From my personal experience, I’ve witnessed publishers shut down a week or so before Xmas and don’t open again until late January. It’s a frustrating time for an author because you’ve spent many months (or years) refining your work, you submit and then you have to wait 6-12 weeks for a response.
There is never a good or perfect time to submit. The market is fickle and publishers are looking for more niche novels. You can submit on Xmas Day or Easter but expect the waiting or rejections.
However, as I say that, I’ve noticed that times have changed. Many publishers and agents are opening for longer or keeping their submissions open during the holidays. As past experience suggests, submitting during the holidays is like throwing your work into a black hole. I’ve sent many, many submissions over Christmas and never heard anything from them. They could’ve rejected it or it could have been lost in the mass of emails. I think its the latter.
I’m ready to begin querying my WIP however this time of year has hindered my plans. If I submit now, will the agent or publisher remember my work in the new year? I’ve asked many authors the same question: when to submit?
The large majority say whats the harm in doing it now? The publisher or agent may even take your work home with them and read it over the holidays. I like to think that may be the truth, but I want my work to be fresh in their minds.
After receiving new feedback from a beta reader, I’ve decided to query agents for now, though won’t submit full manuscripts to publishers until the book is completely finished. It won’t be sold until the new year but I’ve accepted to wait until 2015.
I guess I think this way because I’ve put so much work and effort into this novel that I’m super excited to get it out there. But excitement can wait. There’s no point putting out a half finished work that will most likely get rejected.
Waiting is hard. Will you submit during the holidays or wait until people return to work? I’ll love to hear your thoughts.