I've racked up enough form rejections by now that I have "favorites." Sure, they all basically say the same thing - no thanks - but that's only if you're taking them at face value.
I've done a little reading between the lines, and here's what I've come up with as the "best" of my rejections:
Thank you for your query and for letting me have a look at your work. I apologize for the impersonal nature of this email but I receive so many queries that it makes it impossible for me to respond personally to each one. Thank you for your patience.
Unfortunately, I don’t feel that this is right for me, so I’m going to pass. Just because I wasn’t quite drawn in, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t another agent out there who will love it. I encourage you to continue to submit elsewhere.
Thanks again for thinking of me, and I wish you all the best in your endeavors.
What she really means: This is the longest form rejection ever! Bet you almost didn't find the rejection key words I so stealthily hid within it... I almost had you going, didn't I?! Bwahaha, I've created the longest winded version of "no" humanly possible and you will all suffer my evil genius!
Did it make me feel any better about the R? Nope. I scan and stop reading the minute I see "unfortunately." But it did make me laugh.
#2)Please don't take this rejection as a comment on your writing, because it isn't intended to be one. While your novel has merit, I am forced to give serious consideration to the realities of the marketplace when deciding which writers to represent. And I really have to be absolutely in love with every project I choose to take on.
Best of luck with this project and all your endeavors. Due to the volume of queries and submissions I receive, I'm unable to provide a personal evaluation and/or further explanation of my decision.
Good luck with your submissions.
What she really means: You love your book. I thought I did, but I'm dumping it for the way cuter, more popular book that someone else just sent me. Toodles!
Did it make me feel any better about the R? HAHA! Um, no. This one kicked my ass. But I give her points for trying to make such an impersonal letter feel personal.
Ready for my absolute favorite?
#1) In this very competitive market, I am simply not enthusiastic enough about my ability to sell this work to offer representation.
What he really means:
Gotta give props to a guy who tries to go with the "It's not you, it's me" line! And there you have it.
Your turn, peeps. Tell me about some of your more noteworthy rejections! (And be honest - have any of them actually made you feel better about getting rejected?)