So, here is where the active phase will end for many of you. You've found the agents you want, you've perfected your letter, you've sent it out. Now it's time to wait.
And wait. And wait. The generally accepted conventions of polite behavior hold that if you haven't heard back in three months, that it's okay to give the agent a little nudge just to see if your letter got there. (Side note: Like with everything else, if the agent's website says something different, go with what the website says.) And by polite nudge, I mean a short email along the lines of, 'I just wanted to make sure my query letter got to you. Thanks, Your Name' You do not at any time want to come off as Stan from the Eminem song.
What to do while waiting? Find more agents to add to your potential agent list. Start on your next story. Take a break from writing for a little while and let your creativity recharge. Work on building your brand (write fan fic, short stories, blog, anything to get your name out there and people interested in seeing what you come up with next. More on this in future blogs.) Knit. Cook. Anything but spend every minute looking at the clock waiting for the time when the post man shows up with today's mail. You will go bonkers if you do that. As writers we're already a tad more delicately balanced on the edge of sane than most people, stalking your mail man or potential agents will only make that worse.
Now, for some of you, and for me personally, reading and researching the whole agent thing may have put you off of it. For some of us, this moment of deciding that we aren't going to go that way means it's actually the start of a new direction. And that's the direction this blog is going to take. It's time to start talking self publishing.
If you're going the traditional route, keep reading, lots of good stuff on marketing your book (useful for everyone) and self publishing (say that collection of poems or short stories you just can't get moved, even though every agent and their grandma have told you it's brilliant) will be forthcoming. As well as more Indie Book Reviews. (If you have done the self published route, and are interested in being reviewed, drop me a line.)