Jane Robey

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I'm currently querying a contemporary suspense novel set in Norfolk  Four agent rejections so far, seven to go...

I'm trying to build a Twitter platform, so please consider following me (@robey_writes). If you follow me I promise I'll follow you back! I'm also building a website: https://robeywrites.wixsite.com/website/ (still a WIP at the moment). 

I live near Venta Icenorum (or Norwich if you prefer). 

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Jane Robey Discussions
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Hi, can anyone helpf? I joined JW in February, initially just to access the free content. I signed u…
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I'm feeling really encouraged - I sent my query letter and the first page of my novel to the author …
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  •  · So happy for you Jane. Like others, I'd love to see the query letter and synopsis.
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Thanks for friending. You are ahead of me in the agent quest. I shall be there in about two weeks. Curious, did agents eject for lack of interest in your genre? At least you heard back from them... that's a plus. 

Welcome Nelolisha. I don't read or write any of your genres, so I can't comment much about them, but welcome to Townhouse. I must be getting old because I had to google both Yaoi and BL (it stands for Boy Love apparently). 

My favourite recent tagline is this one from Laura Shepherd-Robinson's Daughters of Night (it's also the book's opening sentence): In the wrong hands a secret is a weapon. 

Hearing Harry say in last night's webinar that the elevator pitch for Harry Potter should be something as simple as 'Boy goes to wizard school', here's my attempt at a tagline:


Avengers aren't always angels.

When the stakes include murder, fighting dirty is the only option. 

 

I share your pain. I'm genuinely perplexed that some novels ever made it into print. It's not simply that they're not to my taste - the quality of the writing is execrable. At such times I console myself with the knowledge that I'd rather remain unpublished than have such drivel appear with my name on it. I'd feel ashamed. It's definitely more of a problem since the explosion of self-published books, but I've come across some truly sub-standard novels that were published in the last decade by mainstream publishers.

Then again, who are we to judge the quality of our own writing? Presumably the authors of those cringeworthy books thought they'd submitted good work, and were reinforced in that belief by supportive beta readers etc. A skilled but honest appraiser is a true treasure.

Final point. If I had to choose between being a good storyteller with poor execution, or a poor storyteller with good writing skills, I'd choose the former. We've all read well-executed books that would put an insomniac in a coma, while Dan Brown has poor execution but his books have enthralled millions and made him a mint!

I know what you mean, but I think you can gift yourself that calm and happy aura - you're not reliant on an agent's approval to make you feel that way. You've completed a novel length piece of fiction - that's something many folks aspire to, but never accomplish. You've had independent confirmation that your book is good. That's a bonus. You, yourself, know it's a good book. Right there you have reason to feel happy and calm. Don't let the waiting game make you lose sight of what you've already achieved. It's not a race, and unless you need the book to sell in order to put food on the table, you've done the hard part. Now all you need to do is wait hopefully...and have more agents up your sleeve if these ones don't pan out. 

GOOD LUCK! From the sounds of it you've written a great book. Hopefully before too long a  savvy agent will single you out. 

I'm in a similar position - submitted to 11 agents, 4 rejections so far (of which one was very complimentary). I'm still waiting to hear back from the other 7. 

I'm not stressing about it. They're busy people and, as you say, their slush piles have been swollen by lockdowns. If I haven't heard anything back after 16 weeks, I'll assume they're not interested. I have my next 10 agents already lined up, then the next 10, then the next 10....The author Will Dean advises that we should expect 100 rejections; that way we will breeze past rejection number 23 without it knocking our confidence.  

In the meantime, I'm polishing the book so that if anyone requests a full MS I feel it's in the best possible state. When I'm not editing, I'm working on the first draft of my second book. I'm in no rush..what will be will be. If the book's good enough, I'll find representation eventually. 

Ah yes, but we need to have faith in the quality of our writing and feel sure that we can snatch that one chance in a thousand! Of the thousands that submit, a high proportion must be chaff...we need to polish our writing so that it stands out as being wheat! 

I'm not surprised. Being un-agented sounds like hard work! 


Like Karen on the webinar, I'm a one trick pony. I just want to focus on the writing - I don't want to have to worry about marketing etc. 


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