Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The perfect time is now

I was slithering around the comments section of the blog today and came across this:
I knew not to query during the holidays. Now, I wonder if agents will be barraged with queries during the first couple weeks of January, and it's better to wait a little longer(present blog host excluded of course).

I've mentioned I'm not reading queries during the holidays in a couple of recent posts. A lot of my colleagues are actually taking query hiatuses (they're deleting anything that comes in during the hiatus so they don't stare at a Stack O'Doom come Monday.)

But I really want to encourage you to NOT get in the habit of thinking there is a good or bad time to query. Short of an actual hiatus with the queries getting deleted, your query goes in the mailbox and gets read. You have zero control over when that reading happens. The only thing you can control is getting it in to the mailbox.

Send your query when it's ready to go. If you're trying to avoid the holiday deluge, everyone else is too, and Monday 1/4/10 is probably going to be the slowest day for queries since 12/25/09.

And know this: tonight I was shepherding the incoming queries into their little query corral when I saw one with a subject line that ignited my interest. Damn right I read it. And called the author that MINUTE to request a full. Had a very nice conversation with him, and I plan to read his project tomorrow.

Would every agent respond that way? No. This project is a long standing passionate interest of mine. You don't know if your book is in that category with an agent and you're better off to take action (send the query) than try to suss out the "perfect time" to do so. The perfect time is right now.

Happy 2010.


Dawn Hullender said...

Ye be warned Ms. Reid, I've queried you. >.< Happy reading!

Sharon Mayhew said...

Thanks for your wisdom. Have a wonderful 2010.

therese said...

Thanks for posting this after the last one. :)

Kristi Faith said...

wonderful post...hopefully one day this year my query will be in your mailbox. :0)

Seriously, thank you for this post, it does tend to clear up a lot of confusion.

A. Grey said...

How do you do this? It seems like every time I'm pondering something you post about it!

I sent a round of queries out mid December, knowing that many wouldn't read them until after the holidays. Then someone told me about how some agents delete queries while they're on hiatus and I started to worry. Then I got a request for a full from an agent. Then I didn't know what to think.

This post makes me feel so much better! Thank you.

And Happy New Year!

The Daring Novelist said...

I'm one of those who needs to be reminded of this, even though I do already know it.

(Note to self: stop obsessing about timing you don't control.)

arieleishen said...

Thanks for the advice!

arieleishen said...

Thank you for your advice! Happy 2010!

Munk said...


Lydia Sharp said...

Thank you so much for all the great posts this past week! I highlighted a few of them in my post today about getting ready to query in 2010. :)
Happy January!

Keli Scrapchansky said...

Can you remind me again what exactly was said in the subject line of that email? Thanks.

lora96 said...

That's very cool of you. I hope the author knows how special his work is and how dedicated you are to request it so swiftly.

We who are tapping away at keyboards salute you in the new year.

Anon said...

Usually I comment with my real name, but since I'm the author (strange to be called that since it's my first manuscript) mentioned near the end of the post, I'll be anonymous for now.

As I said by phone, the call made my year. I never would have expected it so quickly, if at all, and especially on New Year's Eve.

And regardless of what happens next, that was a huge thrill -- and a fun conversation.

So send your queries, everyone. And Happy New Year!

C.J. Ellisson said...

I know you've been on leave for a bit and I'm amazed you're still blogging and working from home. Katelynn read my full MS over the holidays so I'm anxiously awaiting her return to the office on Monday to know if it passed muster!

Good luck with the full you just requested - you gave that author a super nice delayed holiday gift without even knowing it! A call from an agent asking to read your work, does it get any better?

C.J. Ellisson said...

Whoops - wrong agent blog - forgive my post New Year's Eve fog. The Katelynn I mentioned is not from your office.

freecycler said...

Cool. I love that you called a writer who happened to be querying about a long-standing passion of yours. Very cool.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Well, my phone didn't ring... must be in the Hump, Stack, Pile O' Doom!

But then, on this planet, everybody's gotta be somewhere!

Haste yee back ;-)

Joanne Sher said...

What a wonderful, encouraging post. Thank you.

Rachael Hanel said...

Thank you! I had this exact conversation with friends on Saturday. I concluded I was going to query on 1/4/10, but it's nice to have a second (and professional) opinion!