I told my clients that this time of the year publishing slowed down. I did it to help them have realistic expectations about hearing about that deal they are on pins and needles waiting for word. There is logic behind the advice, as it is difficult getting a publishing committee together this time of year to make a decision on a project.
It’s a scheduling thing as so many people are making time before, during, or after Thanksgiving, Christmas, new year, or perhaps the Jewish holidays or other observances that fall during this time period. And with the complicated family structures that we so often find these days it makes that scheduling equally complicated.
It makes hearing about a deal from a house that requires a committee decision less likely. But as soon as I said that here came a number of contract offers from houses. Perhaps the houses that don’t require a committee for a decision are working to get their new year arranged and off to a good start.
At the same time I see an increase in negative responses from editors. That makes sense too, they aren’t tied up in meetings and are trying to clean out their inbox to start the new year. I know I’m doing that myself and my inbox right now is lower than it has been in years. Of course I got a little help on that with an email problem that lost a number of submissions I should be working but I don’t know who they are. I’m pretty caught up so if you have submitted to me anytime other than the past few days and haven’t heard back it might be a good idea to follow up.
Well, so much for my gazing into my crystal ball (man, wouldn’t I love to really have one of those). Now that I think about it I don’t know that it’s a true statement at all that the publishing industry slows down during the holidays . . . but it does seem to change.