Nathan Bransford, Author

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Annual December Publishing Coma

Many of you who follow the goings on of the publishing industry have probably heard about the mythic December Publishing Coma, in which things slow down and the only work that gets done are frantic searches for Wiis.

This is all very real (except for the Wii part. I think). Things do slow down from the craziness of the fall, and while work gets done and I'm most certainly still in the office working, this is generally not a big time for new submissions. Things get quieter as the end of the year approaches.

But as Janet Reid mentioned, this is a time when agents and editors alike catch up on their reading and try and get things in order for submissions in the new year. So if you are polishing off a query, go ahead and send it now (but I'd avoid the week around Christmas and New Years).

So... that's all I got for today. What can I say, it's December!


Scott said...

Is there a flurry of new submissions in January after people make resolutions to submit their stuff?

Nathan Bransford said...



Scott said...

So then you're sorta saying that there's nothing wrong with querying in December and January, but it might be better to wait a bit.

Anonymous said...

One Christmas I went over to a local chocolate shop and stocked up on a dozen pounds of exotic dark chocolate covered nuts and stuff for gifts. That year, my family fought so much that I ate all of the chocolates (or at least most of them). the resulting chocolate buzz and coma lasted a few days. I just grinned as they all fought and bickered.
Best Holiday ever.

Of course, my surgeon now informs me that if I wish to keep my stomach and intestines, I better never do that again as the second Christmas Chocolate Coma will be truly "death by chocolate."

Kaytie M. Lee said...

Have to say it--I had excellent response times for the queries I sent the January I started querying. None of them became my agent (found him later) but I got requests for fulls and very fast turn-around.

Don't query the first week of January, as that's when people get back from work, but the rest of the month is fair game.

Kaytie M. Lee said...

Back *to* work.

Back *from* vacation.

Sheesh. I need dinner.

Phoenix said...

Like everything else, it probably just depends. I sent out queries Dec 30 and 31 this past year. Got an agent request for a partial on New Year's Day and an editor request for a full on Jan 2 (come to think of it, she STILL has that full!).

Steph said...

Do agents mind if people who query live outside the US? I always wonder if I should mention this in query letters. I read somewhere that you should, because it stands out a little bit and agents don't get queries from Colombia, Denmark, whatever other country everyday.

But does it impact your decision to reject/request partials from people?

Melanie Avila said...

Steph's comment raises a good point. I'm American but live in Mexico and have - to put it mildly - unreliable mail service. I can send things out via DHL, but I'm considering putting my parents' home in the US as my return address.

Would THAT be considered strange for an agent?

Nathan Bransford said...

I have clients from around the world - if you live abroad, query away.

Steph said...

Ah Melanie, tell me about it. I have the same problem. E-queries solve that, but some agents don't reject you via email--they don't respond if they're not interested. And I get paranoid about my email having arrived or not, so I need a response, whether it's a rejection or not. (Preferably not.)

I'm considering using an American friend's address as my return address for those people who only reject by snail mail. Ai.

Well, good luck to you!

And thanks Nathan for answering!

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

So good to know. I know I had some significant replies to the queries I had sent out over Christmas last year.

Thanks Nathan!

Melanie Avila said...

Steph - looks like I'll be doing the same thing! We're using my parents' address for other things anyways, so may as well ass rejection letters to the pile.

Melanie Avila said...

Uhh, that was supposed to say ADD.

Sorry Nathan.

A Paperback Writer said...

So, Nathan, was it stupid of me to send out queries the week after Thanksgiving?

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