Friday, October 15, 2021

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You've polished your manuscript and you've sent out some queries.  Since it can take three or to six months to hear back from an agent, what will you do in the meantime?   

Here are some suggestions:   

  • Develop a blog.  Write about the things that bring you joy or the things that get under your skin. Make it personal so people can relate.   
  • Read other writer's blogs.  They can educate and entertain as well as spawn ideas for your blog posts.    
  • Read picture books.  Find out what is being published.  Notice the word count.  Are the stories you're writing as clever and unique?
  • Read articles on writing for kids.  Learn more about the craft of writing.  Discover the different ways to tell a story through lyricism, humor, and breaking the fourth wall.   
  • Brush up your query letter.  Keep it to a page.  The shorter the better.  Include relevant facts about yourself that pertain to writing.
  • Watch Youtube tutorials and webinars.  Learn about how to pitch a book and how to write a synopsis and a query.  Learn the facts about representation. 
  • Connect with other writers.  Retweet and comment on Twitter.  Ask a writer a question via direct message.  Congratulate writers when they share big news. 
  • Enter a writing contest.  Follow the contest guidelines and compose a story.  Winning a contest will boost your confidence and it may serve to beef up your bio.  Plus, you might win a nice prize.
  • Develop your platforms.  Update your website at least once a month.  If possible, tweet once a day.  Post regularly on LinkedIn.  Make pins on Pinterest—which has the potential to drive traffic to your website.
  • Begin a new piece.  Agents want writers to have a total of three manuscripts on hand.  Revisit older manuscripts and see if you can revise them to make them more marketable.
  • Join a kidlit group on Facebook. Here you will find like-minded people that can give you support and advice.  
  • Join a critique group.  Audition it first to see if it will meet your needs.  Learn how others approach writing.  See what others have to say about your writing.
In addition to all of the above, you may want to search online for more agents who would be good matches for your work.  You can reach out to other writers who might need help with revising a manuscript or composing a query letter.  

Waiting to hear back from an agent is part of writing game.  Hang in there.  Be productive.  Be patient.  Most of all be positive.  Now is the time to get creative with the time you have on your hands.

✌ and