Thursday, December 13, 2007

Get Ready, Get Set, QUERY!

by Heather Moore

The holiday bustle is in full swing. Everyone is checking their lists twice. Lines are already obscenely long and panic fills the eyes of many a shopper.

Slow down. Breathe. If you haven’t finished your gift shopping, what are a few more days?

NOW is the time to send out those queries. Like most of us, other writers are preparing for the holidays, planning vacations, sending out cards to everyone they’ve known since a toddler.

But the agents are still in their offices, putting in full days . . . reading queries, requesting partials. Yet, the writers aren’t submitting at their usual pace.

Right now, agents are in the “zone” or the “evil dry spell” as referred to by Kristen Nelson, of Nelson Literary Agency:

Ms. Nelson says, “For unrepresented writers, this is actually a good thing because that means we are looking furiously for something new to take on because in the dry spell, we start reading our queries faster. We ask for more sample pages then we might ordinarily. We’ll take a chance on reading full manuscript of a work that maybe didn’t win us over entirely initially in the sample pages but because it’s so dry, we’re more lenient and will request a full.”

Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown Literary calls it the “December Publishing Coma”

He says, “This is a time when agents and editors alike catch up on their reading and try and get things in order for submissions in the new year. So if you are polishing off a query, go ahead and send it now (but I'd avoid the week around Christmas and New Years).”

So get busy. Put off that shopping and work on your queries!


Karlene said...

On the flip side, I LOVED the December slump. It gave me a chance to get caught up and clear out the slush pile.

Annette Lyon said...

I have a query I've been meaning to send out. This is just what I needed to hear to get moving!

Julie Wright said...

so interesting that they find slumps at this time of year . . .