• by Matthew Bayan


Merry Christmas!

A once-in-a-year opportunity for writers is here. Let me explain.

Busy buying last-minute gifts? Cooking holiday meals? Picking up relatives from the airport? Cleaning? Holiday parties? Busy, busy, busy?

So, guess when agents get the fewest queries?

Bingo! The week between Christmas and New Year.

Here's a little secret. Though most agencies are closed down for Christmas week, that only means the staffs are on vacation. The main agents, the owners, will spend at least part of the week in their offices. Why? Because it's quiet. They're not pitching editors. They're not fielding phone calls.

As business owners, they're looking at closing out the tax year, planning for 2018, analyzing what went right and what went wrong in 2017.

Oh, yeah, and there's a good chance they'll read at least some of the trickle of queries coming in.

Most agencies screen queries through assistants, associate agents, readers, etc. But this week, odds are that the only person reading queries is the owner/agent.

If you query this week, you have the best chance of getting the right eyeballs on your manuscript. Not some overly self-important MFA grad student, not an inexperienced secretary, not a summer intern. No, if anyone opens your email, it's probably the person who has the best feel for the publishing market.

Is it worth sacrificing a few parties? You decide.

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