I’ve written posts about querying and even work-shopped a few for authors ready to submit their MS—which was tons of fun by-the-way—but today I want to dig into the painstakingly long WAIT that is involved once you query and (hopefully) once an agent requests a partial or full.
I finished my book project on April 29th, 2015. By finished I mean that it had been read by others and critiqued by a professional and all revisions were complete. It was a finished, polished, edited manuscript. These are the ONLY kind you should be submitting to agents. If no one else has put his or her eyeholes on your work, you might want to fix that. Find a beta reader, hire a freelance editor, do something to get another’s feedback. If you send an MS that has too many hiccups in the first few paragraphs, or even chapters, chances for rejection are high. I can’t stress how important it is to submit a pristine MS. This is not something I’m just saying. I know from experience.
I’VE MADE THESE MISTAKES SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO! Please learn from me. Learn from this post. I’m writing it for a reason. I want you to succeed!
Okay, done with that. Let’s get to it.
As I was saying, on April 29th I submitted my MS to one agent. This was a situational circumstance and it’s perfectly fine to submit to more than one agent. So, after I sent my MS out, I freaked. I was so scared and excited and…scared. My heart pounded and all I could do was think about someone (someone who could potentially represent me) reading my work. This is maddening! I didn’t write for three days. I couldn’t concentrate. I constantly checked my email and, well I was just a mess. So, I decided to tear my house apart and give it the good cleaning it deserved.
Soon though, my house was clean and I still hadn’t heard back from this agent. So I did what a serious writer does and got back to work. I found that letting go and continuing to write was actually more distracting than cleaning. And it felt good to work on a new book project. And it felt good to not be cleaning. But 20k words into my new project and still no word from the agent. It had been almost a month. (I told you this stuff takes time). Instead of worrying about it, I just decided to query more agents. Increase my chances. Give my MS to more agents who were seeking its genre. (This is very important. Make sure you research agents before submitting. You don’t want to submit YA fantasy to an agent who is seeking non-fiction historical works or some such thingy). Here are my stats, and I use https://querytracker.net to help organize it.
As of June12th, I’ve queried eleven agents.
Partial requests: 2
Still out: 6
Full requests: Still waiting on the full from April.
See? This is the progress of three months. It’s slow. Like a snail moving backward on a turtle, slow. But that’s the process. Like I said above, I’m still waiting on the full request from April. This agent hasn’t rejected my MS, they just haven’t gotten to it yet.
So enjoy that you have a manuscript out in the wild. That’s a huge accomplishment! Pat yourself on the back and then…GET BACK TO WRITING ANOTHER BOOK!!!!
And here is a cute monkey picture.