Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kevin James Breaux on rejections. Write Makes Might!

One of my rejection letters from 2007.

Hey all,

A few months ago, I saw some famous comic book writers and artists posting their rejection letters from Marvel and other comic book companies they submitted work to. They were talking about how they all suffered many rejections before reaching success. It was very cool to see. I was so impressed that I wanted to post a few of my own. 

Sadly, about a year ago, I decided to purge all my print copy rejection letters from 1999 to 2007. My wife said it was bad karma to keep them. I decided to follow her suggestion finally. BUT look! Somehow, I managed to miss this one from 2007. 

In 2007, I sent a mix of snail mail and email queries. I remember it well. I would leave my office and run to a local post office to mail out submission packages. What was in them? Query, Bio, Sub List, Synopsis, Business Cards, Sample Pages and of course, a SASE. (don't make me explain what that is again! lol)

I wish I could count up all the rejection letters and post card rejections I had stored. I bet it would have been several dozen. BUT, I did count my email rejection letters from 2009 to 2013. 

The total was 190.

Oddly enough, this does not give a clear picture of my querying. 

To really understand you need to know these numbers. From 2009 to 2013, I sent over 600 queries out. About 250 in 2012 alone. 

So out of 600 queries, I had close to 200 rejections. It still does not add up right? 

Well.. the sad thing is many (I really want to say most)... MANY agents do not reply when they do not want to see more of your work, or they simply do not want to represent you. It's a side effect of them being inundated with emails. This is why I tell everyone to track submissions in a spreadsheet.Best way to tell if an agent passed is to look at your spreadsheet. Its been 6 months, and they say they will  reply in 3. Cross them out.

I consider myself lucky. Every year since 2007 that I've sent out submissions, I've had multiple partial and full requests. On average, I'd say 10-12 a year. That's pretty good. I know many authors who don't even get partial requests. Ouch. Devastating.

Like they say, it only takes one and in early 2014, I got my one. I'm still amazed. :)

I tell people to never give up. I tell them that hard work pays off. After reading this blog post I hope it my mantras make more sense. 


Just like Jim Lee and the others, Marvel rejected me too back in the mid 1990s. :)
FYI - here is the link to the article with Jim Lee's rejections. Thanks Geek Tyrant.


Write Makes Might!
Kevin James Breaux