Monday, July 27, 2009

Thoughts on when is the best time to submit to agents
I am definitely no expert on this but willing to share what I have learned and heard on this. The month of August is the month many agents and publisher go on vacation. I have heard many say that it is not a good idea to submit during this month. To make the situation worst is that in September you have many teachers off during the summer months that decide to write a novel or finish one. Many of these are submitted in September.
That leaves October and November to be good months. The agencies know it will soon be the holiday season and the year will be gone. This is when I have heard it is best to find an agent.
Yes, I know what I am going to hear. If you have a great novel and perfectly written it does not matter. Well, if the agent never looks at it, yes, it does matter. So, if these are the best time to hit your favorite agent or editor, what different should you do to get noticed?
That can be the trick as most agent do not like off the wall, outlandish presentations. However, I suspect they welcome a good mood type query.
This is from my experience. I have found I get much better response if I spend the time to know as much as I can about the agent. What have they sold recently? What conferences have they attended? What have they posted on their blog? Anything to make it hard for them to ignore you. Yes, agents don't like being talked about as the agent that ignored you if they think they will run into you again at a conference or online.
Another point I discovered is that it is best to e-mail a query on Thursday. Many of the agent go through their stack of query letters on Friday. This will make your query be close to the top.

Of course, I'm no expert on this and would love to hear what other aspiring writers think as well as maybe an agent or two to add to this discussion.

Johnny Ray


Helen Ginger said...

I have heard days around holidays are not good because, like most of us, agents take time off. Fridays are not particular good since, like a lot of us, they leave the office early to get a head start on the weekend and the traffic of people leaving town. Monday's are their catch-up day.

It's probably a good idea to look at your own life or the life of anyone with a full-time job that often bleeds over into the weekend -- what would be a day when you might have time to scan through 500 queries?

Straight From Hel

johnny ray said...

Hello Helen

From what I have heard, Mondays are very busy and they never look at query letters on Monday. Many agents stay so busy they often take work home with them on the weekend and it is many times from the slush piles. From what I can tell agents do not have a normal life and work many many hours.
I know I receive most rejection letters on Friday or the weekends.

G Lucciano said...

Very insightful, and right on time for me..