The next best thing to getting a call from an agent saying they are interested in representing you is getting an email or call from your agent telling you an acquisition editor at a publishing house wants to see your proposal. (Of course, the very next best thing is getting a call from your agent telling you have received an offer from a publisher on said book.) What do you do next? Here’s my list:
- Jump up and down and do a little dance for joy…and then quickly sit back down at the computer.
- Put all other work on hold.
- Pull up your document.
- Reread the whole proposal again checking for errors, ways to tighten sentences, typos, etc.
- Update any statistics or facts.
- Review the Complementary and Competing Books sections, and then go to Amazon.com to see if you’ve missed any books or if any new books have hit the market. Add any books you feel might show good sales of similar books to yours.
- Check your platform section to make sure your speaking engagements, media appearances, etc., are up to date. Add anything that is missing.
- Check that nothing you changed caused any funky page breaks.
- Proof your changes.
- Write a nice note to your agent and remember to attach the revised edition of the proposal to the email.
When you have done all 10 of these things, I suggest you do two more:
- Do another happy dance and think very positive thoughts. Visualize that phone call coming from your agent…what will you feel like when you are told you’ve landed a traditional publishing contract? Relish the feeling. Imagine signing the contract, writing the book, getting the published copy in your hands.
- Then sit back down at your desk and go one to your next project or the work you put on hold. Do not sit and watch the phone. Get to work on something else that excites and inspires you.