A Funny Thing Happened While Wiaiting to Hear from the Literary Agent

In case you haven't noticed - ha! - waiting is hard. As I write this, I am waiting for several things to happen with varying degrees of immediacy.

My delivery is supposed to come between 1 and 6. Hard going deep into something and possibly having to yank myself out of an intense scene or carefully organized nonfiction chapter. I have both going right now.

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I'm waiting for my friend to receive her present. That doesn't pull my focus often, and only briefly then.

And I'm waiting to hear back from the agent I recently pitched.  I can put it out of my mind a lot of the time  OK, some of the time. Whether her response will dish out the Hammer of Doom or the Gates of Glory, who wouldn't want to know sooner than later? One night I found myself wondering whether she had verified receipt of the digital files, so I went through the messages in the folder I made for her comms to check. Yep. She got them. Thought so, but...had to check.

Several friends who know I pitched my novel will ask, "Did you hear anything yet?"

Um, it's been a whole 10 days. No, I haven't heard back. My author/writer friends may know these things take time.

So what am I doing while I wait?

First, here's what I am NOT doing.

The #1 thing NOT to do while waiting to hear back from an agent or publisher is:

Any guesses?

Answer: The #1 DON'T is...to bug her about whether she has read your submission.

But that doesn't necessarily mean zero contact. We can still build our relationship. is agent is a cool animal lover, and we've been swapping funny critter videos, fur-child pics and stories.

What to DO While waiting to Hear from an Agent or Publisher

Here are some things you might consider doing while waiting to hear from an agent or publisher:

Write the Next Thing.

Writers write. Keep the creative juices flowing. It could be weeks or months.

Keep Investigating Publishing Options.

Even if you hold off submitting your book elsewhere, that doesn't mean you need to stop researching your options and continuing to make contacts. I have a file of possible publishers for any book project.

Send a REAL Thank-You Card.

Remember stamps? Write a thank-you card expressing gratitude for the agent/publisher's time and consideration. Include an interesting clip or photo that will please her, if you can. This alone makes a person stand out in an age of e-cards and texts.

Connect and Share in Social Media

Find something from the agent/publisher to share on any of the social networks. Pick something that appeals to you or your following. This helps you stay top of mind regardless what happens with the current project.

Keep in Touch

DOn't ask if she read your stuff, but you can keep in touch. If you see that the agent secured a publisher for a client, say congrats in social or in an email. If you both dig Civil War Collectables or love funny quotes, share.

My possible agent and I are both huge animal lovers. She let me know she had received my submission and included photos of her animals. I sent pics of how my dog unmade my bed and a couple other funny pics. She sent me links to a couple hilarious vids, and I shared them and thanked her (and tagged her) in the posts. We're staying connected.

Always Be REAL

No matter whether you send a card, a photo a clip, or whatever, don't do it hoping to get something. Do it because you feel it. Be real always.

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you have other tips, by all means, please use FB or G+ to share your comments and ideas.

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