letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 84
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: N/A

A regular reader of this blog may have noticed there were no query wars last week. That’s because I was on vacation. I nearly had to blow dust off the keyboard when I got back. It’s just not used to being abandoned that long. On the other hand, I read books from my looming TBR pile, which is probably more accustomed to neglect. I very much enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book with its fairytale-like sensibilities. Chelsea Cain’s Heartsick was great fun (I’ve been on a serial killer binge ever since Criminal Minds snagged me). I got to revisit an old favorite, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Chessmen of Mars, which may be my top pick from that series — this was especially nice as I so rarely get to re-read books these days. I usually pick a book that I know I won’t otherwise have enough free time to read, and this year I hauled myself through The Historian, which I must admit I didn’t end up especially fond of, though perhaps it would have helped if all that vampire lore and history were new to me but having read a lot of vampire fiction and non-fiction over the years trumped that.

That vacation is also to blame for the small number of queries read this week. (This translates partially to blaming non-query work, since oddly it still piles up while one is not here to watch it do so.) I’ve been averaging around 200 a week lately, though my overall average for the last 26 weeks is closer to 155 according to the tracking stats. This still seems much higher than the number from last year and I have crossed the 4000 mark with nearly 500 queries still left in my inbox. Taking time off has pushed me right up against that 4 week response time for queries listed on our website. Since it’s exactly the half-way point of the year at 26 weeks of queries, here’s a few more stats. Of the 4054 queries read so far this year, 25 have resulted in a request for a partial, and 5 have resulted in requests for fulls. 2 of the 25 partials requested were afterwards upgraded to fulls. I’ve so far signed up 4 new clients this year; 2 of them are debut authors with no previous credits. The genres they cover include urban fantasy, gothic, paranormal romance, mystery, thriller, and YA.

And now we have a long weekend here in the U.S. — if you celebrate July 4th, may your grilling weather be grand and your fireworks be bright.

10 responses to “letters from the query wars

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing those stats! I have to get back on the ball myself with my writing. I have an important question to ask you, but I think I may have to wait until you decide to do another Agent Manners segment. :-/
    Anyway, I hope your 4th is the same. I have many cheesecakes to bake! 🙂

  2. Oooh, Chessmen is my favorite, too. I remember one summer making a Martian chess set out of cardboard and trying to teach my younger brother the rules.
    Those are some impressive statistics — especially considering you do that on top of actually reading your clients’ work, negotiating contracts, and all the other tasks of agenthood.
    May your 4th be sparkly and shiny!

  3. Welcome back. I’ve missed my Query Wars fix 🙂

  4. I’m another Chessmen fan!
    I had to comment, since Chessmen is my favorite in that series, too. Actually, it’s probably my favorite of all of Edgar Rice Burrough’s books. Good plot, fascination action, not as much escape-and-be-recaptured as a lot of his, good hero, good heroine, a nice bit of passion that’s quite rare for him…altogether a good book! 🙂

  5. My editor felt The Historian needed editing. I thought the story lacked any real build or punch.
    Enough folks apparently liked it, though. Surprised I haven’t seen mention of a movie sale.

  6. I have to agree with you on THE HISTORIAN. Very little fun vampire payoff for all those pages of travel and libraries! As a collector of vampire books, I’m curious to know who your favorites are. Mine is Chelsea Quinn Yarbo’s Saint Germain.

  7. Jennifer, do you ever sleep?!

  8. I’ve bee spoiled by your weekly posts on queries and I confess I was worried when I didn’t see the usual update. Everybody needs a vacation thought – hope you had a great one!
    Happy 4th!

  9. I couldn’t finish The Historian so you have my sympathies. Somehow the story dragged a lot for me. I wonder why this became a bestseller?

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