The reason for this email is, I’m a little (okay, a lot) heart sick over the fact that my agent has turned down my most recent book. I’m feeling embarrassed and I’m starting to think, oh my gosh, what if I lost my mojo? What if she’s sorry she signed me?
Can you tell me what it really means since my brain is clogged at the moment? Have you ever had to do this?
I should also mention that we have one ms on submission at the moment.
I’m so sorry to hear that. It is very frustrating and very scary when you feel like your agent might no longer be on your side. I’m afraid though that this is an impossible question for me to answer. The only one who can really answer this question is your agent. You still have something on submission so that’s a good thing. As long as she’s actively working on that submission it means she believes in you and your work and is working on your behalf.
I think the first thing you need to do is find out exactly why she rejected your most recent book. Does she think you lost your mojo? Does she think it’s the wrong direction for you? What’s missing? I’m sure my clients will happily pipe up to share stories of all the books or proposals they’ve written that I’ve rejected. In no way has it meant that I’ve rejected them, but many times it means that for whatever reason I think they could do better. Either the book paled in comparison to their other works or wasn’t up to the standards I knew they could write. Sometimes it was the hook. Whether it’s a fresh submission or a new change in career direction, hook is important. Was it a hook that would propel them in the direction we were both seeking to go?
There are millions of reasons an agent might reject a client’s work and the only way to know why is to ask. From that point you have to determine the next steps yourself. Do you agree with the agent? Do you want to stick with the agent? Ultimately only you and your agent can address your concerns.