If you’re submitting to agents in order to attain representation for a traditional publishing contract, you may be wondering what to do after you’ve completely exhausted your list.  This article will explain what to do next. Hint: Wait for a response isn't an option.

So, You’ve Reached the End of Your Agent List

First, let me congratulate you for submitting to all the viable agents in your genre. I’m sure it was not an easy task, and you are probably already receiving rejection letters. Stay strong. Hopefully, here in a few weeks all your effort will pay off, and you’ll get the coveted request for your full manuscript and an offer of representation. However, until then, you’ll need to find ways to keep yourself occupied and in good spirits. Once you reach the end of your literary agent list, you’ll still have months to wait until all those submissions time-out, and it’s best to stay busy and look ahead not behind you. Whatever you do, you do not want to sit and stagnate.


1. Start Your Next Book

The best thing you can do during this time is start your next book. You’re going to have anywhere from three to six months until your submissions officially time-out, and you either have representation or you don’t. Three to six months is plenty of time to start and finish a new book. Regardless of what happens with your current book, a new book means a new opportunity for success, and you will either have the option of submitting your new book to your list of agents or self-publishing.

2. Build a Website

Regardless of what happens, you need an author website. Thankfully, there are plenty of places that will allow you to create a hosting account and build your new author website for free. The easiest place to do this is probably Weebly, but there are plenty of other hosting companies that offer free websites and free subdomains.

3. Amp Up Your Social Media Presence

Whether you gain representation or end up self-publishing, you will need a large social media presence. The best way to get the word out about your new book and the fact that you are an author that writes in X genre is through social media. This is also why I recommend creating an author website. You can create blog posts and webpages surrounding your books and post those links to social media. If you want to make sure your social media feeds stay active around the clock, I recommend using a social media scheduler

Doing these three tasks can help you stave off boredom, worry and self-doubt. Remember, no matter how many rejection letters you receive or how long it takes to get your books published and in the hands of readers, your writing is still good enough, and you are an author. Just remember, 99% of potential authors never even finish their first book. By finishing and starting the submission process or self-publishing your book, you are already ahead.