Jay Lake has an entry on the mysterious art of agent-hunting: http://jaylake.livejournal.com/852677.html
Yesterday, my pal Agent Kristen posted the following stats: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2006/12/year-in-statistics.html I don’t know how she kept track of some of those numbers and I’m not sure how many queries I read this year — a dizzying number, but I don’t think it was quite 20,000!
Per Jay’s entry, I looked at my client list to see if I could find out what percentage of them started with a query and who took different routes. I’m counting currently active clients only. And contrary to Jay’s experience of virtually every writer I’ve spoken to about this has some half-cocked story about how they got hooked up with their agent with respect to those who didn’t go via query, the percentage of my current list who started their professional relationship with me via query is around 70%. The rest include those who I was introduced to at a conference, someone who had a deal on the table, and the mysterious “other” category (AKA those with half-cocked stories).