query wars: stats for 2008

Number of queries received: Approximately 6,500

Partials requested: 57 (4 of which were requested some time ago and I have not received them or any other correspondence)

Full manuscripts requested: 10 (5 of which were requested after reading the aforementioned partials)

Number of new clients signed: 6 (4 of those had previously published novels; two were debut authors)

*********** notes from the holidays ***********

query war casualty: author that sent their entire unsolicited manuscript as an attachment on Christmas Day

first query of the new year: 12:19 AM New Year’s Day

oldest unread query: December 10th (and it may take me a bit to catch up the holiday backlog)

18 responses to “query wars: stats for 2008

  1. So, you signed slightly less than 1 in 1000 people who queried you. Isn’t that ratio rather high? [heavy sigh]

  2. Good lord. You’re not busy at all…lol Way to stay on top of things!

  3. One in a thousand chance of getting signed up. I bet your authors feel incredibly special!

  4. neutronjockey does math tricks:
    6500 Queries
    Avg of approximately 18 queries a day.
    Which means you read (assuming 300 words per double-spaced page)9,750,000 words in first 5’s alone (assuming ability to stomach all 5 pages), +1 page synop and 300 word query (keep.it.short.people.) = 13,650,000 million words read in queries alone this year.
    Chance of getting a partial requested: 8.8%
    Partial-to-Full conversion (do not count 4 no-shows (WTF people?!)): 9.4%
    Full-to-New-Contract (w/ no previous publishings): 20% w/ full requested.
    Overall Agent full-to-contract ratio: 5:3
    Chances of you getting published if you never submit: 0%
    Chances of you getting published if you never write it: <0%

    • Re: neutronjockey does math tricks:
      The word count stats made _me_ sit here and blink. I hadn’t thought about it terms of that. Or pages, which is 32,500 for a 5-page sample per query. (Of course, there are several each week that don’t include the sample pages.)

      • Re: neutronjockey does math tricks:
        If your brain isn’t hurting it should be. I’d request a mental health day.
        The good thing is your full-to-contract ratio— or well, full-to-sign (contracts probably lag a bit into the new year). But your full-to-contract should give you an idea of your Agent Market Savvy Ratiotm. 5:3 is still a pretty awesome ratio.
        The only way to work the ratio down to a 2:1 or 1:1 is quality control…which is not in your control. (Kind of, I mean, you could make the submission requirements tougher, that would probably require more reading on your part.)

    • Re: neutronjockey does math tricks:
      Chance of getting a partial requested: 8.8%
      I think that might actually be only .88%!
      Or am I failing at arithmetic?

      • Re: neutronjockey does math tricks:
        No fail on your part. You are correct. A percentage of a percent.
        However, I must request that you stick to your niche…which is writing WORDS, and leave the math ‘n stuff to the pros.
        (Just lost my ‘pro’ card. *#$@!)

  5. Annual Query Stats
    Interesting to know the annual stats.
    I bemused my husband at breakfast the other day by trying to work out these percentages based on the info we had. He said he thought my estimate of 70 000 queries a year was a bit high. What can I say? I’m a writer not a mathematician! 🙂

  6. I’m curious.
    Are these typical stats for all genres, or do they likely vary from genre to genre? I’m sure you won’t know for certain, but any thoughts about it?

  7. author that sent their entire unsolicited manuscript as an attachment on Christmas Day
    Oh… my. I wonder if they were thinking, “Hey, nobody else will do this today! I’ll stand out!”

    • Maybe it was, “I won’t be around for the holidays, so I wouldn’t be able to send the full thing when she asks for it, so… here it is!”
      Or else he’d been drinking the high-proof eggnog and clicked the wrong file-name to attach.

  8. Wow, that is just a very large number.
    Anyway, hope you had a great holiday season.

  9. What?! You signed two new authors? Omigosh! I thought it was all doom and gloom for new book acquisitions! ;D
    Congrats to your new clients!

  10. Impressive. And very cool.

  11. 6500 queries? That is staggering, astonishing. And only to one agent.
    Must keep plugging away so I can throw my hat into the ring and burden you with another query to read some day. 🙂

  12. Wow those stats are…just wow. I can’t even think of any good words to describe how monumental that is.
    It also shows that I’m going to have to work REALLY hard to be one of the ones that gets signed on someday. I’m guessing the stats are pretty similiar with other agents.

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