A key skill in publishing your debut novel is the ability to wait well. There’s a lot of it. Waiting seems to be most of what is asked of you.

But what I’ve discovered is that waiting is not the same as doing nothing. In fact, waiting well is about not wasting time – perhaps the most valuable time you’ll have.

Since mid-October I have been waiting for the publisher of my debut novel (tentatively titled) The Confessions of Adam (Bold Vision Books, 2019), to complete manuscript edits and initial cover art. During this time I have not been lying on the couch eating cookies and binge-watching The West Wing. Instead, my focus has been on waiting work. I have (in order of importance):

  1. Read The Confessions of Adam, hardcopy, with pencil in hand, 3 times – once aloud.
  2. Completed and submitted for workshop the 6th draft of my next novel.
  3. Alerted my writerly and readerly network to the anticipated release.
  4. Scheduled and sat for my author photo.
  5. Altered my 2019 planned schedule in anticipation of release activities.
  6. Began building my book release email list and started investigating mass email platforms.
  7. Started to arrange book release readings at two venues.
  8. Investigated how to add a book release splash page to my website.
  9. Given notice to several book clubs of the upcoming, albeit yet undated, release.

For the casual observer, waiting work is hard to differentiate from routine work. The difference is that waiting work anticipates what might be needed while routine work follows a defined plan. Both are essential. Waiting work is no less critical to your progress. In fact, it can make the difference between routine work that is on-time and that which is rushed to completion or delivered late.

So, wait well and get to work.