Thursday, November 29, 2007

Does any work get done in December?

Word is that many literary agents don't submit during December. Rationale: The publishing industry slows down and agents don't want their clients' manuscripts buried and moldering on editors' desks.

These agents say it's better to submit after the New Year. But I wonder, won't that result in a deluge, and overwhelm editors with envelopes and packages? If a month's worth of submissions is held back, how many will arrive the first week of 2008? I'm curious to know how editors prioritize when they receive dozens of manuscripts at once. There must be some editors who make their way through the pile chronologically...

Hmmm. Is this a chicken or the egg situation?

It's well known that many other industries also slow down this time of year, while everyone scrambles to decorate, buy gifts and cook for the holidays and attends seasonal functions. What does all this lost productivity cost our economy? Why don't corporations just accede to this national trend, and give employees off from December 15 to January 3rd, instead of going through the motions and requiring everyone to show up at the office?

I know I can't afford to take off an entire month just because of holiday hustle and bustle. Financially--well, I don't get paid vacation days and don't want to abandon all hope of earnings. Mentally--sometimes I feel guilty if I take the weekend off. No way could I play or party for two weeks.

I've also heard of an agent who prefers not to submit on Mondays or Fridays. And they say publishing slows down in August, too.

Maybe that's one reason many authors have agents: to trust that they know the market better than we do.

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