2009 query statistics

Hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year. Without further ado… my 2009 query stats…

# of queries read in 2009: 8004 (higher than last year’s)

Which would have been higher without the wrist and ankle injuries that wiped out a chunk of December. Still not quite up to full speed from that. Continuing to work on queries received beforehand, and remain otherwise closed to queries until January 15th.

# of proposals/manuscripts requested: 47

# of requested proposals/manuscripts which did not garner any reply or a submission: 3

Genres/sub-genres covered by these requests:
mystery, fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, dark fantasy, steampunk, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, thriller, science fiction, YA fantasy, YA

# of new clients signed: 5

Of those five: Two of them were authors with previous novel sales. Three of them were debut novelists. One of the debut novelists had short story sales; the other two did not. Genres covered by these clients: romance, YA, mystery, literary, fantasy

# of proposals being read for charity: 2

# of queries to be received on 1/15/2010 when submissions re-open…..

20 responses to “2009 query statistics

  1. This is fascinating. Question: did some people send you multiple submissions? I’m curious about how many different people sent you submissions.

  2. # of queries read in 2009: 8004
    My eyelid started twitching when I read that. (Really.) You have my sympathy and respect!

  3. wow!
    I read this with interest. I get only 5200 queries a year, and read 200 full novels from that. And only signed 2!
    You’ve clearly got a keener eye at the query stage!
    I hope you’re on the mend and feeling better.
    I can send over my Herpet-American asssssistant to help you if you’d like!
    Janet Reid

  4. It’s actually nice to know that short story sales aren’t the deal maker/breaker, considering how much trouble I seem to be having selling some, despite the nice reviews I get on the SFF OWW. 😦 Makes me a bit more hopeful that when I’m ready to query, short stories won’t matter so much.

  5. Stats – Holy Mathmatics, Batman!
    I don’t know how you agents do it, but I’m sure glad you do! 2009 is the year I signed with my agent, and I’m hoping 2010 will garner my first sale. All best to you and your authors for a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!

  6. # of requested proposals/manuscripts which did not garner any reply or a submission: 3
    Wait. Does this mean that you requested proposals or partials/fulls from people who then… didn’t follow through?
    Who would do such a thing?

    • IAWTC
      I had to reread that, because seriously — wtf, mate? O.o
      Who in their right mind would pass up a request for a partial or a full from an agent? FFS.
      Also, props to lit agents who blog for having so much patience, especially Jennifer, Kristin, Janet and Nathan.
      After looking at those stats, it feels like applying for Harvard all over again.
      In fact, I know H’s lowest admissions rate ever (6.7 percent now?) is double the rate of acceptance with the average literary agent.
      You hear that, teenage writers? Apply to the Ivies. You can get a degree cheaply AND pursue a writing career simultaneously! We’re all crazy enough to try one or the other, so why not both? >.<
      Back to the manuscripts.

      • Re: IAWTC
        You never know, the writer could still be waiting for a reply, not knowing that a request for a partial or full has been sent.
        Email is not infallible. 🙂

    • This was my first thought as well. Seriously?! What were they thinking?
      I wonder if three people are checking their spam folders right now and cursing…

  7. I remain perpetually baffled by the folks who don’t bother to respond to your request for a proposal.

  8. After reading the ‘Carrier Novelist’ by Donald Maass I don’t know if there is another agency I am even interested in. I hope on Jan. 15th when I submit I actually catch your eye.

  9. I wish you a speedy recovery and better queries in 2010. 😀
    ~Tyhitia

  10. Scary numbers. *gulp* Getting a request is almost a miracle, isn’t it?
    No accusation implied. Just obviously means that the work better be exceptional.

  11. I hate, hate, hate those writers who query and then never follow up by sending the material to the agent.
    Feel better, and prepare for the onslaught.

  12. 8,004 queries = Wow! 🙂

  13. With all that time spent reading, (I hope that you are a speed reader) and signing five new clients, where you find time to market their work? And, would have it any other way?
    Tim

  14. Holy guano! I’m as baffled by the three no-replies as everyone else, and have to commend you for the stats. That’s a lot of reading…I thought I liked to read, but I don’t think I like reading *that* much. Hope you’re convalescing well and will be back in full swing for Spring! And the onslaught.

  15. I’m amazed by the number of queries you receive each year. I know many agents say they receive “thousands”, but when you see a concrete number like that, and try to figure out how many it is per day…it’s mind-boggling. (Even more so if you’ve ever participated in one of Nathan Bransford’s challenges. It’s difficult to even read through fifty and try to give each one individual consideration!) Then when you think about all the people who wrote novels but didn’t submit to you, or to anyone, the number of people out there writing is astounding.
    I too was glad to see that short story sales wasn’t a deal-maker or -breaker. Short story sales seem to be heavily emphasized for aspiring novelists, especially those writing SF or fantasy. And signing five authors out of the 47 from whom you requested fulls (and only read 44, if those three never responded) isn’t really a bad rate at all.

  16. Well that just kills me
    Three manuscript requests without responses? That’s insane! 😉
    In other news, congrats on breaking last year’s numbers on queries read.

  17. Seeing that two of the five new clients had no previous sales and were debut novelists is really heartening. Good way to kick off the new year. 🙂

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