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?

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4 Things You Don’t Know About Traditional Publishing Until You’re In It

To all you aspiring authors out there doing research about what’s in your future: this post is for you.

It’s hard to know what your traditional publishing path is going to look like until you’re in it. Lucky for you, three of my wonderful authors (with books coming out this summer) share their wisdom about what the publishing process has been like for them. Read on for the specifics about patience, publicity and more…

faking perfect mechanicalFrom Rebecca Phillips, author of forthcoming FAKING PERFECT (Kensington Teen 2015)

I didn’t anticipate the incredible amount of time and detail involved in traditional publishing. You have all these different people working with you to make your book the best it can be. It takes a long time, and you need a lot of patience, but it’s an amazing experience overall.

SecretsLakeRoad_cover_hi resFrom Karen Katchur, author of forthcoming THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD (St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne Books 2015)

The biggest thing I learned was that copy edits can really mess with your voice. They need to be reviewed carefully and can be almost as hard as content edits. Even the simplest change in verb tense can change the reader’s experience and it may not be for the better. But, (and this is a very big but!), if you’re going to break the grammar rules, you better know why you’re breaking them and your reasons for breaking them better be good.

Maybe In Another Life_FinalFrom Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of forthcoming MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE (Atria 2015)FOREVER, INTERRUPTED and AFTER I DO

The biggest thing that surprised me is how much work goes into publicizing your own book. Writing the novel is only half of your job — making sure people hear about it is the other half.

The other thing I didn’t realize is just how many wonderful friends I’d make. I always thought of being an author as a sort of solitary job but I’ve met some of the most interesting and sincere people through my work. Whether it’s getting to know other authors, meeting interesting agents and editors, or hearing from readers, being an active part of the book community is definitely one of the best perks of the job.

What do you want from the publishing experience?

Many of you out there have written a book. (At least I’m assuming so if you are reading this blog…) But, have you all thought about what you truly want out of the publishing experience?

If you’re querying agents I hope you want to be traditionally published and be able to work in a collaborative partnership. However, some of you might get an agent and think: “Is this what I really wanted?”

Those of you with entrepreneurial spirits might feel resentful if you don’t get a deal right away, knowing you could self publish.

Those of you with trust issues might not be ready to pass off the baton to get to the finish line.

Those of you with friends in the business might feel jealousy creep up over your shoulder when it feels like everyone around you is getting book deals before you.

Steady and affirm your intentions in this process.

Answer these Qs: Continue reading What do you want from the publishing experience?

Writer Feedback in the Publishing Industry

Taking feedback and criticism is never easy. Especially when the feedback directly relates to the body of work you have put so much time, effort and emotion into. Stepping back from the immediate reaction of a) ‘They only read 3 chapters, what could they possibly know?” b) “I just received an editorial letter, I must revise immediately” or c) “How am I supposed to make sense of all these revision notes and feedback?”

Whether the feedback comes from beta readers, agents, or editors, no matter what stage of the publishing process you are in you must be patient with yourself, don’t jump to conclusions and take everything with a grain of salt. There will be extremes; someone will think you need to cut and revise 100 pages to speed up pace and someone else will think the pace is great but the characterization needs work. Joni B. Cole says it best: Continue reading Writer Feedback in the Publishing Industry