QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Monday, December 14, 2009

'Tis The Season

I don't mean it's time for parties and sleigh rides and stuff. No, I mean it's the season to get your query ready.

In this post, I'm not going to talk about how to get your query ready. (I've already done that here. And there's a wealth of info on that particular topic.) No, this post is about the "best time" to query.

I've seen this talked about a lot in forums and on blogs. I've heard people say you shouldn't query during the summer. And you can't query during the holidays. And you shouldn't query at the beginning of the year because every writer has made a New Year's resolution to send out queries.

Reading all that can make an aspiring author throw their hands up and proclaim, "When is the best time to query then??"

Well, here's my personal opinion. (And I queried over the summer. In fact, many requests came in the summer.)

Q: When to query?

A: When your 1. manuscript 2. query letter 3. synopsis and 4. nerves are ready. Regardless of the season. Because agents are always looking for good books. Always. They're always going to be busy with this, that and the other. So don't stress it.

Query when your material is the best you can make it. And trust that the industry will be ready when you are.

A few good reads on this topic. Nathan Bransford posted this last year. And it's still true today.

Jessica Faust gives some info on how you know when you're ready to query.

Emily Marshall at Author2Author gives some sound advice on when to query.

I agree with all of them. Perfect, perfect, perfect. The MS, the query letter, the synop. Research agents. All that jazz. Get some steel and coat your nerves in it.

Then hit send.


Stina said...

Great post, Elana! I chickened out starting to query this month because I didn't have # 4 polished yet. Besides, who needs that stress over the holiday season. So I figured I'll join the throngs of queriers come the New Year. :D

Maybe you should do a post on the dangers of sending queries New Years morning, right after the countdown and champagne. I know someone who did that. All resulted in rejection, of course. I know, what was she thinking?

Unknown said...

Well, I'll do it when #'s 1-3 are polished. If I wait for #4, I'll never do it :)

Suzette Saxton said...

Laughing aloud at #4!

Great post, Elana.

Hardygirl said...

Such great advice Elana! People spend so much time trying to figure out the "game", and what you really need to do is spend time on your work and your presentation!


Brooklyn Ann said...

Love this post! I'm almost ready! Last project I queried too soon. (No differing response on time of year, either.) Trying to resist making the same mistake and I feel more confident with this second project.

cleemckenzie said...

I'd offer to do windows free for a year if I could get around those query letters. Thanks for sharing the links. Any help is always appreciated.

Jemi Fraser said...

#4 is definitely the most difficult of all! Great advice :)

* said...

Helpful post, from the fabulous Elana, no less. Thanks for this, it's a keeper.

Sage Ravenwood said...

"Get some steel and coat your nerves in it." I'm going to get a sign with those words and hang it up above my desk. That is "the" perfect sentiment. Love it!

Very Informative and helpful post.(Hugs)Indigo

Bethany Wiggins said...

Ya got any extra nerve-coating steel? Nice post.

Bethany Wiggins said...

Ya got any extra nerve-coating steel? Nice post.