schrodinger’s queries – you don’t know until you read them

I’ve just returned from two weeks of vacation, during which I did not check either my email or my voicemail once. It’s the first time I’ve done that in years. (Not checked during vacation, that is — it’s not my first vacation in years. Thank goodness.)

The email is downloading right now as I’m typing this. I’m betting it will take me a day or two to get things sorted and triaged. But I’m not sure how long it will take to actually read everything and respond… Query or otherwise.

Remember that game at the carnival where you had to guess how many jellybeans were in a jar? And if you actually guessed it you won something? Well, I’m not sure what to offer as a prize (maybe a book or galley), but for those diehard readers of the query wars, I’d be interested in hearing guesses of how many queries are going to be in my e-query to-be-read queue when I’m down downloading. The oldest query when I left was dated Monday, July 28th (received just as I was leaving for the RWA annual conference, which seems like it was ages ago, not just a month). So, take those pre-vacation queries into account for your best guess too! Only one guess per person, please – and if you post anonymously include some sort of identifier. If numbers end up doubled up, the winner will be by order of entry. At end of business today, I’ll tell you what my guess was and what the actual number turns out to be.

Come on — step right up and have a go at it…

89 responses to “schrodinger’s queries – you don’t know until you read them

  1. I’m guessing 1300 queries. ^_^

  2. The number 22 jumped into my head, so I’m going with that…. Probably way off, but I was never very good with the jellybeans thing either.

  3. Oh, where did you go on vacation? Hopefully nowhere near Hurricane Fay…

  4. 550 and time sure flies. I’ve been home from WorldCon for two weeks now.

  5. I’m going to guess 2,372.

  6. I guess 937. Good luck with all of that.

  7. I’m going to guess 386. πŸ™‚
    -Michelle W.

  8. 543.
    – Tracey S. Rosenberg (

  9. My guess is 514. Why not?
    Elizabeth in Dallas

  10. 287
    Hope you had a nice vacation.

  11. Two weeks without checking email. oh my! You are brave.

  12. Once you clear the spam and intermittent correspondence you will end up with approx 370 queries.
    May Ghud have mercy on your soul.
    (and welcome back! πŸ™‚ )

  13. queries
    I hope you had a great vacation.
    My guess: 728

  14. I’m guessing 567. Was vacation wonderful?

  15. Welcome home.
    You were missed.

  16. I’m saying 804. Hope your vacation was wonderful.

  17. I’m guessing something around 350ish

  18. Guess on Numbers of Queries
    Anon-Amana-man: I’m guessing 828 queries.

  19. A guess
    let’s see, 4 weeks of queries X ~225 queries/week = 900.

  20. 800 queries.
    (Don’t remember seeing a statistic like this here, but just out of curiosity: how many of the queries in your Inbox are addressed specifically to you, versus the agency as a whole?)
    Second LaGringa’s comment about missing Fay — not that we wouldn’t have been delighted to see you, but still… πŸ™‚

    • I don’t get any queries that are addressed to the agency as a whole. Only the ones that are just to me. If there are queries addressed to “dear agent” and sent to our general agency email, I believe the agency assistant looks at those. Though sometimes they are addressed to around 30-50 other agents at different companies simultaneously when people haven’t figured out that isn’t good etiquette for submissions.

      • Hmm… I was sure I’d read that your agency took e-queries addressed to info@etc and shared them among the agents, which (if true) would be a useful shortcut in situations where more than one agent there might be interested.
        One more complicating notion to be happily disabused of. πŸ™‚

        • I think it’s more accurate to say that we discuss queries that might be of interest to other agents in the group, but I wouldn’t necessarily assume that it happens in every case with every letter since there are so very many.

  21. Are we playing by Price as Right rules???
    My guess is……801.

  22. 999.
    The problem with going on vacation is coming back to the work that didn’t take vacation….

  23. I’m going to say 819

  24. 1109.
    890 if you exclude queries that include the phrase “fictional novel”.

  25. Shrodinger’s queries
    Hum, maybe 3,250. Good luck with sorting through everything!

  26. Welcome back – hope you had a great vacation!
    My guess is 1274.
    Carol Callicotte

  27. Yay for vacation and not checking in!
    I’m betting a larger than usual quota of queries, coming in at 1135.

  28. 943
    As for a prize – how about you will like my query, if I win? The one that will happen in a distant future, when you will have forgotten about this little game, heh… o_O

  29. 837. Definitely 837.
    David F

  30. So much harder than Plinko. I’m going with 559.

  31. I guess an even 1000! πŸ˜€

  32. Hm…I’m going with 908.

  33. My guess is…
    Two weeks and not checking e/voicemail? Kudos to you for keeping the Internet monster at bay for so long. It’s you who deserve the prize for discipline.

  34. 345!
    That’s my crazy guess πŸ™‚

  35. 952
    Yay! Glad you’re back. Missed your posts.

  36. DeadlyAccurate
    762 queries

  37. My guess is 276.
    Also, I sent a snail mail query to you on July 11 and hadn’t heard back, so I am wondering if you still have some that date back to then or if I should re-submit. I, for one, missed your blog but hope you had a great vacation.

  38. Joshua oldi1knoby AT
    I would say, 576 queries total.

  39. Encapsulated Luck
    I’m going with 787 (Chinese luck delimited by European luck)

  40. Put me down for 777.

  41. I’m going for 782.

  42. I’m going to guess 967

  43. Hmmm – I’ll guess 1482.
    No particular reason though, just a guess πŸ™‚

  44. Hope you’re all tan and still a little tipsy. Welcome back.
    I was going to go with 550 but you went to a conference. Fifteen minutes per pitch times seven hours is another 28, and adding those who pitched you in the pool, ladies room, elevator, at dinner, cocktail parties, and after hours at the bar … let’s say another ten. I’ll guess 588.

  45. 630.
    Hope you had a great vacation!

  46. 699?
    I’ve never been good at those jellybean games…

  47. Welcome back! Hope the time off was fun and relaxing.
    Hmmm. 413.
    And, no, I never was any good with jars and jelly beans either.

  48. query guess
    My guess is 1078. I hope you had a great vacation!

  49. Query Letter Guess
    Hello. I’m Derone. I’d say you have 437 queries in your mailbox.

  50. Oh, let’s see… 764. What do I win?
    –Sandra Cormier aka chumplet

  51. I’m just a lurker lured into posting by your game. πŸ™‚
    Guess: 817

  52. Welcome back!!!
    Let’s go with my birthday 716

  53. I’ll go with 713.
    Have fun.

  54. I’m going to say 536. πŸ™‚ Welcome back.

  55. Umm. 2000.

  56. This feels like the Price is Right:
    My guess is 554 (including my query!)

  57. 457! Good luck. πŸ˜› Vacation rocks, but the aftermath? Not so much.

  58. Hrm…post-RWA compounded by two weeks vacation? Because I just have to even though I know I’ll be wrong: 666.

  59. 14,568
    this is including spam etc that sometimes get missed by the filter and considering you are a busy person.

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