Written by A Guest Author August 31st, 2017

3 Steps to Take After Sending Your Book Query to Agents Or Publishers

Congratulations, you’ve reached that ever-so-exciting spot in the writing process where you have a draft that has been polished enough to seek out an agent or a publisher and you’re now in the querying trenches. From the anxious moment you hit send on your first query letter to the first form rejection letter, querying time can be more stressful and emotional than the years it took to finish your book. But here’s three things you should be doing while you’re querying to help overcome the feeling of self-doubt that constantly refreshing your inbox can create:

Work on your book proposal

When the magical moment comes that you get an agent, the next thing they’ll want from you (other than possible revisions to your draft) is a book proposal. A book proposal = a book report + a business plan for your book that outlines your story, how it compares to current books in your genre, and your platform/ability to market your story. Writing a book proposal not only helps agents and publishers get to know your book better, but you’ll have a better understanding of who your target audience is and how to reach them. The best thing about working on your book proposal while you’re querying is there are great publishers who will review your proposal for consideration without an agent. So, either way, you’ll be glad you took the time while querying to work on your proposal.

Work on your next project

There will always be more stories to tell. Maybe you have a few ideas or a couple projects already started? Querying is a great time to get back to those projects or to start a fresh one. It’s important to stay creative and to remind yourself why you love being a writer. Working on a new project not only fills the time in between hearing back from agents, but it will keep you motivated to continue your craft. Plus, if you do get an agent or a publisher, you’ll be able to tell them about the exciting new project you have in the pipeline.

Work on building your platform

Agents and publishers will want to know what kind of platform you have, which translates to: do you have a current audience and a connection to large groups of people that will buy your book? This is something you can work on by starting an author website with an email sign-up list, networking with local groups, and building your social media profiles. It’s important to have a presence online, but not to get overwhelmed in the process. Here’s seven tips for building your online platform. Just remember: reaching an audience and building a platform isn’t something that has a finish line, bestselling authors are always working on their platform.

Don’t let querying time take the wind out of your sails. There are plenty of things you can do in between query rounds and replies that will help launch your career forward, including finding a publisher without an agent. Stay productive, keep creating, and have fun while building your platform.

Bio: Tessa Shaffer is the award winning author of Heaven Has No Regrets, a 2016 Writer’s Digest Competition Award Winner, an Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist, and her work has appeared in GirlsLIFE Magazine. Her latest short story is due to be published Nov 2017 in the Bestselling 365 Book Series. For updates and inspiration follow her at www.TessaShaffer.com, www.facebook.com/HeavenHasNoRegrets, IG @tessashafferwrites, and twitter @has_no_regrets.


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