Friday, November 12, 2010

Not Me, I Won't Query

Made you look--*smiling, winking*

I query, I just don't query in November and December.

Personally, my November is stacked with NaNo, Thanksgiving, & Black Friday.

We all know, or understand, how draining NaNo can be especially when kids and holidays are involved. That should be reason alone not to query in November. Luckily, Thanksgiving isn't too bad beause the only family that lives close enough to visit during this time is my sister and her three kids. They live across the street, so this dinner might be bigger in food quantity but it is usually like any other day we hang out.  The only difference is that after we've eaten dinner and dessert has been served, my sister and I jump ship, leaving our husbands to clean up. You might be thinking we head off to another room for girl chat or to knit a scarf, no, no, no. We head out with several other bargain-hunting-moms for the start of Black Friday.

If you don't have kids, or your kids are grown, then you either don't know about Black Friday or you avoid it at all costs. That also means your probably wondering why we start on Thursday for sales that are supposed to start on Friday. The sales actually start on Thursday night. If you don't have a good system, or a team, you might be better off avoiding the rush.  Here's my system:
    • That way you know exactly what you'll be getting and where it's located in the store. Go one or two days before to check the layout. Some items are moved around in the days preceding.
    • These links have the ads in advance:
    • There are a lot of stores but none as important as Toys'R'Us for my group. We can be further back in other store lines like Target, Old Navy,GameStop, Best Buy, etc. (We avoid WalMart)
    • We're talking groups here and not the 5th person in line. You might miss out on a popular item if you aren't one of the first in line.
    • You can't be everywhere, that's why you need a team. Also, you can only really push one cart around the store and it gets stacked up fast.
    • Each member of your team will be responsible for an area of the store. For example, let's use Toys'R'Us where you have electronics, boys toys, girls toys, toddler, bikes, and baby stuff. You need at least 4-5 people in your team to properly conquer this store.
    • Figure out who is going where and then piece out your list to the appropriate team member. You might be able to meet up at the check out to hand off, except for electronics. Send the most funded team member into electronics. If you don't get to meet up then plan on getting your stuff at the end of it all and paying back immediately with a check. Don't forget, you have their items on your list too, so you will only be paying back what isn't covered in what you bought for them.
    • Don't forget your cell phones for communication but don't rely on them either because cell coverage in stores is sometimes poor.
    • For us Toys'R'Us has two rounds of sales, each with different items. Last year, the second round was 4 hours later. (Be aware of which items on your list are for the second round and don't try to buy them during the first round. The cashier won't remind you and you'll end up paying full price for it.)
    • The team member with the most items to purchase in the second round will stay. You can put all the second round items in a cart and wait in the store. That's what I did. I missed the second rush this way. While I was twiddling my thumbs inside Toys'R'Us for 4 hours my team members were conquering Target which opened later. When I was done checking out I headed over to GameStop for all Nintendo DS stuff because they had better sales.
    • Note: Place holders in other store lines is acceptable in my area but might not be in your area. You may want to check and see how that works.
All-in-all Thanksgiving is a 24 hour day thanks to Black Thursday/Friday. My team and I won't return home until about 7am on Friday after starting at 7pm on Thursday.

Once home, the women sleep (or should) while the men and kids hang Xmas lights and put up outdoor decorations.

From there December is already booked. The baking I do alone is enough to do me in. I bake 7-10 items every year and hand out or mail over 20 tins of baked goods.

Can you imagine if I was querying during these two months? Holidays are busy and sometimes depressing (lots of money being spent, for one). Querying yields far more rejections than requests. Why on Earth would I want to get a rejection during these months? I might be crazy enough to do Black Friday but query during the holidays, no way.

The good news though, is that I'm one less writer bogging down the query system. Yay for you!!!



  1. I avoid black Friday like the plague. I try to do all my shopping before that. Three birthday's in December along with all the other stress leaves me exhausted when I want to have fun.
    Mary Montague Sikes' blog book tour at my blog today...come on by. Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  2. You really sound like you have a system going. I don't really shop much. We do a big Thanksgiving for my wife's family who live nearby. Christmas time involves a lot of travel time in order to see my family and our kids who are all over the place.
    I've been focussing my November so far on NaNo and daily life, with a healthy dose of blog activity tossed in the mix.

    Looks like you are keeping up well with your word count.

    Tossing It Out

  3. I had no idea you did that! You are INSANE! I guess you have to if you have kids. Personally I have all by gifts by the summer. I just buy a few Christmas decorations at Christmas time.

    I used to bake like crazy. I, too, used send out dozens of baked gifts. So many people I know are watching their weight and no longer wish to receive a delicious cranberry walnut bread, rum-drenched pecan pumpkin cake, or Italian strufoli ( fried orange dough balls dipped in honey) They are a biotch to make, but so wonderful. I hope to do it for myself this year.

    I would query up until the first week of December after that I'd wait until mid January.


    I hope your master plan is successful

  4. That is major organization regarding Black Friday!
    I just go in the morning about 9:30 with my mom and sister on that day. It's a tradition to shop together and have lunch that day.
    You are a diehard!

  5. Never been to a Black Friday... didn't even know about it until now. This is probably because I live in Canada. Sounds tiring, you seem to have it all figured out though.

  6. Wow, that is one great system! I experienced my very first Black Friday last year, and I'm looking forward to it this year, so these tips are most welcome.

  7. Ive never been shopping on a Black Friday. And they dont exactly have them over here since Thanksgiving is celebrated way back in September and Christmas isnt a big deal. Holidays over here suck. I feel like I got gyped coming here.

    Love the post and your plan. Ill say it again, you keep yourself crazy busy and your kids must love you.

    Its cool that you wrote this post since you were just telling me you wouldnt be querying over the holidays.

  8. I don't think I know enough people to follow your system!! A couple years ago, a few of us took lists to different stores, intending on splitting up and later paying for each of our things. I got the Wal-Mart run for several GPS systems (apparently my family gets lost a lot). NEVER occurred to me that my check card has a $500-per-day limit and I got rejected - very embarrassing with 30 people behind you in line!!
    (michael - feel free to send the extra baked goods to me)

  9. Wow, all that busyness and sale-shopping stresses me out just thinking about it! Don't know how you do it :)


  10. The good news? November and especially December are months when agents don't really accept new clients. They say the first 3-4 months of the year are best to query.

    But the Black Friday thing sounds like so much fun! Gha, sometimes I wish I lived in the States. I couldn't help laughing at your strategic organization, as if you're mom-military groups out on a mission! Maybe I should visit the States during this time next time I go ;) Or January sales. Which is better?

  11. WOW. I'm exhausted just reading your game plan. Thanks for reminding me why I stay home during Black Friday. I'll be one less shopper bogging down the system! :)

    Good luck, and have fun!

  12. hehe. you did make me look. every year i tell my cousins and aunts that i'll join them in their shopping just to accompany them, but never would i actually try to pick out somethign and stand in line to buy it on that day. ugh. i'm not a great shopper. best of luck to you in your non-query endeavors over the next two months! christy

  13. I thought this post was so much fun - I gave you an award on my blog! Check it out:

  14. Wow! We don't have quite that same kind of sale-fever here in Australia, though I suppose the after Christmas sales are similar. You're so professional about it! You definitely deserve any savings you make.

    Now you've mentioned your Christmas baking though, can I ask you to pretty please post some of your favourite recipes on your blog when you get going with the baking? I hope all your recipients appreciate your hard work. I know I would!

  15. Wow - you had me scouring the net for possible deals on e-readers, but alas, they're not up yet. I'm here for the first time for Black Friday so I thought I'd check. But you have it down! Good luck getting everything on your list! :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. I love your system If you and I were in the same state i would have sniffed you out and made you my shopping body, I dragged my mom and friend to go shopping with me at midnite last year and my mom could not help laughing at my crazy speed. i finished the 1st bout at 3 went out again at 5 and then went to work the next day at 9 by 2pm my boss said i could go home, I was beat.

  17. I've never gone shopping on Black Friday--if I do, I'll definitely think about the tips you mentioned here! You've really got the method down. :D