12.02.2005

Yuletide Query

My question: What sort of holiday schedule do most agents keep? I've finished and polished a novel, and I'm about to start querying agents. Is early to mid-December a good time to do so, or are agents more likely to be cranky from pre-holiday pressures? Would it be better to wait until after the holidays?

Agents are always overworked, cranky and looking for their next gin. Well, Miss Snark is...and that's the only one that counts, right?

Queries are a routine part of our business day. We don't (mostly) ignore them in favor of swilling gin at holiday parties. Some of my colleagues use the holiday week downtime to get caught up on queries, so it's a good time to be in their mailbox. Some of my colleagues use this time to lie on the beach in St. Tropez, but your query letter will be waiting when they get back.

You absolutely cannot time queries so just polish it up and send it out.

I'm not sure how everyone else will be doing it, but the Snark Emporium of Good Writers and Great Deals will close for the hols on 12/22 and stay closed till ...well February seemed a bit much, so 1/4/6 seemed like a nice number. Killer Yapp will be retrieving messages and mail while Miss Snark reads trashy novels and makes prank phone calls to George Clooney.

8 comments:

Simonbun said...

Hmm. Does this apply to editors as well? My agent has my ms. at several houses right now (at their request). Are they all mellowed and receptive through hitting the eggnog, or just frazzled and snappy like the rest of us during the holiday season? Is there a particularly "good" time of year to shop a story?

Dee said...

Hope you are getting Killer Yapp a nice present, say, little mitten for those toosies...
and if you get ahold of George Clooney, be sure to send me his email address, lol...

Merry Xmas!
dee

Brady Westwater said...

Will Killer Yapp also be in charge of retrieving a certain fraticidial Crapometer when it comes bloodily rolling into town?

Harry Connolly said...

I'm no expert, but I pitched a novel to an editor back in June at a writers conference. She requested a partial, but told me not to send it between Halloween and New Years. She said she was going to be too busy to look at during November and December.

Again, I'm no expert, but it's an interesting data point.

Shadow said...

Say, Miss S: How long have you had Killer Yapp? I've been a Snarkling for awhile now, and I don't recall KY being much of a presence until the last few weeks or so.

(Cricket, the paraplegic Peke, says hi and sends him a greenie.)

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to Simon's question...what *are* those illustrious, mysterious, cantankerous editors doing with our manuscripts this time of year?

LargeCrepe said...

My ms will have the cheer of the season plastered over it's pages and perhaps serve some greater good as it props up the flacid buttocks of a cleaning maid while she receives her 'anual bonus'?

So be it.

Anonymous said...

Last year at this time I was querying and got plenty of requests, and a rejection on my pages (partial or full? can't remember) on Christmas Eve.

My theory is that agents have more time to deal with queries and submissions because publisher acquisitions slow down.