Querying through the holidays

books fireplace favim.comLots of writers ask when the best time to query an agent is, so here’s a breakdown of my tips about querying through the winter holidays.

Just because you have time off from your day job, doesn’t mean agents have time to read your query. We’re inundated!

  • The volume of queries goes up from December to January. We are just as busy as we alway are–even though you’re off from work–therefore we will not be getting back to you as quickly. A 4-6 week reply turns into 6-8 weeks.
  • Starting this week, American Thanksgiving, through to the first week of January publishing slows its pace. People in publishing start taking holidays, using their weekends for (GASP!) fun and holiday parties, not reading like we usually do. Therefore, we’re going to be slower with our partial and full requests.
  • We are still looking for new projects, as always, but just know you’re competing with a big batch. There are exceptions to every rule, but just be aware of these trends.
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2012 Query Stats and My 2013 Wishlist

128634Another year, another query stats update!
Queries received:

Approximately 6,000 (Yes, we look at all of them…)

Partial manuscript requests:

189 (I looked at a lot of partials because I was building my list. Anything that I thought had potential to be a fit with me I requested.)

Full manuscript requests:

30 (These were the select few that I was enjoying enough to read more of or have our agency assistant or intern do a readers report on.)

Projects offered on but lost to another agent:

1 (I was sad about losing this one.)

Projects I tried to request but already accepted an offer:

3 (This was disappointing. I always want to know if an offer is on the table so I can get to it before the author makes any decisions.)

New clients from the slush pile:

7 (That’s a lot! I won’t be signing that many this coming year.)

I’ve been actively signing new clients for the past two years. My list is starting to fill up, but I’m always on the hunt for great YA, women’s fiction, upmarket non fiction, and the occasional picture book.

I look forward to your 2013 queries!

2013 Wishlist: Continue reading 2012 Query Stats and My 2013 Wishlist