If you have a novel that is as perfect as it can be (in your eyes) and you're all set to go with a killer query letter and synopsis, is there a specific time of year that is best or worst to send out query letters?
Oh...you want more details?
A lot of well-meaning advice sites tell you to avoid querying in August. So you wait till September.Then you hear that September is very busy for agents because they're pitching client manuscripts after the summer break.
So you wait till October
And that's the Frankfurt Book Fair, and everyone knows all the agents are busy with Frankfurt in October.
So you wait till November.
Well, that's Thanksgiving, so you can't query then.
And everyone KNOWS you should not query in December cause of the parties and the holidays and Christmas.
But January is busy cause of all the client manuscripts they're pitching for the new year, plus they're doing
the tax stuff for clients, so really better wait till February.
And February is so dreary and cold in New York that no agent can read queries, they can barely slog to work, so better wait till March.
Only March is spring vacation, and it's also Left Coast Crime, so clearly not a good time to query.
April! April is the ideal time to query. Except that it might be Easter that year. Or maybe the agent will be doing her taxes. She's certainly focused on the Edgars at the end of month.
So May. May will be great. Oh wait, that's BEA and all agents have to prep for BEA so May is out.
June! June is the perfect month to query. Except it turns out the agent is closing to queries in June for the rest of the year because she's got so many she's backlogged and wants to catch up.
And there you are....waiting.
You get the point I'm sure.
This questions is based on the notion that agents READ the query close to the time you send it. That is not often, let alone always, the case.
If you send in April, it's entirely possible the agent will read it in May. Or June. Or, in the case of several of my slacker colleagues, August.
You have ZERO control over when an agent reads your query.
Thus, you work on the only thing you do have control over: the quality of the query.
Send it when it's ready.
Yes, you're going to hit some agents when they're doing their taxes, or prepping for Frankfurt, or planning an Edgars party. You won't know about it, and it WON'T MATTER. Good queries don't go bad if they sit awhile. Trust me.