Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Should I Query Agents Now?

'Tis the season! But is it a good time to send out those query letters?

Q) I've finished the umpteenth draft of my novel and I'm ready to start querying agents. Should I start now or wait until after the New Year? Everyone is telling me to wait, but I feel like I've waited a long time already, though I don't want to waste my one shot with an agent. Advice?

Lynne Griffin
I'd continue to query, but with two caveats. Are you absolutely sure your manuscript is in the best possible shape to stand out? And are you querying a very targeted group of agents? Being thorough on both counts is the key to query at any time of year.

Amy MacKinnon
Send away! Conventional wisdom states you should wait until the beginning of February -- what with the holidays in December, New Years, and then the assumption that agents' inboxes are full to crashing in the weeks following. Most people follow that advice, but I didn't. I queried my top pick the end of November, and sent the rest the first two weeks of December. All of the agents I queried were working away and responded immediately. If I were you, I'd query right up until December 17 and then take a breather until mid-January. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Lisa Marnell
She's away for the holidays. Merry Christmas, Lisa!

Hannah Roveto
Did you move in with the first guy or gal who ever asked you out? Unless you were very lucky, I suspect it took a little more work before you found someone you decided was worth a risk. I'm querying, and don't plan to stop! If an agent turns you down, it wasn't meant to be, independent of the time of year, state of the industry or any other factor. While some agents aren't taking new clients in this environment, if you've written something they can't resist, all bets are off. The trick is to keep going until you find your own personal Mr. or Ms. Right.

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