Last weekend I withdrew my two YA mysteries (The Penelope Amour Murder Mysteries) from the literary agent by mutual agreement. She had peddled them to publishers and had some positive results but no takers. Here are some of my favorite responses.
One response was "I was wondering whether or not you have already begun collaborating with a publisher on the project" which was followed a few weeks later by "not interested in your proposal at this time." (Go figure!)
Another said, "Ron has written such a fun book, one I’m certain children will love. I’m afraid, however, that I found some of the story’s elements a little too familiar and similar to books already in the marketplace." (What happened to studying the market and see was is selling? And doesn’t "children will love" mean sales?)
My agent wrote back regarding one publisher: "They liked the story, but had some issues with Penny's relationship to her mother." (I admit she and her mother did not get along, but they resolved their issues and became much closer at the end. Also, the relationship was that Penelope was growing up and exerting her desire to be more independent while Mother was trying to hang on to her little girl. I did a lot of research to make certain that the mother-daughter conflict was in keeping with Penelope's age group."
One publisher was looking for an edgier protagonist with raw content. (??????)
Enough said. Now I embark on a new direction with the YA novels. I had planned to self-publisher, but the agent has urged me to consider small press. She said no need to have an agent as most accept from the author. So this week I send out to the first publisher.