Pub Rants

December–The Slow Month?

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STATUS: If I hear that “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas” song one more time…

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? ANOTHER YEAR HAS GONE BY by Celine Dion

Traditionally, December is the month where publishing starts to quiet down as editors get ready to be away for the holidays. Kind of like how August tends to be an unofficial slow down period that then picks up after Labor Day.

If it’s true this December, I certainly can’t tell yet. We close next week but we are working like there is no holiday around the corner. Sara just wrapped up a deal earlier in the week. I’m announcing on Pub Lunch a deal I closed recently. I’m in the middle of two other negotiations–one of which was out of the blue from a publisher who couldn’t offer earlier in the year but now is.

Love that!

And lots of agents are obviously hard at work during this month as some fulls we’ve requested have gotten offers of representation–literally only days after receiving the actual manuscript.

So I would say it’s kind of like business as usual and probably will be right up until we close a week from tomorrow.

13 Responses

  1. E.R. King said:

    I don’t think much slows down this time of year. My life only picks up pace, in all areas. Congrats on business going well. Way to end 2011 with a bang!

  2. Kristin Laughtin said:

    I think a lot of businesses get a little crazy in December because they’re trying to get a lot done before the break. I work in a university library, and we’ve certainly been crazy the last two weeks as students have been finishing up their quarter.

    I guess the next two weeks will be a bit slower, though. Huh.

    My point in general still stands!

  3. Deb said:

    You don’t like the hippopotamus song? Change it up!

    “I want a hypothalamus for Christmas,
    Only a hypothalamus will do!
    Don’t give me glands
    To hold in my hands,
    No adrenals, pancreas or thyroid,
    But only a hypothalamus will do!”

    How’s that?

  4. Liz Heinecke said:

    Did you read Adam Gopnik’s article “The Dragon’s Egg” in the Dec.5th issue of the New Yorker?

    It brought up a number of interesting points about what makes kids like Tolkien-like fantasy books like Eragon.

    He suggests the focus should be on myth, adventure and tools or symbols, rather than moral dilemmas to find success with twelve-year old readers and claims that the story arc isn’t all that important as long as there are a number of brief, exciting episodes.

    In addition, Mr. Gopnik argues for the prologue, if it sets up a history for the story.

    What do you think?

    Everything except the importance of the story arc makes sense to me.

  5. Trisha said:

    One blessing about not listening to radio but your iPod instead is not hearing crappy Christmas music against your will! And I think I’ve missed out particularly ’cause I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet, so haven’t been into a single store!

    Have a great break when it finally rolls around!

  6. Imelda said:

    Merry Christmas, Kristin! Hope you have a nice break and that 2012 is as good as this year has been for the agency!

  7. Pamela Livingston said:

    With the end of the year and the new year’s queries queing up, I’m wondering if sites like Author Salon,, are a better way for writers and agents to connect? And are they tools for agents to use with publishers? This site qualifies its authors and provides them and the agents support.

  8. N. Jendrick said:

    I know back when I was sending queries, rejections tended to maintain their solid return pace even around Christmas. But for some reason, when it comes to contracts, I always seem to be waiting on checks around holidays – and they always seem to be delayed. Weird, right? 😉