When is the best time to submit a proposal to a literary agent? Or is there a best time? I had been wondering for a while when I came across something from the agents of Bookends Literary Agency, who were recently asked which months they would consider good- versus bad-submission months.
Jessica Faust: I tend not to read any submissions in the month of August. This is the time of year when I take my break to recharge and read only published books. While you can certainly submit in August, it will likely sit in August and sit through the month of September when I’m focused on my clients and getting back in the swing. It’s October when I am likely to really sit down and get my reading in. The tough part about this question is when a good or bad time is depends not on the calendar, but on what is happening in my business. Lately, for example, I haven’t been reading as many submissions since I’ve been busy with my clients. I took on a few new people earlier in the year and have been focused on getting them into the hands of publishers. Next year, I could spend September and October desperately seeking new clients. So for me, submit whenever you want to submit and I appreciate your patience as you wait on my clients and other work.
Jessica Alvarez: I’d say that July, August, and December tend to be when I’m slowest at looking at submissions. Between conferences, vacations, and holidays, I usually fall behind on submissions in those months. Though, that’s not always the case. January and February tend to be big submission-reading months for me. Every January, the BookEnds team meets to review our accomplishments from the previous year and set goals for the new year. It always gives me a boost of energy to find great books and new clients. But go ahead and submit whenever you’re ready. I might be slow from time to time, but I do read and respond to every submission.