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Thread: Submitting over Xmas

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW kelliewallace's Avatar
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    Submitting over Xmas

    What is the appropriate protocol for submitting over Christmas? I've noticed many presses are still open for submissions. My agent told me that many editors work from home during this time.
    Is it still ok to submit or wait till the new year? I've discovered already that many emails have gone unanswered which means some of closed down already.

  2. #2
    I find ur lack of faith disturbing mellymel's Avatar
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    I'm a little confused (perhaps it's different in different countries) but why are YOU submitting your work if you have an agent? Isn't that part of his/her job (and therefore wouldn't they know the answer to this?) Perhaps things are just done differently over there, but based on your question I'm trying to figure out how your agent isn't taking care of this for you. Where/how are they earning their commission? Perhaps someone who knows better can school me on this.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW kelliewallace's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply. I know it sounds a little confusing. My agent is currently selling one novel of mine and since that book I have written another. When she sells the one she currently has, I'm sure we can look at submitting that one too. I've never had an agent beofre so I am a little naive to how they work etc.
    Last edited by kelliewallace; 12-20-2012 at 07:41 AM.

  4. #4
    That hairy-handed gent
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelliewallace View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I know it sounds a little confusing. My agent is currently selling one novel of mine and since that book I have written another. I'm too impatient to wait so I am submitting it to small presses.
    Strikes me as a very bad idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by kelliewallace View Post
    When she sells the one she currently has, I'm sure we can look at submitting that one too.
    Not if you've been submitting it to publishers without her knowledge. If ever there was one, this is a recipe for losing an agent.

    Don't do this. Sit on the new manuscript until your agent has time to do her work, and spend your time writing more.

    caw
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  5. #5
    She who must be obeyed Amanda R.'s Avatar
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    I have actually been wondering this myself. I have an idea for a syndicated newspaper column I need to start sending out to newspapers around the country. I am anxious to start, but don't want my emails to get lost or ignored over the holiday season. Any thoughts on when in Jan would be a good time to start sending them out?
    Amanda R.

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  6. #6
    I find ur lack of faith disturbing mellymel's Avatar
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    Kellie, is your agent aware you are doing this? Did she give you the go ahead to do that? Are you doing it under a pen name? If the agent is not aware of this possible plan of yours, I would seriously consider (as Caw has said) to not do it. It could possibly be a breach of contract with your agent and you could find yourself in a very icky situation. I know it's hard to be patient and wait. The publishing industry is slow, but if you feel your agent is not doing his/her job or that you are not receiving the attention you feel you should be then perhaps it's time you have a conversation with him/her?

    Amanda, sorry. Don't know the answer to that. Hopefully others can chime in and answer your question. Personally, I don't think there's ever a "bad" time to submit and when I hear people throw out concerns about when it's a good time to query I always read jclarkdawes (or was it Uncle Jim's?) post and have a hearty laugh.

    Drats. Need to find it again. It's pretty darn funny. If anyone knows where it is I'd appreciate a heads up. It's the one where he breaks down querying month-by-month and explains why there's no good time to query.
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW kelliewallace's Avatar
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    mellymel, thank you for your feedback. My agent is aware. The novels I wrote (and I am currently submitting) were written before her and I got on board. We signed up together under a completely different novel. But we have spoken about it, and agree to sell the ones that fail to find homes eventually.

  8. #8
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    If your agent is going to start submitting your other books for you if and when she sells the one she's currently working on, then her job is going to be much harder if you've already sent it out.

    As an agent she should be better-placed than you to get bigger and/or better publishers to take a look at your ms. Why would you submit to publishers which perhaps won't have as much to offer you as the ones she could reach?

    I'm concerned that she's not giving you the best advice here.

  9. #9
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    I've never known a good agent who would work like that. Unless I'm missing something here, it's bad for the writer, and for the agent. Your agent should handle every book you write, or none of them. You selling a book to s small press when you have an agent is a really horrible idea.

    But as for submitting over Christmas, of course you should. Thousand and thousands of other writers are doing exactly this, and all waiting does is put you in line behind those who don't wait.

  10. #10
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    I agree with the others: this is an odd arrangement. I can understand if an agent is completely uninterested in a MS (genre she doesn't represent, or the market is too niche, or she already represents something too similar, whatever), but it doesn't make much sense to have the author start submitting it to smaller publishers first, and if that fails then the agent will take it on and submit it to larger publishers... Unless I'm missing something.

  11. #11
    I find ur lack of faith disturbing mellymel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelliewallace View Post
    mellymel, thank you for your feedback. My agent is aware. The novels I wrote (and I am currently submitting) were written before her and I got on board. We signed up together under a completely different novel. But we have spoken about it, and agree to sell the ones that fail to find homes eventually.
    I don't understand. When you get an agent it's not suppose to (generally) be about one project. S/he is suppose to represent you and your writing career, not just sign you up for one book because s/he thinks s/he can sell that one and then you have to fend for yourself with all your other projects. Are these MSS projects she has specifically expressed to you that she has no interest in representing? If so, what was her reason?

    Just curious, and want to make sure you are being fairly represented in the way you should be. Hopefully this will all get sorted out with your agent. GL!
    "The good thing about telling the truth is that there's nothing to remember."--John Ford Noonan (playwright)
    "Falling on your face is still moving forward."--Ron Maranian (comedian)


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  12. #12
    The Appleton House ccarver30's Avatar
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    This got really off topic and I was really interested to hear the answers to the actual question. I'm not being bitchy- I'm just disappointed. :\

  13. #13
    I find ur lack of faith disturbing mellymel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccarver30 View Post
    This got really off topic and I was really interested to hear the answers to the actual question. I'm not being bitchy- I'm just disappointed. :\
    Here's my answer in form of another's response. Hope this helps.


    Originally Posted by jclarkdawe
    The time not to send out your query is when it's not ready yet. Other than that, it doesn't make a difference.

    I've been rejected on Thanksgiving, and know that some agent was commenting on using the Thanksgiving holiday to get caught up. Many agents do queries during non-office hours.

    I would prefer to wait until after the holidays, because I don't need the extra pressure during the season. And you really should wait 30 days after you get the perfect query, to make sure in the light of day it really is perfect.

    And I've avoided 2 January, because I've known way too many people were sending stuff the same day.

    And you need to know that January is bad, because everybody who wrote their novel in November, edited in December, and query in January. And February? We're all lucky it's only 28 days, because it just plain sucks. March is bad as agents realize the weather is getting nice and they don't need to spend all their time in the office. In April we have the IRS in the US and you know what that does to people's moods. May is when everybody gets married, so that rules May out. June is when summer vacation begins, so who has time to deal with queries? By July the kids are bored and vacations have begun in earnest. Which also takes care of August. September is when school starts, and that's pretty hectic. By October, things have quieted down but it's getting dark early and that's depressing. November has Thanksgiving, and we're back to December with the holidays. So apparently you never should send out your query.
    Basically, I don't think it matters. If you query today or tomorrow, you will be sitting in their inbox and I would think that waiting, actually just puts you further down the line as I would think/hope that agents go through their box looking at the emails in order of arrival (for the most part). So if you wait, you might actually be waiting longer to hear anything back.

    Just my 2 cents on it. Hope you are no longer feeling disappointed.

    GL
    Last edited by mellymel; 12-21-2012 at 10:16 PM.
    "The good thing about telling the truth is that there's nothing to remember."--John Ford Noonan (playwright)
    "Falling on your face is still moving forward."--Ron Maranian (comedian)


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  14. #14
    Deus Ex Machina Makyelin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellymel View Post
    Basically, I don't think it matters. If you query today or tomorrow, you will be sitting in their inbox and I would think that waiting, actually just puts you further down the line as I would think/hope that agents go through their box looking at the emails in order of arrival (for the most part). So if you wait, you might actually be waiting longer to hear anything back.


    GL
    That is quite possibly the cleverest, and the best response I've seen in a while. Well done.
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  15. #15
    Hounds of Justice mrsvalkyrie's Avatar
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    mellymel-- For a second there, when I got to the last paragraph of jclarkdawes quote, I thought it was a serious answer. As I got farther down, I realized this was not the case and nearly smacked myself for being so naive. Haha. Love it.
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  16. #16
    I find ur lack of faith disturbing mellymel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsvalkyrie View Post
    mellymel-- For a second there, when I got to the last paragraph of jclarkdawes quote, I thought it was a serious answer. As I got farther down, I realized this was not the case and nearly smacked myself for being so naive. Haha. Love it.
    Yeah. I had the same reaction when I first read it. Thought he was being totally serious until I realized how not serious it was. But it was a good wake up call to the absurdity over stressing about when to send or not send. JUST SEND THE DAMN THING AND LET THE WAITING GAME BEGIN!
    "The good thing about telling the truth is that there's nothing to remember."--John Ford Noonan (playwright)
    "Falling on your face is still moving forward."--Ron Maranian (comedian)


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