i cannot over-emphasize enough the insignificance of our opinion

“Dear Mr. Gold:

Thank you very much for the recent submission of your poetry chapbook, Notes on an Orange Burial. While we appreciate the effort that went into your work, we will not be able to accept it for publication at this time. Please do not be overly discouraged by this news, as we are a rather unimportant publishing company that more often than not is unable to distinguish between an inspired piece of verse and bar-room limerick featuring scatlogical leitmotifs. I cannot over-emphasize enough the insignificance of our opinion, and hope that you realize how talented you truly are.

We at BlackStone recommend that you do not rip up this rejection letter in anger. We feel it would be much wiser for you to wait until you are deservedly offered the post of U.S. Poet Laureate some day in the not too distant future, and then to urinate directly on this letter in front of close friends and family at your acceptance celebration.

Once again, thank you for thinking of BlackStone Publishers. And remember, our entire editorial staff is inbred.

Regards,

Robert Gluck

Senior Editor

The above letter, oddly enough, contains not the words written by its sender, Robert gluck, but rather the words interpreted by its receiver, Jona Gold. In fact, I now ask that you kindly forget Mr. Gluck entirely, for neither his name nor even his shadow appear again in this book. Mr. Gold, on the other hand, is just arriving.”

-Greg Levin, Notes on an Orange Burial

I have thought of this opening passage from an authonomy.com book many times over the last year while the bone dry rejection letters have been rolling in. I wish agents did have a sense of humor.

I’m so excited to see that Notes on an Orange Burial has been picked up by a publisher and will be available on US shelves on October 1, 2011. Way to go, Greg!

your manuscript doesn’t sound like something that’s right for us

Oh yeah? Well your face doesn’t look like something that’s right for daylight.

Robo-response from agent #13. So the tally over the last 13 months is:

Agents giving constructive feedback: 1

Agents giving generic feedback: 7

Agents providing no response: 5

Fortunately, I’m working on a new cover for The Rival this weekend. My sister pointed out that the draft I currently have features a dude, whereas the main character is a chick. Hopefully will post something new on this later today. Boo-yah, agents!

query tally: the rival: 0-12

No response over the last month from agent #12. So that’s one year of my two-year list of agents down. It gives me cold feet about putting The Rival up as an ebook and spurs me on at the same time. Grrrr.

Agents giving constructive feedback: 1

Agents giving generic feedback: 6

Agents providing no response: 5

This coming weekend I’m going to Virginia Beach to watch some beach volleyball and surfing, so I’ll try to squeeze #13 in sometime this week.

query tally: the rival

No response over the last month from agent #11. Sigh. It’s the one-year anniversary of sending this manuscript out. The query tally for The Rival: Part I of Bex Blixen and the Electroleviathans is now:

Agents giving constructive feedback: 1

Agents giving generic feedback: 6

Agents providing no response: 4

I’ll need to find time to work on query #12 this weekend.