School’s ready, but is your book ready for the Fall?

The clothes, books, and other random items have been purchased for the children.  Classes are confirmed, teachers have been met, and the after-school schedule has been determined.  Great progress has been made, but what about your book’s Fall preparation?  Is your book ready for publishing?  Is it already with an agent, and waiting to be sent to publishers?  Are you ready for the next step in your book’s life?

Here’s a handy checklist to assist with the process.

For those querying agents:

  1. Is your Query letter written? Is it succinct?  Does it describe the WHO/WHAT/WHY and more about your book?  Is it engaging, interesting?
  2. Is the list of agents narrowed down?  Does this final list of agents (to query) represent of a group of individuals who are looking for titles within your book’s category?  Have you visited their websites, and confirmed they are still taking submissions?  Has each agent’s specific submission guidelines been noted?
  3. Are all the materials ready?  The synopsis, the proposal, the sample chapters, and the full mss (if fiction)?
  4. Is your writing platform ready?  If you’re writing a nonfiction book, it’s better to hold off on sending queries until this portion of the preparation makes noticeable progress.
  5. Last but not least, what will you do while waiting to hear from agents?  Besides the logical suggestion of working on your book (that’s a given), find an outlet for that nervous energy.   This is a great opportunity to take up a new hobby, a new sport, or to focus on those things that need attention post the query preparation.


For those with an agent:

  1. Have you turned in all the necessary materials to your agent?  Has s/he confirmed receipt  and that the materials are publisher/editor ready?
  2. Has your agent confirmed that the book will be submitted to editors?  Fantastic!  Here’s where I kindly remind you that the agent needs to be given needed time & space to prepare & do his/her job accordingly.
  3. Is your website up to date?  How’s your social media presence?  Make sure to increase the activity of these profiles actively while your agent is doing his/her job.
  4. Are you reaching out to other writers and networking?  Have you considered submitting essays and articles to print and online zines?  It’s a great way to build on your writing platform, and to keep your writing fresh.
  5. And of course, find an outlet for that nervous energy as well.  Publishing doesn’t move as fast as our nerves do, to which the waiting time would easily drive any person crazy.  My personal suggestion?  Roller Derby.  But of course any other sport or hobby will do.