Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

To Query or Not to Query

There's been some discussion on line lately about querying at this time of year. I've heard alternating opinions.

Some agents don't want queries right now. This is the time they wrap up the year, finish up with all the queries they haven't had time to address, catch up on reading partials and fulls, so they can start the new year with a clean slate. Other agents think this is a good time to receive queries. Those agents have some end of the year downtime when they can peruse submissions.

So, what's right?

Well, I think it depends on the agent. With everything else about this business, each agent has their own set of likes and dislikes. The key is finding which agent wants what. (And you all know this isn't always clear - especially with outdated or incorrect information floating around the net.) We've all heard it time and again: This business is subjective. Even the best time to query depends on the subject of the query.

I think the best bet, if you aren't sure about a particular agent's preference, is to wait. Query those agents who say they want submissions right now, and leave everyone else until the end of January. Give them some time to get back into the swing of the new year. Let them alone to deal with closing out 2007 on their books. Be thoughtful. Maybe it'll earn you some much needed brownie points.

And since you'll be querying along with everyone else, make sure your query is the shiniest it can be. In the end, that's what sells the book - not timing, or magic, or anything else.

Now, tell me what your thoughts are on year-end querying. If I'm totally off-base here, I'll be the first to recant my advice. Trust me.


lainey bancroft said...

Nope. I'd say you're right on target. I've heard the same thing about this time of year. Not to mention I think you run a greater risk of getting lost with the postal service having a deluge of seasonal mailings.

But then again, in the New Year you could get lost in piles of those 'resolutions to finally send'. Then if you wait, you're running into conference time and and and...

Solid research. Solid query. Followed up with solid writing and a dash of luck.

Easy. Right? :0

Edie said...

Two agents who have blogs say this is a good time for them. Kris Nelson and Nathan Bransford. I think Janet Reid too. Like you say, this is different for everyone.

Edie said...

I just read Kristin Nelson's blog today, and now she says not to query until Jan. 2nd.