Here’s one thing I’ve learned: getting out and about is something we authors and aspiring authors need to do from time to time if we’re going get to the next level, not just in terms of the craft of writing, but also when it comes to understanding the nuts-and-bolts of the publishing field.
That’s why I hopped into New York on a rainy day to catch a panel of three agents interested in children’s books. While their focus might not be the same as yours, they shared some advice that we can all benefit from.
First, they all have found books they loved that were submitted “over the transom” (hate that phrase, “slush pile”!), though one of the agents operates mainly through referrals. They’ve also discovered new authors via conferences — so that can be a real path to publication to consider.
Second, while about any time of the year is a good time to submit a query, between Christmas and New Year’s no one is really paying much attention, so that’s not a good time to submit; query volume is especially heavy early in January, so that’s another time period might want to avoid. On the other hand, summers can be a bit slow, so your query might get more attention if you submit it then.
Third, if they see something with real potential, agents are sometimes willing to work with an author to strengthen their story. Some of them actually enjoy editing!
Hope these little chunks of information prove helpful. Write on!