One must imagine Sisyphus tired
I recently got a response from an agent that pushed me to try something different with my first book, Experimenting with Absurdism. What exactly, I have no clue. Here’s what I’ve done with this god-forsaken book so far:
March - August 2021: Wrote the first draft
August 2021: Queried about 20 agents
September - December 2022: Received trickling rejections and partial requests
December 2022: Queried a few more agents
January 2023: Got a rejection that made me rethink everything
February 2023: Started revising and resisted urges to delete the whole file, or publish it all on a daily Substack.
I’m fuckin’ sick of this book at this point. Here’s the response I received last month from an agent:
Many thanks for your submission. I really liked this idea but unfortunately I will have to pass on this occasion as I didn’t connect with the material in the way I had hoped. Another agent will of course feel differently but for me it’s so important that as an agent I am passionate about every project I take on (while leaving room for the inherent absurdism & futility of the book industry of course!).
All the very best of luck,
Typically, you’re not supposed to reply to rejection letters, but I just needed to do this just once:
Thank you for letting me know! I know it’s not typical to reply to a rejection, but for some reason, I feel compelled to ask if there's anything you'd suggest doing differently as I edit this project?
Her response made me realize that no agent is going to get it:
I don’t usually give more detailed feedback (because time!) but briefly I think the tone could be more formal (different mediums so online register doesn’t transfer to books necessarily) and I think I would have liked more science foregrounded actually!
She didn’t get it.
And I don’t blame her. I don’t get it.
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