Monday, August 2, 2010


What do you do when you are waiting to hear back from agents? Chew your fingernails off? Set a chair by your mailbox and stare at it? Check your email every 30 seconds?

Not me.

I'm waiting to hear back on a a couple of queries that I sent out after Thrillerfest, but while I wait, I'm working on a synopsis, so that I can send out more queries, making a list of agents that I didn't meet at Thrillerfest to query, and working on the next novel.

All I have for the next novel is the premise, but I'm working on characters, and thinking about the setting.

You can't write a single novel, send out three queries, and expect to get three responses, unless those responses are rejections. It doesn't work that way.

There have been some special cases, but the typical story is that it took a writer 4 novels, and 85 rejections, or 8 novels and 110 rejections, or 2 novels and 50 rejections. It's not a simple process.

So after you've finished your novel, and sent out a few queries, make sure you're working on the next set of queries, or the next novel. You're going to need it.

What do you do while waiting for agents to get back to you?


  1. Hmm, well, I've never queried before, so that's a hard one to answer! I've often thought I'd just work on the next book. I've had some agents interested in my work and I've sent partials out, and while I waited I just worked on other stuff and worried in the back of my mind what those agents would say. (I was asked for partials because of contests I entered, not queries). On one of them the agent took so long to get back to me that I hated what I had sent her and hoped she'd say no. She did. Yay!

  2. I'm just writing another book.

    I am a machine.

    I may be a talentless hack, but I can write novels on a regular basis.

  3. Hi! I had to come across and read your post some years ago ;)... I was stupid enough to wait to see my 1st book published and then to start my next... :( Now my 1st is published finally, but things could be much better and faster if I had at least some of my next (about twenty for the present) ready.
    I'll use the opportunity to warn every author who starts this long and frustrating process, be aware of literary agents (like Jillanne Kimble) who want to charge you for editing of your manuscript before they sign a contract with you about looking for a publisher! They are cheaters, the only thing they will do is to take your money and do nothing... they will just change a few commas and words but won't look for a publisher at all...
    Best wishes to all writers! Let the wonderful noise of the sea always sounds in your ears! (a greeting of the water dragons' hunters - my 1st Tale Of The Rock Pieces).


Join the conversation, add insight, or disagree with us! We welcome your thoughts.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.