PDA

View Full Version : Timing question on submitting queries



CathleenT
11-13-2014, 11:28 PM
I read someplace reputable online that submitting queries in the first three weeks of January is a mistake. Agents are hammered with queries, probably as a result of New Year's resolutions. Possibly novels NaNo'd (how do you spell that, anyway?) in November and revised in December have something to do with it, too.

A beta and I were kicking the question around about querying in December. I thought it would be less busy then, because people would be busy with the holidays. She pointed out this may also include agents.

So is December a good time to query? This is actually rather an important question to me, since it seems that's when my manuscript/query package is likely to be complete. Otherwise, it seems like I should wait until February. This is seriously not heartening, but I can wait if that's my best course.

Does anyone out there have any opinions/background info on this?

Thanks in advance to any who respond.

Sage
11-13-2014, 11:32 PM
The only difference between querying in December and February is when you get in the query queue. If it's true that a ton of queries are sent in January, why would you want to be behind them if you could have been ahead of them?

However, some agents aren't open to querying in December. This just means you'll have to wait until that agent opens to queries (assuming you don't get an offer before then).

Aggy B.
11-14-2014, 12:16 AM
When I was querying, I started in December and kept going 'til I got an offer. While it's true that some months may be busier than others, the only bad time to query is when an agent says they're closed.

Quickbread
11-14-2014, 01:14 AM
My first agent read my full and offered to rep me in mid-January.

blacbird
11-14-2014, 02:09 AM
In my experience of querying, every month is uniquely terrible, in its own special way.

caw

Siri Kirpal
11-14-2014, 07:19 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Timing with querying is even less effective than timing with the stock market. Just do it...provided the agent is open for business.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Niiicola
11-14-2014, 07:38 PM
I queried my last MS in early January and got a bunch of requests pretty quickly, so I'd say don't worry about the timing, just send when it's as perfect as you can get it. Good luck!

Jamesaritchie
11-14-2014, 07:57 PM
I read someplace reputable online that submitting queries in the first three weeks of January is a mistake. Agents are hammered with queries, probably as a result of New Year's resolutions. Possibly novels NaNo'd (how do you spell that, anyway?) in November and revised in December have something to do with it, too.

A beta and I were kicking the question around about querying in December. I thought it would be less busy then, because people would be busy with the holidays. She pointed out this may also include agents.

So is December a good time to query? This is actually rather an important question to me, since it seems that's when my manuscript/query package is likely to be complete. Otherwise, it seems like I should wait until February. This is seriously not heartening, but I can wait if that's my best course.

Does anyone out there have any opinions/background info on this?

Thanks in advance to any who respond.

There is no good time to query. Reputable places say you should query during the holidays because agents are too busy with Thanksgiving, Christmas, office parties, traveling, etc. You shouldn't query early in January, and certainly not in February, because of backed up queries, and because you definitely want to avoid the NaNo rush.

Spring is a bad time because this is when agents start roaming around the country, speaking at seminars and conferences, and doing all the other work an agent has to do to keep her existing clients happy.

And forget summer. This is when agents and editors all take vacations, and teh kids are out of school, and you name it.

It's all silly. The best possible time to query is as soon as you have really good query ready to go. If you wait, you'll just be behind all those writers who don't wait.

It would be a shame if an agent could only take on one or two new writers, and you were number three, wouldn't it?

Cwright
11-17-2014, 07:50 PM
It just might be that an agent has a resolution coming out of the new year to take on a new challenge / writer, instead of the norm, that just as well could be you if get ahead of the game. You never know. But as mentioned above, you certainly know when NOT to query... when an agent is not open for queries. Otherwise why wait? :)

waylander
11-17-2014, 08:11 PM
For every agent who takes two weeks off over Christmas there's another who reads queries on Dec 26th.
Just send your query when it has been thoroughly worked over in QLH

Sage
11-17-2014, 08:41 PM
I once saw an agent tweet, wondering if she should read queries and send out those rejections on Christmas Day or wait.

Old Hack
11-17-2014, 10:18 PM
A couple of agent friends of mine have reported getting several submissions on Christmas day. They are always incredulous that anyone would do that. But as I tell them, they're working at their computer, why shouldn't writers work too?

J.Reid
11-19-2014, 06:36 AM
"The best possible time to query is as soon as you have really good query ready to go. If you wait, you'll just be behind all those writers who don't wait."

I agree with the resident curmudgeon (which makes me the visiting curmudgeon I think)

Amy Writes
12-02-2014, 06:11 AM
This is what I think of as a Kung Fu Panda question: "What is the secret ingredient?"

There is no secret ingredient. Just you and your book and your query letter. Send it when it is shiny and ready to go.

(And Iīve wondered about gaming the system on timing, too; donīt feel like you are the only one.) :)

LaneHeymont
12-03-2014, 02:53 AM
I read someplace reputable online that submitting queries in the first three weeks of January is a mistake. Agents are hammered with queries, probably as a result of New Year's resolutions. Possibly novels NaNo'd (how do you spell that, anyway?) in November and revised in December have something to do with it, too.

A beta and I were kicking the question around about querying in December. I thought it would be less busy then, because people would be busy with the holidays. She pointed out this may also include agents.

So is December a good time to query? This is actually rather an important question to me, since it seems that's when my manuscript/query package is likely to be complete. Otherwise, it seems like I should wait until February. This is seriously not heartening, but I can wait if that's my best course.

Does anyone out there have any opinions/background info on this?

Thanks in advance to any who respond.

December is usually very busy. Agents and editors are working to clear their desks of submissions/queries. It doesn't exactly matter, but since it matters to you, wait till January.

CathleenT
12-03-2014, 04:01 AM
I want to thank everyone who's responded. I'll go ahead and submit as soon as my formatting question is answered. :)

Old Hack
12-03-2014, 11:04 AM
December is usually very busy. Agents and editors are working to clear their desks of submissions/queries. It doesn't exactly matter, but since it matters to you, wait till January.

I understand that you're suggesting the OP wait until January because it seems important to her: but agents and editors are always "working to clear their desks of submissions/queries" so waiting a month to query doesn't get a writer in when the decks are clear, it just gets them a month behind everyone who didn't wait that extra month.

LaneHeymont
12-03-2014, 07:33 PM
I understand that you're suggesting the OP wait until January because it seems important to her: but agents and editors are always "working to clear their desks of submissions/queries" so waiting a month to query doesn't get a writer in when the decks are clear, it just gets them a month behind everyone who didn't wait that extra month.

Can't argue with that. In all honesty, I don't think it really matters when you query. A good agent won't count it against you.