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Timing? : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Timing?

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
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Isa Halley
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Timing?

Postby Isa Halley » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:18 am

Do you think that timing matters when submitting a query? Are some times of the year better than others? Does it have influence on sumbission?
I'm not too sure if summer is a good time....who's in the mood for wading through submissions....
I think mid-autumn or winter are the best.



Thoughts..

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shadowwalker
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Re: Timing?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:26 am

From all the agents and forums I've seen discuss this, there is no "not a good time" to submit. They may be slower in responding around major holidays, but it's not like they just toss things that come when they're busy (because they're always busy). Ditto for publishers who take non-agented subs. There may be times when a particular agent or publisher is not accepting subs, period, but those should be listed on their website (along with their other submission guidelines).
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Timing?

Postby cynicalwanderer » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:01 am

Hey this is a little off topic, but I remember hearing a funny story years ago that a publisher told about an author who sent these cryptic promotional cards (printed up all fancy like wedding invitations) once a week for about a month, and each one was along the lines of "[Book title] is coming on [date]. Prepare yourself for [main character]." Before long the whole publishing office started to look forward to these cute cards each week. Finally he sent the manuscript itself. Although that publisher eventually didn't run with it, the entertaining novelty of the approach chuffed the publisher so much that they gave the MS a reading instead of it going on the slush pile.

Anyway, that amusing anecdote aside, I'd say you can't really control how your work is received, other than to do your due diligence to make sure that you're submitting to: 1) An agent/pub that takes your type of story (and takes unsolicited work, to begin with); 2) They aren't on any "no subs" breaks, as shadowwalker mentioned; 3) Your query is succinct and well presented - preferably following any guidelines the agent/publisher has indicated to the letter. While there may well be certain times of year, or even days of the week, when the editor looking over your story is more receptive than at other times, you can't predict that any more than you can read a person's mood via telepathy. A bad day, or an illness, or even just what the editor's current favourite genre is - all of these external factors could potentially skew the outcome, and none of it you can control through timing or other tactics. That said though, editors are by and large professional, and if you have good work and present it well to the right target audience, then you'll get treated fairly.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

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Brien Sz
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Re: Timing?

Postby Brien Sz » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:55 am

Two summers ago I went to the Writer's Digest Conference in New York. One of the panels I attended had to do with querying. This panel was all agents. In the course of the discussion, the agents talked about how their year unfolds. I had the suspicion that they alluded to a poor time for submitting but wasn't sure I heard correctly. After the discussion was over, they allowed people to come up and ask specific questions. I went up and said, “if I heard you correctly, end of September to New Years is a bad time to submit?” She replied, “Yes.” I forget the exact details now for why, but it had to do with wrapping up the year, launching fall-winter books and getting books ready for their spring launch.

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Isa Halley
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Re: Timing?

Postby Isa Halley » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:04 pm

Thanks so much everyone!!!! I found it very helpful. Grateful for all advice.

Frank321
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Re: Timing?

Postby Frank321 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:47 pm

I heard one writer who said that he does multiple submissions. He feels the etiquette is that if the writer informs every place he sends the same manuscript that he is submitting elsewhere as well, then it is fair. Personally I also feel that the reader of a manuscript would not respond well if they felt the writer was trying to pressure them to put his manuscript ahead of others.

Waiting on a series of different readers could take years. Surely years off my life. I think the writer who said multiple submissions is fair, if one politely warns the manuscript reader that is what he is doing.

Can we have some of the more experienced forum members tell us their opinion, and practice?

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shadowwalker
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Re: Timing?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:45 pm

Sim subs (simultaneous submissions) are expected, and the only time one shouldn't do it is if a particular agent or publisher says they don't want them. Those agents and/or publishers should (IMHO) go to the bottom of your list, since they may or may not even acknowledge receipt, let alone tell you if it's rejected (common among most agents/publishers). I wouldn't even bother to state that I'm submitting to several agents at once - as I said, it's common practice (and the only practical way to do things unless you want to wait months between each submission).
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Isa Halley
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Re: Timing?

Postby Isa Halley » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:09 pm

Thanks for bringing it up. I totally understand why multiple submissions make sense. They only thing is that I found an agent that really stuck with me. This agent is THE ONE.
But....I may submit and hear nothing for months on end....so in that case should I still submit to 2-3 agents? Jeez. so many dilemmas. Writer's life is hard.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Timing?

Postby shadowwalker » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:40 pm

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Isa Halley
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Re: Timing?

Postby Isa Halley » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:07 am

Thanks so much Shadowwalker for your helpful insight.


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