I expected rejections. I simply did not realize they come in many forms. There are those that have the perfect balance of rejection and encouragement. It is professional, yet with a touch of personalization.
Here is an example:
(I just received this one the other day. The only thing omitted is the agent's name)
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to read your submission. I appreciate you considering me for representation of your project.
Unfortunately, after careful review, I have decided that I might not be the right agent for your work. This industry is incredibly subjective, and there are many agencies out there with many different tastes. It is for this reason that I strongly encourage you to keep submitting elsewhere, in the hopes of finding an agent who will be an enthusiastic champion for you and your work.
I apologize for the form letter reply, but the volume of submissions I receive has finally made it impossible for me to personalize responses as I have for many years. I hope you will understand and forgive me this necessary efficiency. In addition, I do not feel it is appropriate for me to provide detailed editorial feedback on projects I have decided not to represent.
I wish you all the very best of luck and success with your writing.
I actually smiled at that one.
Next, is the flip side of a response from an agent--the type which makes me stare at the page, and then flip it over to see if there is more on the back.
Thanks for the query, but this doesn't sound like a project that is right for me.
Yes, that is an actual response from an agent.
Therefore, dear writers, expect both kinds of rejections. Many are bound to end up in your mailbox. The publishing world has so many variables. Just never give up, okay?
I am hanging each rejection by my desk so one day I can say, "See? Before I hit the big time I was rejected all those times."