So you've finished your book, revised it, shown it to beta readers, revised it some more, done your homework on publishers and small presses, picked a few out, and submitted your manuscript and your query letter. Now comes the really fun part. The wait to hear back.
At this moment, my book "Hannah" is entering it's tenth week out of sixteen in the wait to hear back from the small press publisher I submitted it to.
Now, I just want to explain something really quick. Most publishers have a waiting period, during which time they'll pass your work around until someone decides to poke at it and give it a chance. Then they'll decide if they think it's something that fits their genre's and if they think they can make money off of it. Very few publishers care about your "vision", how hard you worked on it, or about "art". If your book only caters to 70% of male pilots over the age of 60, good luck finding a publisher, you're going to need it. Anyway, as I said, most publishers have a waiting period. Usually between 12 to 18 weeks. What it means when the waiting period is up, is that, if you haven't heard from them, it is now acceptable to send them a small reminder that you sent your work in and you haven't heard back. That's it.
So a lot of waiting, in order to just wait some more.
That is one of the bigger issues of the route of Trade publishing. A lot of it is the waiting game. Sixteen weeks for a yes/no answer on your work. If you get a no, you get to start over with a different publisher. If you get a yes, you sign their contract and then wait for an editor to go through your work and send it back to you, which can easily take another few months. After that is more months while cover art is created, rejected, approved and added to the file. Even when you have a finished book that's ready to go out, a publisher has to find room in their release schedule to put it, which can take anywhere from a couple months to a year.
That's a lot of time waiting.
So what do you do?
You keep writing. Do some short stories. Start another novel, novelette, or novella.
That is how you become a writer and an author. You don't just sit back and wait until one work is printed to start another. You write, and you write, and you write.
Your book can wait. If you want to be successful, you can't.