Dec

26

2013

The Quiet Zone

by Tamela Hancock Murray

Quiet Zone Green Road Sign In Front of Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

I’ve noticed, not only this year, but in past years, that opinions from publishing professionals regarding the month of December vary.

Some say nothing gets done in December. Others say a little bit gets done in December. A rare few say a lot of work gets done.

Everyone is telling the truth. Why? Because publishing is filled with so many manuscripts in varying parts of the evaluation or production process. Lots of people with different schedules are involved in making books happen. So perspectives vary.

This has been a busy year for me, and the month of December has been no exception.  I’ve had meetings almost every day, and some days were filled with nonstop phone calls.

So, is December busy for your agent, and as a consequence, for you?

I think it depends on:

Your projects: Though most publishing houses close during the last week or two of December, many hold meetings between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If your project is timed to be presented to the committee in early December, your agent and you may be spending time answering any questions the editor may have before he goes into the formal meeting. After that, my hope for you is that your agent will be receiving your offer!

Your editors: Many editors take December vacations that begin well before Christmas. Others toil through Christmas Eve. Your schedule may reflect your editor’s vacation schedule.

Your publisher: Each publishing house has its own personality and expectations as to how much work will get done during the holiday season. Your agent will respond accordingly.

The year: Each year is different. That’s the beauty of publishing. Unpredictability is the only thing we can truly predict.

Your turn:

Have you been offered a contract or had another major career development in December?

Would you prefer that December be a quiet time, or do you like a busy December?

10 Responses to “The Quiet Zone”

  1. Rick Barry December 26, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    I haven’t been offered a contract in December, but my agent has a suspense proposal out for consideration, so I’m hoping an editor has found time to look it over. Meanwhile, I’ve been heavy into revising/polishing the story after that, which went to critique partners this week. Now I can begin reworking yet another story waiting in queue.

  2. Evinda Lepins December 26, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Tamela,
    I always look forward to your posts….I gain some diamond with several facets; facets that educate me, squeeze my heart with a smile and/or some encouragement too!
    As for me and my Decembers . . . A productive December leads me to a calmer January. Writing is something I do daily, but this December — that’s almost gone — was crazy as I was working on my 4th manuscript, the 3rd in a sort of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, A Cup of Grace for the Day, and so there was added pressure on top of the things I choose to do for Christmas.
    December is also the time I/we begin preparing for year-end tasks and I find that when I’ve had a productive December, I am ready to walk confidently into January. It’s all about balance and I humbly admit, some months are better than others in this area!
    Thanks for being a consistent voice of support and encouragement!
    And not to use this forum as a platform of solicitation, I do have a “proposal” question to ask you. Where might I send that?
    Blessings and may His love carry you to and through the new year!
    Kim Evinda Lepins

  3. Carol Moncado December 26, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    I’ve written for a Sunday School publication [and have one more to write - very excited to get paid for writing ;)] and maybe a K on a manuscript, but after being sick the end of November and my kids having 5 snow days in December, plus end of semester stuff for myself [including a snow day on a day we were supposed to have finals], I’ve not done much writerly stuff. Except reading. I’ve done quite a bit of reading and work on getting a new group blog up and running early next year.

    I’m hoping to get a bunch of words written before the year is out, but with kids/hubs home and at least one more Christmas this month, it remains to be seen :).

  4. Martha Rogers December 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I like to stay busy, and that pretty much sums up my holidays. :) Hope you have good news for me in the new year.

  5. J.D. Maloy December 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    I’ve never had a quiet December so I can’t answer, hehe. But others have sworn they’re lovely and after the last few years, I want to try one and see how it fits.

    On a semi-related side note, I often check out links in the Related Posts section at the bottom of each blog (which I highly recommend people glance at) and today I clicked on Write That Novel! It’s been an unusual busy month. Gems, Tamela. Beautiful shinning reminders that I needed today. Thank you!

  6. Tamela Hancock Murray December 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    J.D., you are welcome!

  7. Jessica E. Thomas January 6, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Based on my first year of experience as a publisher in December 2013, I’m going to go with ‘nothing gets done’.

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