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What To Expect After Submitting Your Query Letter

You have finished writing your manuscript and you think it’s time you got your book published. Supposing you choose the traditional way of publishing, you have two choices. Your first choice is to contact a literary agent. Your second choice is to directly contact a publisher. Whether you choose the first or second choice, the success of your book depends on how well you wrote it. If you choose to contact a literary agent then you will have to write them a query letter. After writing a query letter, what next? Most writers usually don’t know what to do or what to expect after submitting their query letters. This can be very hard for a writer especially when they are new to the field of writing and publishing. We are going to look at what a writer should expect after pitching to literary agents.

What a writer should expect after submitting their query letter to a literary agent

Be ready to wait before you receive any form of response

Literary agents receive a lot of query letters in a week or even a day. It, therefore, takes them time to read and get back to the writers, depending on the agent’s flexibility and schedule. Do not contact a literary agent when they don’t send you any response (as soon as you expected). It is better to wait until they respond themselves. Some never respond and you can safely assume your pitch was rejected.

The literary agent will send a response requesting part of your manuscript

This may be a positive response to your query letter, but even then, it does not entirely mean the agent has agreed to work with you. Although rarely, the agent may ask for part of your manuscript and still reject your manuscript. The agent will ask for part of your manuscript (say a few pages of your first chapter) to learn a little more about your novel. Ask the agent to specify the amount of time they will take with your manuscript in cases where they ask for it.

The literary agent will send a response requesting your manuscript

Before sending your query letter, you should have done thorough research on the agent you will contact. When you receive such a request (as your feedback) tread carefully. A literary usually only asks for part of your manuscript. Do not be quick to send your manuscript to anyone lest risk losing your work to scam agents.

The literary agent will send a response accepting your proposal

This is the kind of response where the literary agent tells you they are impressed by your novel and would love to help publish your novel. This is great news and you deserve a pat on your back because you have got yourself a deal. It’s not every writer who gets their work accepted by a literary agent.

The literary agent will send a response rejecting your proposal

Writers dread rejection, but what will you do when the literary agent rejects your work? What writers need to know is that rejection does not mean they cannot go ahead with their writing career. When your proposal is rejected, take the reasons for rejection as constructive criticism. Do not consider or think about very negative responses aimed at discouraging you. Make the necessary adjustments and continue sending query letters to other agents. For the same reason of rejection, you should send your query letters to as many agents as you can so that you have a variety of responses.

Remember, it may take time before you receive a response. The worst thing is that you can wait for long only to receive a rejection. You may also find that one agent may reject your manuscript and another will accept. Therefore send your query letter to many agents.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Keith Mbuya