If you’re waiting for something to happen in publishing…

timeIf you’re waiting on beta readers…

Throw yourself into critiquing others; attend a writer’s conference, webinar, or workshop; outline your next book; set up your author website.

If you’re waiting for an agent…

Start working on (or finishing) your next book; avoid reading too much into agents’ social media posts; tidy up your author blog or website or revamp for a new look; decide on a blog or social media schedule that you can keep up with.

If you’re waiting for an editor…

Strategize with your agent about next steps; ask your agent questions so you’re up to speed when you talk with editors; avoid reading too much into editors’ social media posts; keep social media contact with editors to zero or a bare minimum; polish up your next project.

If you’re waiting for your book to come out…

Plan your personal publicity and marketing roll out; schedule a call or visit with your publisher’s promotional team; talk to writer friends about what’s worked for them–publicity, keeping your sanity or otherwise!; deliver your second book before your first comes out to keep the noise out of your head.

If you’re waiting for reviews…

Step away from the comments, I repeat, step away from the comments.

Q: What do you do when you have to wait in the publishing industry?

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

19 thoughts on “If you’re waiting for something to happen in publishing…

  1. I do other things; such as, conduct research for the next book idea, blog three times a week on my main site (not WordPress) Lol, and of course, write something, anything to keep my skills fresh. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As regards literary conferences, I recommend the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the nation’s oldest and very well-respected. I served on the admin staff there for 7 years…learned a lot. Worked one-on-one with Charles Baxter, Yusef Komunyakaa, Andrea Barrett, Linda Pastan, & others. Met a lot of agents and editors. Plus, it’s very nice to be in the Vermont mountains in August.


  3. Right now I’m waiting for the book cover for my second book to arrive. Instead of checking and rechecking my email endlessly, I’ve distracted myself by making a rag rug. It looks horrible, but it keeps me away from my email :D

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Basic answer for a great post: work each day. Write each day. Parcel out the duties that will move you forward. At night, read and relax.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If I am expecting a long waiting period, I start working on my next manuscript. I do not like to start something new, just to put it aside in a week or so. If I expect it to be a shorter waiting period, I research and brainstorm ideas for something different, or something to add to what I am already writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for that great advice. As a debut author it can be very tempting to wait until this stage or that stage is clearer, e.g., agent representation in my case, before diving into the next project. We all know that doing so doesn’t benefit anyone, but it’s still a challenge to move forward when another project is in a holding pattern.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Clean the house. Seriously, it does get a little neglected while I’m writing, and it gives me a chance to burn off that nervous energy. Then I turn back to the craft doing something, anything toward that goal. Whether it’s jotting down an idea, reading a trade magazine, blogging, scoping out a conference or writing a flash fiction piece — forward movement.


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