We all know the holidays can be a busy time. If you have submissions out be courteous, add a couple of weeks onto those expected response times. Of course, amazing things can happen over the holidays too! Books have been known to be sold, agents have been known to be signed with. You never know!

There’s something else about holidays that you might hear in the publishing world: holiday books are a tough sell. Yup, there are only so many slots on a publisher’s holiday list. But sometimes you just can’t help but write a holiday book. It’s hard to say no when something is begging to be written.


Obviously, holiday books do get published. My kids and I have a list of favorites for each holiday, especially Halloween and Christmas. There are many adult novels with holiday themes. Holiday craft and cookbooks are popular, they are at the library where I work anyway!

Here are some things to think about when you have a holiday book ready to submit:

  • What makes your book different from the titles that are out there? With picture books, for example, you’ll find a lot of previously established characters taking up those holiday book slots. You have to compete!
  • Is your hook super strong? If you’re on the hunt for an agent, a holiday book may not be the best introduction of work that you want them to sell for you. It could take a lot to get an agent to take you on solely for a holiday book since they are a hard sell. But, stranger things have happened! It’s just good to know what you’re up against so you don’t get discouraged.
  • Would sending directly to publishers make more sense? An agent may not be willing to take a long-shot on a holiday book but that doesn’t mean a publisher won’t want your book. Sending  your manuscript to publishers yourself may be a better bet, but you have to make that decision for yourself.

You can definitely find publishers who list that they are looking for holiday titles. You can also find those who specifically say they’re not. Do your research. Target the best you can. And have hope! That is what the holidays are about.

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