Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dodging The Lull Of Summer Publishing

We've all heard it ~ Publishing slows down during the summer months. And that may be true for various reasons. 

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Agents, editors, and publishers do have lives outside of the industry. Some take vacations to warmer destinations, while others simply stall their query and manuscript reading speedway to replenish their working verve. It's natural. We all need to do it. But....

If you're the writer waiting for a response on your query, this season within the publishing world--despite how brief--can wear down one's nerves. If you're anything like me, you'll pace a solid strip of shine off your wooden floors. Looks awful, doesn't it. 

Well, no fear. I have a few ideas to distract you during this time and, hopefully, keep your spirits up. If nothing more it should save the flooring in your home. 

  1. Read - Yeah, we've all heard it before. But I mean read with intention. Focus on the author's source of story structure, character development, voice, tone, and mood. Love or hate the world the author created. Invest yourself. And, for gosh sakes, read out of your comfort zone. It WILL not only inspire you, but also will distract the heck out of you. 
  2. Free Write or Fast Draft - Yeah, we've all heard these before, too. But, honestly? Have you given either a try? The first time I attempted a fast draft I couldn't get going because I was too worried about the end result needing too much editing. Wrong approach. For either, pull an idea out of the air. No matter how wacky or silly or strange it might be. Give it a try. And if you've decided to fast draft, come up with a beginning, a middle, and an ending idea. Then write. Just write. It might suck in the end, but I assure you, you will have created at least one element you can use in a novel.
  3. Live - My third and final yeah. Record all you do, from grocery shopping to attending a parade to an unexpected hike you take with your kids. You don't need a notebook, although I still love using them. Your cell phone is more than sufficient in this day and age. Do the selfie thing or a daily record, Your Story on Snapchat. 
Ultimately, this lull within the publishing world only lasts a few months. For some industry leaders, the break is merely a week or two. And when you think about it, they all don't take breaks at the same time. Continuing to query couldn't hurt. You just might have to wait a little longer for a response. But aren't you doing that by waiting to submit anyway?

How do you plan to dodge the lull of this summer publishing season? Will you continue to query and submit? For those with representation, will you send your manuscripts in this summer or wait? 


 photo Sheri2.png

26 comments:

  1. I need to finish a manuscript first. That is on my list for the summer

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    1. Good luck finishing your manuscript! There's nothing like writing in the warm weather.

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  2. Yup, me too, altho in my case it's revising a manuscript. Four chapters to go...

    PS Sheri, you won West of Paradise on my blog last week (I didn't announce til last Friday, oops)so send me your mailing addy and I'll get that book out to you :)

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    1. Ooh, good luck with the new manuscript! What's it about? Sequel, maybe?

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  3. How frustrating for writers waiting! On the publishing end, many houses are busily getting books ready to launch and ship to bookstores for the important fall to Christmas season. How did all these nautical terms get into publishing? Maybe because in the US, publishing houses all began on the East Coast. And before that in the UK, which is an island.

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    1. Haha! Good point about all the nautical terms. Love your proposed explanation, too. Yeah, waiting can be rough, but we must write on!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  4. I hadn't even thought about the query response times being slower in the summer months, but yeah, it makes sense! However, summer seems to be a great time for contests! Query Kombat and The Writer's Voice (both going on right now), and then they just had #PitMad, and then don't forget about Pitch Wars which starts in August! But I'm with you, I think I'll still query these summer months even if it might take a while to hear back. :)

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    1. Gosh, you are all over these contests! Love it. Mind sharing all the links? I'm not a fan of contests - pretty much because I'm a chicken - but I just might give this summer. :)

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  5. I've never tried free writing/fast drafting because I have a nasty habit of editing as I go. I do draft out my story ideas from beginning to end before I start writing though. Maybe I'll give free writing a shot today with my current WIP and see how I do. :)

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  6. Great tips! I'm not querying this summer, but I have in the past, so I know what you mean. I especially love reading out of my comfort zone for distraction, because if I read books in my own genre I can't help but overanalyze. I haven't really tried free writing, but I've been getting into journaling lately, which is helping me "warm up" to writing the real stuff.

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  7. Love your tips! Especially the last one :) Summer is for drafting for me, so a lull in the publishing world is a good thing--it gives me time to get my own work done. Hope you have a great one!

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  8. Great advice on getting through the waiting. I might try the free writing thing.

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  9. Hm, I wonder if there's a similar lull in short story publications? I hope not! But in the meantime, I'm writing and editing when I can.

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    1. Hmm... I don't know. But like Dianne just mentioned - she commented after you - the industry doesn't fully stop. She was offered an R&R in June and then a contract offer in August. Proof positive!

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  10. Yes, I've heard about the summer slow-down, but that doesn't mean the wheels stop altogether. My agent subbed The Caged Graves over the summer months, and I got a R&R offer either in late June or early July -- I forget which -- and a book deal offer based on the revised chapters in early August. Proof that somebody's still at work over the summer!

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    1. YAY! That's wonderful to hear. The summer is so short, so everyone wants to take advantage of it. Just makes you wonder if waiting is better on the nerves. ;)

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  11. I love your list! And I agree in principle ;) I can't write and NOT edit while I do it. Sometimes is superficial, sometimes I get to point where I realize I've drifted in the wrong direction, and I cut out parts. Of course, I'm not on a deadline - I write to better my writing - which is why I afford to do it. I tried your suggestion and failed miserably. I can't produce more than 7000/words Mon-Fri. Sigh...

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  12. Great thoughts indeed, thanks for sharing!

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  13. Great list! I was just bemoaning this fact myself, wanting to jump on submitting. lol But reading widely is good, and continuing to write. It's a long process anyway, as you said, and as writers we have to get used to the Waiting Thing. :)

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    1. Well said, Carol. I think the Waiting Thing should be made into a book. Or a movie. ;) How is everything with you going?

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  14. I actually do a lot of writing in the summer. Sometimes I drag my notebook to the pool and write there while my kids swim.

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  15. I literally got in right under the wire with my deal...I can see the deals are slowing considerably on PM and editors and agents all take vacations now. I always dreaded summer when I queried/was on sub but I took the time to read. Now I'm actually grateful for it b/c I want to finish my next book without too much pressure! My agent hates submitting in summer and did get a deal last July but typically avoids submission in these months!

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  16. I'm just starting to look into publishing and never knew about this lull. It make sense, but sucks for me haha I don't think I'm going to change my plans though: write and query and submit. Throwing it all out there.

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    1. I think that's a wise plan. Don't blame you. I've been subbing and will keep on, probably until July. Then I'll write and catch up on some valuable and inspiring reads!

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  17. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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