We all know where this is going, don't we? Yep, I got one. In fact, I got plenty of them. And guess what? It isn't the worst thing in the world. In fact, depending on how you look at them, the process is mildly amusing. Some of the agents were very nice and complimentary of my work, many even took the time to note favorite character attributes or parts in chapters, but just stated that their plates were too full or that the market was too saturated for them to risk taking on new authors right now. Ironically, those made me feel kind of good...not that getting rejected feels good, but having some of the most esteemed NY Times Best Selling Author's agents critiquing your work and saying they actually think your writing has merit and that there is a market for your stuff really takes the sting out of the whole rejection thing.
Other letters were actually written by the agent's assistants, which actually seemed like a fairly common practice as I received quite a few of those (so don't feel bad if you do, too).
Then there was the dreaded form rejection letter. If you're not familiar with that concept, let me explain and give you an example. The agents have a generic letter that says (not in so many words) "thanks, but no thanks" and they add your name in, sometimes just "Dear Author," MAYBE your book title if they're feeling ambitious, and that, my friends, is what you get for all those sleepless nights you spent writing that book! Hopefully, that's not how it really ends...that's when, as writers, we have to say this isn't how my story ends...and just write another chapter in our journey after that....which is what I'm doing now.
I'll end this post with probably the most amusing form rejection letter I received. Now, the ONLY part I removed is the name at the bottom, everything else is exactly as I received it. Enjoy :)
Dear ________: <-- Yep, that's exactly how I got it! Dear BLANK!!!!!!! I was absolutely touched that after I went through the painstaking process of writing every agent a very personal letter, they took the time to garnish their response to me with such a heartfelt gesture. Thanks for your query. As to your material I'm afraid I will be passing -- I'm just not enthusiastic enough about the concept of your story to feel that I'd be the right agent for the project. I realize it is difficult to judge your potential from a query; nevertheless I will be passing.