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When to submit/ Frankfurt book fair

(14 Posts)
ProperTeaPortfolio Sun 01-Oct-17 17:51:29

NC for this.

Wondered if anyone had some insight. I am finally, after many, many, MANY edits and rewrites, ready to submit to agents. I previously had some interest from agents through a competition I won but wasn't ready to submit so held off. Until now. I have also researched and decided which agents I'd love to submit to. I'm ready.

And it's Frankfurt book fair next week.

So... Do I wait till the end of the month and try to ignore it until then? I could keep tinkering for years but think it's better to leave it at the moment.

Thanks for your advice.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 01-Oct-17 17:55:45

This is a really busy time for agents, so don't worry about rushing it off. I'd send it when you think it's the best it can possibly be and they will look at it when they've time. Publishing-time is glacially slow, so be warned!

ProperTeaPortfolio Sun 01-Oct-17 18:03:19

Thanks brilliant, that was fast!

I am extremely aware it is a very slow process; I don't have any illusions about that. And I have been working on it for years so I'm not in any hurry.

Just wondered if it's better to query when things are a bit quieter.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 01-Oct-17 18:05:02

It's difficult as you can't really know what's going on for them. One thing I found useful was only sending to agents who said they were actively looking to build up their list. You're far more likely to get a response then than if you send to someone like Jonny Geller grin.

ProperTeaPortfolio Sun 01-Oct-17 18:27:51

Thanks, yes, I'm being careful to do that. Jonny Geller isn't even on the submissions form (think it's a drop down menu) for Curtis Brown, so thankfully no danger of that particular faux-pas!

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 01-Oct-17 18:28:37

I know someone who had him battling against three others to be her agent! She didn't apply in the usual way, though.

ProperTeaPortfolio Sun 01-Oct-17 19:17:34

Good on her! I'll be content with one offer!

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 01-Oct-17 20:33:17

Oh yes - one's all anyone needs! You'll get there, don't worry!

ProperTeaPortfolio Sun 01-Oct-17 21:08:41

Thanks, brilliant. I'll refer prospective agents to your prophesy grin

OnTheRise Sun 01-Oct-17 21:22:33

Send your work in now--assuming it's ready.

If you wait til after Frankfurt you'll just end up behind the people who didn't wait.

Agents will get to submissions as soon as they can.

ProperTeaPortfolio Sun 01-Oct-17 22:39:37

Thanks, ontherise, that's true and helpful.

kungfupannda Fri 06-Oct-17 11:01:26

I think the general wisdom is to avoid submitting in the run-up to Frankfurt and London. Some agents close submissions during this period - mine does - and I've heard others say that they are irritated by people submitting during this period.
Unfair, perhaps, if they don't make it explicitly clear that they don't want to be bothered in the run-up, but I think some of them have the view that if you're serious about submitting you need to be aware of what's going on in the publishing world.
It's so competitive that you really don't want to give someone a reason to reject you. It's only a short period of time to avoid.

ProperTeaPortfolio Fri 06-Oct-17 12:19:23

Oh, no, that's confused me! Well, I sent out two queries and have had two full requests from (different) agents I had already met. Maybe I should sit on the others, then.... until when though? November?

kungfupannda Sat 07-Oct-17 08:00:05

I would have a look on a few agents' websites and see if any of them give any indication of when they want submissions again and go by that. My understanding of the book fairs is that a lot of the follow-up work afterwards involves foreign rights arrangements, and that agents and editors tend to be back up and running fairly quickly. My editor has indicated that she'll be ready for my new book proposal immediately after Frankfurt. But some agents might take a day off, and some might have leads to follow up, so I'd be inclined to give it a week.

Given how fast their inboxes no doubt fill up, you want your submission to be near the top when they're sitting down to have a proper look at their emails. If you didn't already have an 'in', I don't think it would make much difference - you'd just go into a queue anyway - but if they're going to recognise your name then you want to be submitting at a time when they might see your email, remember you and move you to somewhere near the top of their to-do list.

It probably wouldn't hurt to acknowledge Frankfurt and that you know they've probably been busy - it would show an awareness of the industry and make you look more clued-up than many of the writers who submit to them.

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