The Psychology of Submission Timing
Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Recently I found myself explaining to a client that I am in a bit of a press to get submissions out. “I feel like I only have six good weeks until every publisher sort of mentally shuts down for summer.”
In CBA publishing, our trade show, ICRS, officially opens on June 23rd this year. Most of the publishers and editors we work with gather for this event. We attend as well, fitting in as many meetings as we can manage to cram into the partial week. We prepare long and hard for ICRS so that we can present fabulous projects to the editors. We know, however, that once ICRS is over, rotating editor and publishing professional vacations begin. Summer seems to be a tough time for publishers to pull together enough people for editorial committees or publishing committees. So we surmise that anything not out in May might as well wait until late August so it can be on editorial desks for the all-important September fresh start.
We spend way too much time strategizing about how best to submit to editors on behalf of our clients. Should we be careful not to inundate an editor with too many submissions in too short a time? Do we avoid sending key submissions on Monday when there may be an overwhelm already? Is Friday late morning a good time since there is a kind of euphoria and clean-desk-attitude that takes over? When are we least likely to get a knee-jerk no?
As I go through my mental gymnastics trying to psych out the best time to submit any given proposal, I wonder. . . do writers do the same thing when it comes to querying and submitting to agents? I figured the easiest way to find out is just to ask. Here’s what I’d like to know:
- Do you think a lot about the timing of your submission?
- Just as we guess about the right time to catch the interest of an editor, what would be your best guess as to the prime time to submit to an agent?
- When would it be the worst time?
- Do you feel you can wait too long to send a requested proposal?
- Can you send requested material too soon after the request? Look too eager?
- If you’ve had success with a submission to an editor or an agent do you think there could have been perfect timing issues at work?
- Do you think we are over thinking all this?
So pick a question or two and chime in. Let’s discuss this. I’m curious to hear your take on it. (I may not respond before afternoon since I have meetings in the morning.)
Do you have a timing strategy for submitting queries or proposals? Click to Tweet
Does timing have anything to do with query or submission success? Click to Tweet