There is an excitement with any author when the words THE END hit the computer screen. You have just finished that last line, it has been edited over and over and now you are ready to move on to the next phase of the business. The problem though, is the new form of frustration you will face. Waiting.
Publishing is known for the hurry up and wait mentality. We rush and rush to get those books finished, only to sit around and wait for a response. But wait you must do! It is a necessary evil and writers sometimes forget all of the other factors that go into getting that book on the shelves for the readers.
One of the biggest things that I want to stress for all writers, especially from the standpoint of the agent, is that we honestly don’t want to leave you hanging. We also don’t like to see that growing pile of submissions and even worse, the growing list of e-queries that come in daily. We want to get that response out to you as fast as possible because of the next wave coming in. But things do take time and remember, we are doing other things. Also, we don’t just sit on the computer all day immediately getting back to each email that crosses the desk right there and then.
I always stress to writers to pay attention to the “response time” editors and agents put on their guidelines however, remembering the time they list is a “ball park figure.” Give that person a bit of flexibility before suddenly jumping on him or her to find out. The same goes true for the email that asks if we got the submission you sent out 1 week ago. Delivery confirmation works just fine, and when I say that, I am referring to the tracking not signature guarantee. You don’t need to see a signature just know it made it to the mail box.
So, instead of looking at the clock and stressing about the amount of time, look to a new project. It is sort of like having a baby. The doctor always says, the baby will come when he or she is ready. Just believe.
Scott C. Eagan