Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Timing Your Queries


In a word, don't.
You can talk yourself out of querying with all sorts of hypotheticals.
It's August, agents are on summer vacation.
It's September, agents are busy with submissions.
It's November, no one wants a query during the holidays.
It's December, no one wants to think about working at Christmas.
Pretty soon you're still at the starting gate, and meanwhile other more nimble queriers have snagged my attention.
Sending does not equal reading on the other end.
Most of us just save queries till we're ready to read. That can be Christmas Day, or next February.
I actually had to stop sending rejections on Christmas. More than one writer was seriously annoyed/bummed out.
I just liked keeping up with stuff.
Now more than ever, querying is trying to tame chaos.
Don't make it any harder on yourself by trying to assess when.
Here's the guideline: Send it when it's ready.


E.M. Goldsmith said...

A hard-learned lesson of the last many years. Make sure the book is ready. And then query. Don't wait. If an agent you want is closed to query, just move them down the list. They will likely open up again while you are still on that miserable query train.

Thank you for reinforcing this, my Sharkly Queen.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

There are dozens of writer advice groups on FB. All the time, you see people asking if "now" is a good time to query, and it's inevitable that other members say to wait (because: the holidays, summer and so on...).

Best Shark advice: Query when it's ready.

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks for the advice. And for the cool picture!

Damyanti Biswas said...

What wonderful advice :)

Karen McCoy said...

Oh my gosh, thank you. This is more reassuring than I can express in a blog comment.

John Davis Frain said...

Simple advice is so often the best advice.

Beth Carpenter said...

It happened that I sent a query at the end of the year, between Christmas and New Year's Day. (I heard later this is a bad time because no one is working then.) The agent had cleared her desk before Christmas, so mine was one of the first queries she picked up in January. She asked for a full, and we've been together for six years now. Just query, already!

JEN Garrett said...

I heard of an author who queried 4th of July weekend right after the agent did a conference she had not attended. She was all worried until she got the request for the full!

Bottom line: If it's ready and it's the right-fit, you'll get the request... but ONLY if you hit the send button!