency’s website. I wouldn’t have bothered querying her if I knew she was so busy.
I’m a realist and I know it’s hard to publish a book through a traditional publisher if you’ve never been published before. Literary agencies don’t consider self-publishing actual publishing. I also know that adult paranormal romances with werewolves are a dime a dozen. That’s why I’m not optimistic about The Howling Heart getting published. The rejection letters aren’t making me feel this way because I expected them. I predict by mid-year The Howling Heart will be staying on my hard drive. I’m never self-publishing again and I’m not sharing stories for free anymore. If I don’t sell The Howling Heart, then that will be the end of my publishing attempt.As to not end on a negative note, here’s a cute pic of baby Riley.
I received an email from a reader named Darlene who lives in Australia. She told me she enjoyed A Rose to the Fallen and loves Tristan. Included in her email was a song suggestion for him. The song is a cover for Air’s “Sexy Boy”. The cover was played in the controversial commercial for Axe Excite body spray with female angels falling from heaven because a guy smells so good wearing the body spray. Then they throw their halos on the ground because they want to do naughty things with him. I agree with Darlene that this version of the song makes me think of my fallen angel Tristan, especially with the angelic chorus and string instruments in the background.
Today, I sent my last query letter to a literary agency. I queried 46 agencies in total. Still no response from my previous agent’s referral. I don’t know how long it’s going to take for them to respond. I hope they contact me one way or the other. Some agencies don’t respond at all if they’re not interested. I queried 4 traditional publishers because they accept submissions directly from authors. Two already responded. One said they would forward my submission to an editor. The other publisher’s response was from an editor. She asked for the synopsis and first 3 chapters. All I can do now is wait and see what the fate of The Howling Heart will be. I wonder what’s going to happen. Will it get sold to a traditional publisher or will it stay on my hard drive forever? So far, I think the rejection letters and the long waiting are the worst parts of trying to publish through a traditional publisher. I’m an impatient and self-sufficient person so publishing this way really tests my personality. But I know this experience will be good for me and I’ll learn more about the publishing industry.
First, I have to say Happy Birthday to my mom! I know it’s been a long time since my last update. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good news. My agent Linda fell seriously ill a few weeks ago. While she was in better health, she didn’t get a chance to send my manuscript to any publishers. I had to edit my manuscript again, and by the time I sent it to her, she was already sick. Linda felt she wouldn’t be able to represent me to the best of her ability, so I chose to cancel my contract. She referred me to another agency but there’s no guarantee they’ll take me as a client. So… I’m back at the beginning. I decided to help myself by querying various agencies. I’m never self-publishing again, so if The Howling Heart doesn’t get sold to a traditional publisher, then it won’t be a book. That’s fine with me. One of my goals was to publish at least ONE book. Two books would just be a bonus. If I’m lucky and get another agent, I’ll post an update. If I don’t, you’ll know about that too. Some agencies can take over a month to respond and I queried a few literary powerhouses.