While you are waiting … on that book contract, Advice #4

Still waiting… trying to remain positive and immersing yourself in other things while the Universe decides which publisher or agent is best to publish/represent your book?  Well, good.  That’s what you should be doing because things will work themselves out in the end, in your favor, even if you have to go the route of self-publishing.  In the meantime, have you thought about:

—  If they want your book, they will contact you or… have you contacted them for an update?

Contacting an agent or a publisher is a delicate, fine line so be careful.  Generally, it is okay to contact an agent or publisher after say, a month to two months after submitting your manuscript; however, I caution you that each representative has their own preferences; therefore, when you are on their website determining how to submit your manuscript, keep a note of which ones are okay to contact, their time frames (if they specify) when you can contact them for an update on the status of your manuscript and which ones state the formal “Don’t contact me, I’ll contact you…if I’m interested in receiving more.”  Please honor whatever they request.

Recently, I contacted a few publishers for an update on the status of one of my manuscripts.  One replied immediately, one after three weeks, and another has not replied yet.  The ones that don’t reply are not always a bad sign.  They may be swamped; however, keep in mind that the ones that don’t respond at all may be trying to tell you something in the end.  For my debut novel, I heard from an interested publisher six months after submission, when I already had a contract.  So, time frames definitely vary but don’t stop what you’re doing to wait for them and when you make that contact, please, only contact them once.  If they haven’t responded, don’t keep contacting them.  Your innocent e-mails requesting information for your own peace of mind could be considered harassment.  You don’t want to give them a bad impression because they will remember you in the future.

I wanted to add something here that astounded me to learn of but is good advice to share.  I read an article recently on submitting gifts with your manuscript….  Please don’t ever do this.  Not only does this turn off publishers faster than anything, this is not a good practice to engage in, at all.  Do you really want your book published simply because your gift was generous?  Wouldn’t it be better to get a contract based on the merits of your well polished manuscript than on whose Hawaiian cruise had better amenities?  You want to be remembered for your work not your bribery.  Please don’t get that desperate, my friends.  There is nothing worth you tarnishing your good name.

After you contact the agents and publishers that said it was okay to contact them, push your notes aside and work on something else in the meantime until they respond back to you.  Remember  in your ‘request for an update status’ e-mail, be friendly (but not too friendly)- be ‘professional friendly’, so to speak and always end your e-mail wishing them a nice day, to take care, or with best wishes.

Until next time my friends, take care of yourselves and keep thinking positive.  Never give up!  Your book will be published when the time is right and the world is ready for your ingenious work.

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