Monday, December 10, 2012

Baby Evil Writers 101: Queries over the Holidays

Baby Evil Writers 101: Queries over the Holidays
Julie Butcher

No. Just no.

Reason One
Literary agents and editors are people, too. They have families. They celebrate holidays. Nowadays everyone has their work email on their phone. Dinner preparation, presents, cleaning, and running about are stressful for everyone. Would you want your job calling you thirty times during your Christmas dinner? So that would be a no.

Reason Two
The holidays are just after NANOWRIMO. If you’re unfamiliar with November as a writing month you should check it out here.  Everyone in the publishing industry is way too familiar with this phenomenon. Tons of writers dash out fifty thousand words in November, slap on an ending, and immediately query agents and editors. You do not want to be one of these people. I’m not saying that Nanowrimo is bad because it gets people in the habit of writing everyday—which is a good thing. The stinky part is that some of these people don’t think they need editing before they woosh their freaking first draft into the world. You don’t want to flush years of effort down the toilet, so—no.
Seriously guys, no.

Reason Three
Most literary agencies and publishing houses are closed for the holidays. When they return, the email is exploding. Even if you’re possibly the next Nobel Prize winner, you’ll drown in the flood. Your chances of having your email lost or deleted have to be a hundred times what they are on a normal day. So, no. Don’t do it.

Reason Four
People remember negative easier than positive. Of all the holidays you remember, the one where someone brought their sick kid to dinner (and they barfed at the table) stands out like mold on bread. Publishing people are smart, guys. They read and everything. They remember who was rude and interrupted their family time. Do you really think they’ll want to work with the person who ruined Christmas?
I know, you think one little email won’t bother anyone. BUT, if your query chimes in and the turkey burns because of it, you’re toast—so no. Seriously, no.

Reason Five
Holidays are for families. Take that time to enjoy your own loved ones. They deserve your entire attention. They love you whether you’re published or not. Seriously, guys, someday they won’t be there and you’ll regret not taking a few days to show them you love them.

I wish you a safe and lovely holiday season filled with all of the good life has to offer.


  1. Amen to reason 5 especially.

    When I had what I thought would be my last Christmas alive I did not once think, whew- good thing I spent that time on my computer away from my family sending out queries.

    I was very happy we had such a wonderful Christmas together.

  2. I'm always tempted to do it and include "Not a NANOWRIMO project" in the subject line. ;D

  3. You could always do all the work and save them as a draft in your email until after the holiday, Janet. :D

  4. LOVE. But especially number five.

    I was thinking about this today, considering a blog on people rushing to be published.
    The journey is important, too. It's when we learn. And if party of your journey is bugging people at the holidays? Or ditching your family to keep checking to see if you've heard back on a query? Um...NO.

    My kids will only be little for a short time. I'm lucky to have *most* of my family with me at Christmas. My son still believes in Santa! It's not like I'm going to stop writing, because it's like breathing, but I'm going to focus on my people as much as I can, because I love them, and because they deserve my attention--and because they won't always be here.

    I think I want to teleport to KC to hug you. :)

  5. Only problem is my 'open window' of submitting from a conference falls--right there! Ick!


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