You Ask, I Answer: Should I Avoid Sending Queries on Certain Days?
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Keri asks: I’ve been holding off on sending out queries and letters of introduction because of the holidays. I also try not to send queries on the weekend or on weekday afternoons when editors are busiest. I’m starting to wonder if this will make a difference in my acceptance rate.
It’s funny that you ask that, because Carol Tice addressed this in her great Make a Living Writing blog. However, I have a slightly different take.
My M.O. is to send queries and letters of intro when they’re ready, whether that’s on Christmas day or at 3 am on a Sunday. You never know when an editor is going to be busy or working or on vacation, so why drive yourself crazy trying to predict the editor’s schedule?
I think it’s especially fruitless to try to figure out the weekdays and hours that will be less busy for an editor. You’ll read lots of advice not to send queries on Friday afternoon, for example. But again, why hold back due to what you imagine (but don’t know) the editor’s schedule will be like? Part of the magic of e-mail is that if the editor is busy or away when your query lands in her inbox, she can look at it when she does have the time or when she gets back to the office.
Also: Editors sometimes work crazy hours. For example, I had an editor call me on Christmas Eve to discuss a possible assignment. Yes, Christmas Eve! I’ve also had editors e-mail me on weekends and at ten at night.
As another example, I sent out part of a direct mail campaign in mid-December, and received a return postcard requesting my information kit right before Christmas. And two days after Christmas, I got a request for a meeting from another potential copywriting client.
I think that trying to predict when an editor will be most receptive to your e-mail is an exercise in futility. Why delay a response any more than you have to?
Finally, no matter when you send your query or letter of intro, if you don’t get a reply in a few weeks — follow up. That practice covers your butt if your e-mail does happen to get lost during a busy period.
How about you? Do you avoid sending queries during certain times? Have you had more success by timing your e-mails? [lf]