Querying a book during the summer: a few tips

Hello gentle reader,

Yesterday on Twitter the very talented Heather Marie ‏(@xHeatherxMariex) and DahliaAdler ‏(@MissDahlELama) had a discussion on whether or not it was a good idea to query a book during the summer. You can read it here if you’re interested (and you should also follow these two amazing ladies!).

I’ve often heard it’s better to forget querying from mid-June to mid-August, and this was Heather’s opinion: her point was that when agents and editors are out-of-office for various reasons, writers are less likely to get replies and they should therefore wait until September to contact them.

But what if your manuscript is ready now? Aren’t you wasting precious time if you wait two months to query it? As Heather pointed out at the end of the Twitter conversation: the decision to query –or not query – during the summer is up to you in the end.

As some of you may know, I made the decision to start querying Lily In The Shadows at the end of June. So here are my tips to make the most of the querying process during the summer.

1) Make sure your manuscript is completed and polished.

This is true whatever the season you choose to query it. Ask yourself if you could spend these summer months making your story the best it can be. My friend Kate is doing this right now. She badly wanted to query her book this summer, but she realised it was best to polish it first, and query it in the fall.

2) Follow agents on Twitter

It is likely agents will mention on Twitter when they are out of their office this summer. When they do, make a note of it: it will save you the anxious wait for a reply during this time.

3) Enter online contests

Some agents are still here, and some of them are generous enough to make requests during online contests. This month 3 contests are in full swing: Like A Virgin, Christmas In July, PitchMas. And there are more to come!

4) Attend conferences

Many agents won’t be in their office this summer because they will be attending writers’ conferences. Go and meet them there! And if you can’t attend a conference, make a note of the dates of the most important ones (in July: Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference, San Diego Comic Con, Midwest Writer Workshop, etc.).

That’s it for my tips to query during the summer! Do you have other ideas to make the most of the querying process in July-August? Make sure to leave me your thoughts and questions below!

5 thoughts on “Querying a book during the summer: a few tips

  1. Kate Michael says:

    Excellent post, Eve. 🙂

  2. Great tips, EM. I was about to send out 20 queries at the end of the month, but now, I’m not sure. I like your idea about following agents on twitter to see where they are. I have a twitter agent list now, I know what to do with it.

  3. Great post. Taking online classes (if you can stretch a dollar) from agents during the summer is also a good way to get noticed. Thanks for including LIKE A VIRGIN. It’s been a blast for us to host. And good luck! 😉

  4. Great post EM 🙂


  5. Excellent tips as always! Best of luck with Lily!

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