When's the Best Time to Query?

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Q: When is the best time to query agents? I've heard different things, like winter is bad, summer is slow, but it's OK in the spring. Is this true?—Kristen Howe

A: Spring, summer, winter or fall—agents are continually looking for good manuscripts. You'll occasionally find one who says that she doesn't buy around the holidays or that she takes time off in June to cart the kids to Disneyworld, but that doesn't mean you can't send your query (or that you shouldn't). And it certainly doesn't mean it won't get a look.

"Agents are always working," says Nancy Love, agent at Nancy Love Literary Agency (member of the Association of Artists' Representatives). "There are times when it's more difficult to sell books to publishers (summer because of vacations, around the Christmas and New Year's Holidays because everyone is shopping or away). But agents are always working."

In other words, don't let time restrict you. Picking the right moment to query isn't a seasonal issue, it's a personal issue. The best time to seek an agent is after you've polished off your novel (or your nonfiction outline and sample chapters) and done your homework on which agents best suit your work.

Brian A. Klems is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.

Have a question for me? Feel free to post it in the comments section below or e-mail me at WritersDig@fwpubs.com with “Q&Q” in the subject line. Come back each Tuesday as I try to give you more insight into the writing life.

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