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Follow Up Queries To A Publisher

So you have had a positive response from an agent or publisher requesting your manuscript. You wait patiently each day, but receive no news from them. So what can you do? Too frequently, writers never follow up with the publishers because they do not know if it is the right thing to do, or how they should formulate a follow-up letter. You may have received feedback, but you do not know how to interpret it or apply their recommendations to improve your novel. You need to receive some concrete news from them, but at the same time do not want to jeopardize the good relationship that you have formed with the publishers.

If you are like me, when you first start submitting your work, you will be asking yourself, "Should I send a  follow up email?", "How long should I expect to wait before I hear anything?", "What if I never hear back?" At some point, every writer has asked themselves these questions. The answer to the first question is yes, you should always send a follow up email and addressed for the attention of the person who requested the manuscript. This is to ensure your query reaches the right person quickly. The answer to the second question is to wait a week or two and then you can send an email to check the manuscript has been received, and when approximately to expect a response. Once you have a rough timescale, you can then send another email to ask if they have read your work and request their feedback. Lastly, if you have received no response at all from the publisher, then send a query email a month after you sent your novel to them. Always keep your correspondence professional and polite and if they choose to ignore you still, then move on.

Remember to keep all of your emails short and to the point. A short paragraph is recommened. Avoid being over friendly or for your frustration to come through in any interaction with them. Sometimes it could be the case that your manuscript has been filed to follow up at a later date. Publishers are notoriously busy, but at least you are one step closer to getting a response by sending a follow up query. If they do not receive a follow up email, then they may not bother to respond at all. Your goal here should be to gain insight into why they chose to pass on your work, and gain some helpfiul insight on how you can improve your writing.

Maybe your novel wasn’t the genre they were looking for, maybe your storyline was an issue. It is important you take the constructive criticism as an opportunity to improve your work and not as a personal attack. You must always conduct yourself in a professional manner, so you can build a network of contacts for your other future projects. Your writing career must be marketed like any other business. You need to show a certain level of knowledge and expertise in your chosen business and convince publishers that you will be an excellent person to work with. Good luck.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Lesley Jones