How I Feel After 6 Agents Rejected My Novel

I came into this traditional publishing journey expecting rejection, but I still had hopes I was wrong.

Crissi Langwell 🦋

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Photo by MVolodymyr / Shutterstock

This morning I received my fourth agent query rejection. Combined with the two no responses, that makes six rejections so far for my novel.

I came into this traditional publishing journey expecting rejection. It doesn’t make it any easier. While my expectations were on point, I still had my hopes that I was wrong — that one of the first few agents I queried would demand to see the full manuscript, and then sell it to one of the Big 5.

Not lofty at all, right?

At any rate, that’s obviously not happening. Don’t get me wrong, six rejections is still a baby number. But it’s also frustrating as all get out, especially when I know how to produce my own books and publish them, and could have this baby out in the world in a matter of weeks instead of the apparent years (if ever) it will take.

Yesterday, I let my frustration get the better of me, and I entertained the idea of just throwing in the towel. I’d just received my third rejection, and it became apparent what a long game this is. I started questioning why I was going through all these hurdles when self-publishing is a straight shot. Sure, I’ve yet to hit the jackpot with self-publishing, but I know more now about writing, marketing, and packaging a quality book product. I have a clear concept of what genre lane I’m in, and I have a better idea on where my energy needs to focus to ensure my book lands in front of more people.

Except…I wrote this book with a very specific goal — to see if traditional publishing will benefit me more than self-publishing can. If I pull the plug and publish it, not only do I risk another failed launch for a book I believe in, but I will also deny myself the chance to truly know the best way to publish my books.

A different way to look at it when agents aren’t biting

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Crissi Langwell 🦋

Romance & women’s fiction author. I write on Medium about a variety of topics because I’m not good at staying in one lane. crissilangwell.com/links