There's nothing merry about querying around the holidays. I keep finding blogs that say it's a terrible idea. Okay, not "terrible," in that exact word, but agents who blog are nice, and nice people aren't going to say, "Stop querying, you dummy. Wait until after the holidays."
Agents see the tinsel, too. It makes them want to creep out of their slush-filled caves and have a little holiday cheer. Their families, friends, and associates are having parties and get-togethers. They (probably) like to read-- not manuscripts-- but published books they don't have to edit, with a mug of hot chocolate, wearing cheesy holiday gifts like Snuggies and cozy socks (Old Navy had cozy socks on sale last week... sooo comfy!). In any case, they are just like you and me! Or maybe just like me, and I definitely don't take subbing jobs around the holidays. It's just too crazy. I'm too busy! (Sorry Ms. X, your class is awesome and I'm sorry you've got bronchitis, but I have all this holiday cheer going on!).
You still may not believe me. I have to admit, I hadn't thought about it before. So, in an effort to help out my writerly Followers, here are reasons not to query until after January:
- NaNo writers. Not you guys... you guys used NaNo as a jump start to your novel, or to finish a novel, or even to polish up a novel you'd already written. I'm talking the crazy kind of NaNo writer, as soon as they hit fifty thousand words, is writing up query letters to send to agents, without one moment's revision. And if that's you, I mean no offense. Maybe you'll prove me wrong. But you might want to check out what agents think on the subject:
- NaNo writers. Again. This time, you guys! Yes, the hardworking writer who used NaNo to revise and polish up that existing novel. Now it's ready-- really ready-- and lots of you are sending out those query letters, adding to agents' already high slush, and mixing yourself in with the crazy NaNo types.
- Writers have time to query. It might seem like a weird reason, but with time off, writers who have been putting off querying finally have the time to sit down and research agents. This means, all those writers who finally have time to query are adding themselves to that NaNo slush pile, (the slush pile that might have also become an agent's "let me race through this so I can get to that holiday party" pile). Here's Nathan's take on it:
- Agents would rather us wait. If you aren't convinced, read for yourself:
So for anyone who didn't think about all this and sent out queries recently, have some cookies. Or pie. Pie is big around this time of year. And hey, I'm sure some of you will find exceptions to this, and agents who are asking for NaNo work in December. Here's one:
What do you think? Are you going to query against all odds? Will January be just as bad, with New Year's resolution-types filling agent inboxes? Does it even matter when we send out our queries?