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Brn2bwild
07-09-2013, 01:31 AM
I just sent out my first 10 yesterday so that they would be sitting near the top (or at least the middle?) of the agent's inbox this morning. However, given that agents state that it can take a minimum of 2 weeks for them to respond, does such timing even matter? Or are there times when agents are more receptive than others?

I live on the West Coast, so I would need to rise at 5 am or earlier to ensure that agents in New York received my queries first thing in the morning.

For that matter, is there a best time of year to query agents, or is any time good so long as the agencies are not closed for the holidays?

CAWriter
07-09-2013, 01:56 AM
Agent Wendy Lawton blogged on just this topic (http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog/the-best-of-times-the-worst-of-times/) last week. She doesn't get into the minutiae of what time of day, (and it is a rather tongue in cheek piece), but there is good information in it as well. (And most of the Books and Such agents are West Coast-ish, so not everyone is on the East Coast.)

Brn2bwild
07-09-2013, 02:13 AM
Thanks, CAWriter! That eases my mind a bit. I guess I'll have to figure out when the trade shows are. ;)

mellymel
07-09-2013, 04:42 AM
I'm just curious why you are worried about this. I mean, if you are query 1 or 20 or 43 in the box that day (provided the agent isn't completely backed up on reading queries and has about 87 (or 187) of them to go through before s/he even gets the batch that comes in on the very day you send yours, it doesn't really matter. Not to mention that agents also have to deal with emails from current clients, and other agents, and a number of other industry people who are often a priority. Are you just THAT anxious to hear a response? I can understand how ansty one can be while waiting. It's TORTURE. My suggestion is to put it out of your mind and catch up on some writing, watch some TV/movies, or work on your next project.

GL, hope you get some interest!

ETA: every agent is different. Some are really disciplined in keeping up with their slush, while others aren't (not necessarily by choice). Agenting isn't just about reading queries and responding. There is SO. MUCH. MORE to what goes on in the day-to-day dealings of every agent and dealing with their clients and the needs of their clients is often their priority.

Brn2bwild
07-09-2013, 06:40 AM
I'm just curious why you are worried about this. I mean, if you are query 1 or 20 or 43 in the box that day (provided the agent isn't completely backed up on reading queries and has about 87 (or 187) of them to go through before s/he even gets the batch that comes in on the very day you send yours, it doesn't really matter. Not to mention that agents also have to deal with emails from current clients, and other agents, and a number of other industry people who are often a priority. Are you just THAT anxious to hear a response? I can understand how ansty one can be while waiting. It's TORTURE. My suggestion is to put it out of your mind and catch up on some writing, watch some TV/movies, or work on your next project.

I'm not anxious about getting a response. I just want to make sure that my query is read -- ideally at an optimal time. They can take as much time as they'd like to respond or not respond at all. I would just hate to think that my sending a query on the wrong day or at the wrong time means that it is given less or no consideration. I know that they say they read all queries, but for all I know, when they say "read," they mean skim for two seconds. I would rather catch them at their most receptive two seconds.

jeffo20
07-09-2013, 07:03 AM
I'm not anxious about getting a response. I just want to make sure that my query is read -- ideally at an optimal time. They can take as much time as they'd like to respond or not respond at all. I would just hate to think that my sending a query on the wrong day or at the wrong time means that it is given less or no consideration. I know that they say they read all queries, but for all I know, when they say "read," they mean skim for two seconds. I would rather catch them at their most receptive two seconds.
If you look at sites like Query Tracker, where people post the results of their queries, you'll often see agents going in all kinds of orders. I've sent queries in April, and seen people reporting responses from May and June. Sometimes agents with a reputation for respond in minutes or hours (my fastest rejection came back in about ten minutes) take weeks. There's no way, unfortunately, to game the system. You can't guarantee what order it will be read in, so it's really not worth it to try to figure out. All you can do is give them the best possible query for the best possible story.

katci13
07-09-2013, 07:19 AM
There is no optimal time. Once you hit send, it's out of your control. There is no perfect time of the day. There is no perfect day of the week. No perfect month. No perfect season. They'll read it (or skim it) when they read it. We all like to think our letters will be treated with the same amount of care we took to write it, but your letter is one of hundreds. They will treat your letter the same way they treat everyone else's.

Brn2bwild
07-09-2013, 07:25 AM
That's good to know. I'm glad I won't have to think: "If only I had sent my queries on a Wednesday, I might have received some acceptances!" :)

Terie
07-09-2013, 10:16 AM
There is no optimal time. Once you hit send, it's out of your control. There is no perfect time of the day. There is no perfect day of the week. No perfect month. No perfect season.

This, precisely. If agents don't care whether your query arrives in January vs May vs September, why on earth would it matter what time of day it's received? When you consider that agents typically say to expect a response within months, it should be fairly clear that time of day a query is received is immaterial.

Very few agents read queries the same day they're received. Most collect them into batches and fit reading them in around their primary work. They might read them once a week; they might have a monthly 'slush party' with their assistant. They might send replies during the work day, or they might do so in the middle of their night.

There's enough to angst over without adding to your burden by worrying about something so very meaningless. It would be like worrying over where your physical query letter was in the stack back in the days before e-mail. :)