Life After the Query Letter

So, you sent your big, bad query letter out into the publishing world. Now what? Of course, we hear that it’s important to check your e-mail every five seconds start your next project. But that advice is easier said than done, right? I mean, what is your next project? If the manuscript you’re querying is the first in a series, do you work on the next book? What if an agent tells you she loves your writing but doesn’t see the series going anywhere? Do you have anything else to offer her? Nope. Because you were working on book 2.

Or the opposite could happen. You might decide it’s a safer bet to work book 1 of a new series. But what if an agent loves book 1 of the old series and wants to see book 2? You mean the book I haven’t started yet? Can I get back to you on that one?

What’s a writer to do? How do you know which book you should work on next?

That’s a tough one, and I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. Basically, write what you want to write and pay attention to the feedback you receive from agents. Do you get a sense that they like your story, even if it’s flawed and may need to be rewritten? Or do they like the writing and not the story?

Some writers dabble with both books (book 2 of the first series and book 1 of another) until they can get a sense for how their first book is being received. Hey. Whatever works. The point is you need to get writing again. You can always switch gears and work on the book the agent wants to see if/when she requests more of the series or something else.

You know what you have to do. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard, and GO!

Lynnette Labelle

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