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Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Anyone who’s ever been in the query trenches knows that there’s a lot of waiting when it comes to the publishing world. Waiting on query replies. Waiting to hear back on manuscript requests. Waiting to go on submission. Waiting to hear news from going on submission. Waiting. It can be super tempting to check your email 57 times a day. It can even get to the point where you’ll take anything, even the rudest rejection imaginable, if it means that there’s an email in your query inbox. (And if you haven’t set up a separate querying email, I suggest you do that now. Trust me. This way when you check your email, you know that all the messages in the inbox have to do with your query. I don’t recommend so much you put this email on your phone if you’re super obsessive like me, but I still have it on my phone, so…yeah.)

Distraction is key when you’re waiting.

Distraction via another WIP. Planning, drafting, outlining, staring off into space, whatevers.

Distraction via a shiny, shiny awesome book. You know that one you were supposed to read last winter.

Distraction via the TV shows you neglected while you were drafting. Who has time for TV when there are minions that need their asses kicked!

Distraction via dusty paint brushes. Or a dusty guitar. Or a dusty anything. Maybe your Wii remotes. Remember those?

And HEY! The house is also dusty. This is the perfect time to clean! The toilets, those crevices on the stairs! Fun, fun!

Also, YouTube! And blogging. Perfect time to binge draft some future blog posts, yep! (You know, for the next time you’re in the writer cave and forget about life.)

But guess what! There’s something else you can do while you’re waiting. You can obsess! As a professional obsesser, I’m going to help you obsess like an OCD person, minus the cringing from when your sister thinks it’s funny to tilt your iPad a few degrees while you’re eating lunch. (Which is not funny!)


#1 – Refresh your email every 15 to 30 minutes. It only takes a few seconds! Get those responses as soon as they come in!

#2 – Refresh your query list on QueryTracker once an hour to see if anyone has made a new comment on an agent’s page so you can predict when your query is next in line.

#3 – Stalk the agent’s Twitter feed to see if they said something that might have something, ANYTHING, to do with your query or manuscript.

#4 – Speaking of agents…analyze how long it’s taking them to get back to you. Did someone on QueryTracker send a query the same day as you and they got a rejection yesterday and you didn’t! Does that MEAN something?! Yes, yes, it does. Unfortunately, it means they either hate you and trashed your query already or they are so totally in love with your sample pages or novel that they’re waiting until their schedule is cleared out so they can call you and make an offer! There is no other explanation.

#5 – Freak out because you added a letter to the end of someone’s name! You’re definitely getting ignored on that one. Must throw a pity party and wallow for the rest of the day. Then see #3 for any mention of “DAMN AUTHORS CAN’T SPELL MY NAME RIGHT!” because it will most definitely be about you.

#6 – Make a fancy spreadsheet so you can keep up with your query responses despite the fact that QueryTracker is doing that for you.

#7 – Stalk the agency site and see if you can figure out how they’re going to respond to your query or novel based on the books the agency reps and the agent bio you read 15 times already.

And don’t worry. The fun doesn’t end when you sign with someone or shelve the perfect novel away. No way! You can obsess about publishers! You can obsess over reviews! In fact, the day your book drops, refresh your Goodreads and Amazon pages every 15 minutes to see what people are saying about you!Β ^_^

*Disclaimer: I have not done a single one of these things before ever in my life.*

Have a wonderful, awesome, snow-filled day. (Yes, I said snow…it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, you say, well, somewhere, I assure you, it’s snowing.)

Distraction: An Art Form.


  • Michelle A (@SunflowerRei)

    bahahahaa! Krystal, I love you! Also–I signed up and searched around on QueryTracker today. And I started reading that query book you mentioned after the conference. And I’m hoping to get everything done before PitchWars begins. #neuroticwriter

    You’re going to have to talk me down when I get my queries out. Seriously.

    • krystal jane

      ^_^ Love you, too! Dude, I will totally talk you down. I can actually completely forget about it some days. Or at least parts of some days. Professional #neuroticwriter πŸ˜‰ I still have dusting on my to-do list, by the way. Lol!

  • Emma Adams (@ELAdams12)

    As I’m officially back in the trenches this week…I definitely haven’t started panic-email-refreshing already. πŸ˜‰ I’m trying to distract myself by plotting a completely different book and working on a draft, which is how I usually cope with the insanity!

    • krystal jane

      I start immediately. Lol! But I finally started outlining and poking around with a couple of ideas this weekend. It’s definitely one of the more effective distractions for sure!

  • Diane Carlisle

    “Distraction via dusty paint brushes. Or a dusty guitar. Or a dusty anything. Maybe your Wii remotes. Remember those?”

    YES! And thanks for the reminder. lol

    I have a Wii and Playstation 3. What have I been thinking? Time to shop for some new games. πŸ™‚

    • krystal jane

      Yes! Games are like creative vacations. I always come back relaxed and ready to write! My favorite game on Wii is karaoke. Lol! I haven’t played in a while. I might be rusty. *blows dust of microphone*

  • sandiedocker

    That cracked me up. Guilty of all. Surely that agent I stalk, I mean follow, on twitter who has my full that tweeted she was loving the submission she was reading was talking about my MS. I mean it’s not as if it could possibly be anyone else’s???? And checking my email every 10 mins even when the time difference means any agent would be fast asleep is normal, right? Hang on…is that dust on my stereo speakers….

    • krystal jane

      LOL! Who knows! Agents get insomnia, too! πŸ˜‰ I was just watching a few writers freak out this morning because an agent tweeted that she had 3 fulls and was making two offers. Someone certainly broke their email today. I know I would have!

      p.s. That is definitely dust on your speakers, by the way. ^_^

  • Tonja Drecker (@TDrecker)

    Lol! You just hit my list perfectly! Even the querytracker πŸ˜‰ Usually, I can keep myself distracted the first 2 weeks or so (depending on how long it usually takes said agent to respond), but after that, the freak-out starts leaking through. Big time. Thanks for the laugh!

    • krystal jane

      Anytime! ^_^
      There is definitely something about that two week mark. Especially when I see other people who queried after me getting responses while I’m in Limbo. *stares at email* #writerwoes

  • Thea Landen (@TheaLanden)

    Yep, I have everything go to my main email address. Which is synched to my phone and a desktop chat program. So basically every time there’s an alert, I freak out until I see what it is. Oh well, I’m still trying to write some and watch some Netflix so I might actually catch on to some pop culture references here and there.

    • krystal jane

      I give up on TV. Lol! Now that I’m into Netflix (and watching old stuff at that), I’ve had to cut out a lot of shows. But dude, I still freak out when my phone dings because all the email alerts are the same! πŸ™ I guess it’s too much to ask to have a different alert for each address. Lol!

  • authorcrystalcollier

    LOL! Yes, I know the obsessing game. It’s dangerous, right? I like to stay far far away on my planet of cheese and wait for agents to grovel at my feet. (Ha ha…) Seriously, querying is the worst. Absolute worst.

    • krystal jane

      It really is! So much unknown and waiting and unknown. I did finally get a grip on myself. The power of transference. ^_^ Now I’m obsessing over time management. Trying to organize my life. Tis going well.

      Hmm, a planet made of cheese….

    • krystal jane

      Yay, OCDers Unite! ^_^
      Dude, please let me know if it’s better! But yes, indie authors have all the power. I might pick your brain about it one day if I ever get around to finishing my vampire series, yes? ^_^

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