Are You Holding On To Your Book Too Long? 4 Signs You’re Ready to Share Your Work With the Publishing Industry

reading-freestockphotosEveryone has an opinion: your critique group, your family etc. If you’re writing a book you need to show it to people to get it published, right? Your critique group or family has watched you toil over your writing for months, years or decades. And often they’re the ones that say: “Send it out!”

Are you one of those writers that holds on to their work too long?

4 Signs You’re Ready to Share Your Work With the Publishing Industry:

1. You’ve received feedback from all the sources you trust. Once you’ve shared with your writing group, writing professor or trusted source a few times–you’re not going to hear anything new. Don’t go searching for lesser opinions just to critique more. Know whose opinions you value and focus on those notes.

2. You can’t think of any holes or gaps left to tackle. Plot? Characters? Pace? Continuity? If you’ve got your basics covered there’s not much left to do. It’s always about the writing, not necessarily the flawless technique that agents or editors will notice. What is ‘perfect’ anyway? It’s an opinion. Hear to your gut when it’s talking to you.

3. You don’t agree with the feedback you’re receiving. Listen, this is your work with your name on it. So no matter what anyone says it’s your decision what to revise and where to rework. You have to agree with the critique group feedback in order to implement it. Don’t go changing things for other people if you’re not sure it’s right for your story. That’s when you stop and recalibrate–the next steps are always up to you.

4. You are proud to put your name on it. If it was published tomorrow would you be happy with it? It’s the writer’s job to get it to the standards that they are happy with. Agents want to see manuscripts at the point where the writer can’t think of anything else to make it better. That means they’re ready for the next collaboration stage.

Agents and editors want to see the best work possible from superbly skilled people. That’s it. It’s our job to ‘talent spot’ and take projects to the next level, but it starts with your great projects coming our way.

Q: When do you know you’re ready to send your work out?

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.

10 thoughts on “Are You Holding On To Your Book Too Long? 4 Signs You’re Ready to Share Your Work With the Publishing Industry

  1. Well, I’m querying (eek). Sent one to a colleague of yours on Friday. Crossing fingers because I think P.S. Literary would be an awesome partner in publishing.
    I’ve revised the novel eight times, received feedback from beta readers, had it reviewed by a freelance editor, and I figure it’s time. I know there will be more work down the line, but I’ve done everything I can to make it the best product I can at the moment. What am I doing between volleys of query letters? I’m working on another novel, of course. I’m also writing/revising short stories and submitting them to magazines and anthologies. And I’m continuing to learn/read/hone my craft. Writing is my life. Well, aside from the day-job :)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If somebody approached you with a short story collection where the stories have previously been placed on a blog, would you still consider assessing the collection?


    1. Depends on the writing. But I would only look at it if some were held back and not all were published. Or the author was willing to pull them all down once we started working together. But I also don’t work on many SS collections.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always been a feedback junkie, but at a certain point it only adds fuel to the “I’m not worthy” fire. I’m hoping this current WIP is a more streamlined process than previous ones. It certainly feels different this time!

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think? I love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: