What does it mean when agents “Just don’t connect with the material?”

I’ve gotten 12 of those responses now, none with actual reasons pinpointed at why the connection failed to occur. Is there a flaw in the plot? Are the characters underdeveloped? Is the writing not tight enough? I haven’t received any responses that could help me reformat query letters/the novel to have better luck with the next agent.

So the real question: do the agents don’t like it? And if they don’t like it, will readers not like it? Is my story not readable?



About Miss Rosemary

is a recent college graduate from NY hoping to complete her novel of ten years. Stop by her blog, Miss Rosemary's Novel Ideas at or contact her at with comments, questions and suggestions. She'd love to hear from you! View all posts by Miss Rosemary

3 responses to “Question

  • John Henry Beck

    I don’t know if I can really pinpoint the problem, but some very famous novels were rejected more than 12 times. If you have done everything you can do to make the novel as good as it can be then perhaps you might want to do something different. You could send it to a different kind of agent or think about self-publishing. It is very hard to get rejected but you are further along in the process than many wanna be writers out there. Good for you and keep charging!

  • Jeanne McDonald

    I’ve read said novel, and the plot is very good; complete with multiple surprises at the end. Interesting blend of nationalities in your characters…all good. What could be changed? Call me or e-mail me and we’ll talk.

  • Bethany

    I wouldn’t make any changes based on form rejections. That is a super common one to get and it tells you literally nothing so – my humble opinion? Hold off on making any changes (assuming the ms is to the best of your ability, which I’m sure it is) until you get personalized feedback with which you agree.

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