Friday, December 19, 2014

Sliding Towards The Holiday At The End Of The Literary Road

Your query is being ignored while the literary agent goes shopping
All across New York City, literary agents are preparing for the year-end holiday. Publishing is about to shut down for the next two weeks, to arise again in early January.

It is not a good time to query.

You should have done that in November, before the glut of NaNoWriMo hopefuls inundated e-mail inboxes with unedited first drafts masquerading as polished manuscripts. Your agent of choice has already selected the potential manuscripts to read while on holiday in some sunny locale while you sit in the December gloom and wonder if your words are good enough to sell.

You have no doubt noticed that the best books of 2014 are getting a listing wherever literary critics are found.

Have you read any of them?

Have you made a point of seeking out debut novels, to get some idea of what sort of opening it takes to get an agent to take notice and ask for more pages?

Other than that, pay no attention to the genre du jour. The best books for this past year were in the works a few years earlier. What is going to make the cut for 2015 has yet to be laid down.

In other words, write what you like rather than writing to match a market that is already out of date by the time you're ready to submit.

This is not the time to query, with agents busy partying and packing. It is a time for you to polish your manuscript and read the debut novels of other writers. Learn from the past. But don't go repeating it.

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