Oct 19, 2012

Trends in Publishing - Times of Year

My CP's and I were talking last night about good times to query.  I am pushing to finish my WIP before the end of October, let it marinate while I NaNo a story that's been running around in my head for a few months, edit WIP in December and then query.

The reason for this plan is my belief agents' work lives take a back burner during December just like everyone elses, but, ahem, I haven't really looked into it.

So, we are going to have the participation segment - those of your who were or are in the query trenches, did you notice a slowing down in December? Are you aware of times when more people sign than others?  Is my plan rational or rationalizing?

I'd love to know your thoughts on this one.

21 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have no idea. Then again, if everyone runs from December, that might be a good time to stand out.

Jess said...

I think it depends on the agent. I've gotten requests in December before. To me, it's just a matter of sending it in when it's ready. If it's ready in December, there's no harm in sending the query then. You'll just be that much further up the agent's line of queries. Sure, they might not attack their slush pile until after the New Year, but again, I don't think that's necessarily a reason to hold off.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I think it's a good plan. You won't be sitting around twiddling your thumbs, so it's not time wasted.

Yolanda Renee said...

I know there are trends, I just can't remember what and when. But starting is really the goal, timing is when timing works. Sorry, I'm tired, none of that makes any sense. Happy Friday!

David P. King said...

I'm aware that some close their doors in December completely (for the holidays and the flood of NaNo queries they receive). After shopping around for a year, I'd say the better times are early Spring and late Summer, but that's me. :)

Jenny S. Morris said...

I've never queried in December so I don't know. I'd guess that they are super busy. But I think the months they get the most queries would be heavy conference months.

i'm erin. said...

I think it depends on the agent, but I do think it's probably best not to query in December. I would like to be querying soon too. But alas, I'm in a bit of a trench.

Julie Luek said...

I've heard blog rumor that NaNo can create a flood of submissions in Dec. (come to think of it, maybe I read that on David P King's site?). Good luck on your querying process, no matter when you do it.

Jessie Humphries said...

I think DPK is right. Spring and late summer. This why: December and January agents are inundated with NaNo and quickly revised NaNo queries. And in the middle of the summer I've heard some agents like to take a break and be outdoors (not inside reading). At least that was the case with my agent. I found that late summer she started getting hungry for new manuscripts. She actually blogged about it on her Greenhouse Literary blog. So I think it would be still be good to query in October and early November, but past that will be some extended waiting I think. Of course this is just my opinion.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've always heard December was a bad month. That's also when all of the inexperienced writers who just completed NaNo start querying.

Cherie Reich said...

I haven't queried any agents, but I have heard December and sometimes January isn't the best time to send to agents because of NaNo manuscripts flooding their inboxes. I would think some agents would take time off around the holidays too.

S.P. Bowers said...

I know a lot of agents close to queries in December and sometimes November. I've always heard (and I don't know if this is true) that the best times to query are in February and October.

Morgan said...

I think you query when you're ready... It comes down to the quality of the letter and the first few pages--regardless of the time of year. I've probably queried in every month of the year, and I haven't noticed any difference in response! I've known agents to request (and reject) on Christmas day! :)

prerna pickett said...

i've heard agents say it doesn't matter when you query as long as your story is ready. it just depends on the agent, i guess.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Hard to say... in January, everyone in kidlit is at ALA for the Newbery, Caldecott, etc. awards. In Feb there's the NYC SCBWI conference. In March everyone goes to Bologna. In May there's Book Expo, in June another ALA. Then there's summer.... I think there are actually only about 3 days a year when everyone is in the office :) JK. But I think in the end you have to query when you're ready. If they're not around, they'll get to it when they get back :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I once read on an agent blog (can't remember which one) that December is the worst month. For one there are all the holidays and second, every NaNo participant thinks they are ready to query as soon as they type, "the end".

Lisa Regan said...

I haven't queried for awhile but when I did March through September were the best months. There are book fairs, conferences, etc that start in October and then holidays, then 2 months to dig out from all of that. So usually in March the agents were more responsive. That doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't query from October through February, that's just what I noticed from my own experience.

Tara Tyler said...

i've seen agents announce periods of not taking queries, majority i've noticed were in summer months and, yes, december

you sound like you have a solid plan! good luck!

Nicole said...

Oh boy, I've heard all things! Some say winter is slower, others say December is a big month because a lot of NaNo'ers query right away. I think it comes down to: a) is your book finished, b) is it really and truly the best it can be?

If both of those are a "yes," go ahead and query.

Kelley Lynn said...

Well, with all my worldly wisdom (which is virtually nothing) I would say query when ready. I think if you're submission is kick a** it will be just as likely to get a request in December as it is any other month.

But again, I know nothing... haha

Peggy Eddleman said...

That's such a tricky thing! I know that agents say that if it's a well written query and ms, the timing doesn't matter at all. But December is busy for everyone. Idk, though-- there's all those NaNo projects that people are in much too big a hurry to query, so a very well done query might really stand out. :)