Keller Media Blog

What it REALLY means when we (or anyone else) rejects your book

by Wendy Keller

If it’s happened again -we or another agency has rejected your project again, don’t get discouraged.  Don’t waste your time getting angry.  Certainly don’t deduce that we’re all idiots.  Don’t decided willy-nilly that you will just self-publish and prove us all wrong…because your odds of achieving that goal are about 1/57,000, according to industry statistics!


Here’s what you CAN and SHOULD do: listen to Henry Ford. “…Begin again, this time more intelligently.” If you are submitting your material to agents who HAVE sold in the past and ARE CURRENTLY selling books like yours, then you know you’re talking to the right people.  If none of us are asking for your proposal after seeing your query, the problem is with your query itself.  If we ask for your proposal and reject it, the problem is with your proposal.  Most people nowadays don’t get rejected (just) because they have a redundant, weak or shallow book idea – they get turned down because the editors we agents sell to DEMAND that you have an incredibly strong platform.  That is, a fan base of people who already know you as a subject matter expert and want to buy information from you.  That ensures the publisher won’t lose money when they bet on you and your book.

We have a lot of products, services, and even consulting to help you.  But I’m not trying to sell you any of that – I’m trying to help you.  The saddest thing I see is forlorn people at writers conferences, airports, cocktail parties, grocery stores or anywhere else some stranger figures out I’m an agent and they tell me how many YEARS they’ve been trying to get published!  This is simply NOT how the business works.  IF your content is good and your platform is strong and growing, from the day you send your first query out to the day you get an agent will normally be less than 2 months.  And from there, less than 18-23 months before you hold your published book in your hands.

Please, save yourself!  Don’t beat your head against the wall mercilessly!  “Begin again, this time more intelligently.”  Find out what’s wrong, fix it and achieve your dream.  Would you rather be right or would you rather be published?

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