In your opinion, is it better for an agent to wait till after the summer to send a novel out on submission? Is it a myth that the publishing industry basically shuts down in August? Are there any advantages in NOT waiting?
I don’t think there’s a universally correct answer to this. I think it depends what your agent knows about the editors she wants to submit to and your agent’s own schedule. If your agent has plans to be out of town maybe it is best she hold off on submitting. I don’t know that publishing “shuts down” in August. Truthfully, I had a crazy two weeks between RWA and the July 4th weekend when I had offers on the table and it was taking weeks to finalize them because of RWA, editor vacations, and the holiday. It happens. It’s summer. All of that being said, we’ve had many years where August resulted in our largest sales month of the year, primarily because it is so quiet and so many do vacation that editors have more time to actually catch up on their reading and hopefully find something they can get excited about.
When it comes to August, like many things, there’s no right or wrong. A book could easily be read quickly by an editor who finds a relaxed schedule in August or sit and fall to the bottom of big piles because an editor happens to be away for two weeks and your material arrived during that time.