There are plenty of querying and posting “how-to’s” that provide authors with great information about how exactly to find, query and post to a realtor. What is not necessarily so clear is the list of positive actions after your manuscript has been posted to potential literary agents. Waiting is usually the hardest part of the submission process. That is the time when insecurity can rear its ugly head, and authors may feel that they must take action suddenly, but what they do is actually worse than not doing anything.
First, I’d like to clear up a misperception about literary realtors. It is often said literary realtors are in the business not for the money but because they love what they are doing. That is certainly true. Although some agents are lucky to work at an agency that delivers an income enough, a large number of us only visit a paycheck after we’ve sold a book.
And while we love what we are doing, this will not be construed once we are working or ready to work for free. 1. Don’t “shotgun” your submission. In other words, don’t simply send out your distribution to a large number of random agents, hoping to ensure some positive reactions. This wastes both your and the realtors’ time.
You’ll have more success and make a more advantageous impression by doing all your research to make sure the brokers you are getting close to are appropriate for your project. 2. Really follow submission guidelines and how the agent desires to be approached. And if a realtor isn’t acknowledging unsolicited submissions, don’t discount or anyhow ignore this by querying. It shows disrespect and, at the minimum, that you can’t follow directions, which is a red flag.
It hints at a potential difficulty, it’s likely you have in taking editing directions. 3. Don’t “nudge” or follow up on your distribution too soon. I once received a follow-up from an author after only 14 days. Don’t be amazed if you don’t get an answer. You might get a response soon after even, passing on your publication.
It could be that the agent occurred to get to your submission, and it was only a coincidence. Or it could be that the agent decided it was to let it go better, since you seemed to quickly need an answer so. Or it could mean that alarm bells went off, and the agent wondered if you now are impatient, what goes on he assumes assembling your project once?
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4. Wait at least 3-4 months before your follow-up on your distribution or query. Please trust me when I say it takes a complete lot of your time to go through submissions. At Kimberley Cameron & Associates, we take a look at every submission. It might be as little as 10 pages, or as many as 50, but our agency policy is to give each of them thoughtful consideration. And our providers are required to answer each one of them, whether in an application letter or an individual note, which adds even more time. 5. Don’t make demands either in your query or follow-up, whether it’s for a specific time frame to react or verification that your submission was received.
It raises a large red flag and shows a lack of respect for the agent’s time. A day or a week Consider how many submissions an agent gets in. For some, it might be a dozen, while some, it’s several hundred. If you think they’re gradual to respond now, envision how much longer it would be if agents had to also verify receipt of submissions to authors.
6. Don’t burn bridges by responding to an agent who passed on assembling your project with a protective retort or require editorial recommendations. If suggestions are provided, consider yourself among the lucky. This means that the agent was willing to invest some of her capital to assist you, so take those suggestions to heart. If you defensively respond, it not only makes you look unprofessional, it much ends any prospect of future contact fairly, which you might regret after you’ve done a major revision or written another publication.