When to query?


#1

Does anyone have any theories on when in the year is a good time to send out queries?

Someone posted on Instagram the otherday that they heard agents are clearing out their inboxes so sending out rejection responses without reading submissions. It got me thinking, is there a time of year when submissions are more likely to be considered?


#2

They are not clearing out their inboxes without checking queries UNLESS they were closed to queries for a time and cleared out that came in during that time.

If an agent isn’t open to queries, they’ll tell you. Otherwise you CANNOT know when is the best time to query. There is all sorts of nonsense about “Don’t query in January, you’ll get lumped in with the people querying bad Nanowrimo novels;” “Don’t query in summer because agents are at conferences;” “Don’t query in August because publishing shuts down;” “Don’t query at the holidays because they aren’t interested right then and they’ll delete your queries unread.”

Those are ALL BULLSHIT.

Agents are either open to queries or they aren’t. If they are, query them.

There is no best time, no matter what people say.


#3

I second this!!

You have no knowledge of or control over an agent’s schedule. They may celebrate a big family Christmas or they may use the period to read the outstanding requested manuscripts. They may go to Frankfurt Book Fair or give it a miss. Query when your manuscript and query letter is as good as you can make it.


#4

Thank you. You summarised all the things I have heard and reassured me that it is not true. I’ll keep on working to my own schedule.


#5

Yeah, and I guess if they are travelling to an event they may feel like using the time on the commute to check out the submissions - then it might be the optimum time to query.

I won’t give up on my dream. Hopefully, one day, my novel will win over an agent and we can live happily ever after. :grinning:


#6

In general publishing shuts down between Christmas and New Years, and it slows down substantially when Thanksgiving hits. That means January is indeed a time when they have a lot to go through. I wouldn’t want to be in that “flood” because I think agents are going to be less discerning during that time. So I wouldn’t try to query between Feb - Oct.


#7

They are usually always open, but there are smart times to avoid.

Such as December for the holidays and NaNoWriMo (everyone is subbmitting their manuscript from it). So then January they have a ton to go through. That doesn’t mean they aren’t accepting in December/January, but you will be in a saturated time. I am aiming to query either in October or February if I can get it right! I don’t know if those are good months or not, but they seem to be to me. I just know to avoid December and the first part of January.

That being said, if you have a strong query and a solid plot, you should be fine


#8

Do you mean, you would query Feb-Oct? I think that’s what you are saying but wanted to check.

What you are saying makes a lot of sense and a lot of people start the year with “I am going to query” and I imagine they get more submissions in January due to the resolutions set by aspiring writers.


#9

Thanks :slight_smile:


#10

Yep I would AVOID: Nov, Dec, Jan


#11

Thank you :slight_smile: