So You Just Submitted Your Novel. Now What?


In the past, I’ve talked about gearing up for a writers conference and the importance of the prep. Today, I’d like to talk about following through with your appointments. It may be a few weeks, a couple of months or maybe even 6 months since that agent/editor requested you send in your manuscript, but you felt that after going to all those awesome classes that you needed to revamp your story and didn’t want to send it quite yet.

Now that you are done, you may be thinking, “It’s way too late now.” But in reality, it’s never too late to follow through. Granted, it’s better to send it in sooner than later so that your work is fresh in the agent’s/editor’s mind, but you need to seize that rare foot in the door by reminding them that they requested to see the material. It’s not easy to get your work on their desk, so don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers. Gather your courage, check their websites’ instructions on sending in requested material, double check your email for errors and send off your baby! Pressing send is terrifying and once it’s gone, it’s gone and you’re left at the computer thinking, now what? 

What to Do While Waiting to Hear Back from an Agent/Editor:

Keep writing. Just because you have that one manuscript out there, doesn’t mean you need to halt all your writing while you wait for a response. Get started on your next project! For me, I like to think the more quality books/proposals I have circulating, the better my chances are of getting that next contract.

Keep learning. Don’t stop educating yourself after the conferences. Get a subscription to a magazine or pick up some writer craft book and study. No matter where we are in our writing journey, there is always something to learn to hone our craft.

Keep up your social media. Hopefully you’ve been working on your author website, twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. for a while now, but it never hurts to revamp or continually push yourself for fresh content and social interaction.

Keep a stiff upper lip. Getting into the publishing world is hard work and it isn’t for the faint of heart. I like to keep a list of the publishers’ responses on file to encourage and push me. When you get that first wonderful YES, look back on your file and see how you and your writing has grown since you began this journey. So, even if you get a no, keep hope and keep submitting.

To learn more about developing a thick skin, click here.

Happy Writing!

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About Grace Hitchcock

Grace Hitchcock's first novella, The Widow of St. Charles Avenue, released in Barbour Publishing’s The Second Chance Brides Collection August 2017. Her second novella will release in Barbour Publishing’s The Southern Belle Brides Collection in 2018. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace is a Louisiana Southerner living in Colorado with her husband, Dakota, and newborn son.

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