5 Things To Do While Your Book is on Submission

Submitting your book to agents is one thing. It’s a writer’s first time putting it all out there and the responses are varied.

However, when your agent submits your book to a publisher that’s a whole other level of stress. It can be exciting! Finally, it’s out there in the world. And it can be worrying…what happens to my project now? You might hear back from editors in a week or a few months. It could be good news or bad. 

Here are 5 things to do while your book is on submission:

  1. Trust your agent. We have your best interests at heart, truly. If you don’t trust your agent then you shouldn’t have signed with them. Let us handle the submissions and worry about the business side. We will consult you on decisions. Pull together with your agent at this time because the bonding will happen.
  2. Vent with other writers, but never online. I hope this goes with out saying, but I do see writers participating in this and I want to warn them off. Tweeting/Blogging/Facebook-ing about your submissions to publishers (or agents for that matter) is not considered appropriate behavior for a number of reasons: privacy, keeping mystery, keeping your cards close to your chest–however you want to see it. But that information is yours and shouldn’t be public.
  3. Work on your platform. Pitch essays, build your online community, and join an organization (RWA, ITW etc). A month before your book comes out is NOT the time to build a platform. The right answer is AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. So there’s no better time than the present when you want to keep your fingers busy typing.
  4. Most importantly…get back to the next project! No matter what you have to keep writing. Whether that book sells or not, your agent needs to know what you’re working on next–either to tell the editors or to coach you through the next steps of submitting again. The right fit is always worth waiting for.
  5. Get used to this feeling. Publishing is about waiting. Learn how to control and manage these feelings. Develop your own strategy for coping because it’s different for everyone. Physical exercise, TV/movies, throwing yourself into your next project (always my advice!), chocolate, glass of wine/coffee–your choice!

Q: What do you YOU do while you wait?


17 thoughts on “5 Things To Do While Your Book is on Submission

  1. Frustrating experience but I just keep writing until it’s read and don’t care what people think. Mind you when I spoke to them they were surprised that I hadn’t contacted another agent so I did so.

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  2. I’m continuing to promote my first and second novels, while I wait to hear from a publisher about my third. I’m also continuing to submit to magazines and it seems every day I spend an inordinate amount of time on social media promoting one thing or another. But after writing three books back-to-back, I’m switching to glide. I’m “working” but just not as much. What’s been great fun for me is finding, following, and reading from so many talented people in the WordPress community. I find this lot an incredible group, and I now have the time to thoroughly pay attention to what so many gifted writers are sharing.

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