Friday, November 13, 2009

A Query Hiatus

Since the beginning of October I have officially been on a query hiatus. In my ten years as an agent it’s something I’ve never done and was very reluctant to do. Yes, part of the reason for my reluctance is fear that I’ll miss out on something great, but another part is the fear that the queries won’t come back once I return. Probably a totally insane thought, but one I’ve had nonetheless.

I have to tell you, this hiatus is nothing like I ever expected. I’ve done query statistics reports for you where I tracked how much time it takes me to read and respond to queries—roughly two hours for 60 letters—but even with that I don’t think I knew how much time queries took out of my day. It’s enlightening and it’s unbelievably lightening. Without queries flooding my inbox I have an amazing amount of extra time in every day. I had no idea how much time I was spending just opening, sorting and responding to queries. No clue. I would guarantee you that on my hiatus there’s at least an extra hour in every day to work with my clients, get my office organized or even, on those rare evenings, put my feet up and read something I don’t have to. More then that though, it's been a really nice mental break for me. Queries are something that, no matter how much we love the possibility of a new client, always hang over our heads. They never stop coming and we will never get caught up. Taking this break is like a mini-vacation. I'm getting time to renew and refresh.

In January (not until the end, folks) I’ll be opening again to queries and I’m sure I’ll be looking forward to the discovery again. For now, though, I’m enjoying the time to get so much more done and accomplished in a day and I think that this query hiatus might become a regular thing for me. Why not take a month off here or there just to unwind from query stress and focus on what I really need to be focusing on, which is my clients?

Kim Lionetti will also be closed to submissions from 11/15 to 1/17. Therefore, BookEnds will not be accepting any queries for the next two months.