Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Querying By the Numbers

This is going to be a really short post.  I was reading author Lydia Kang's blog post on "The Lucky 13s" website (blog for YA authors debuting in 2013), and I noticed she posted her querying stats.  Seemed like a good way to show people the realities of finding an agent, so I thought I'd do the same.

Here are my stats for Survival Colony Nine.  As you recall, I had two rounds of querying (one that resulted in finding my first agent, one that resulted in finding Liza), but I've combined the numbers for ease of reference.

And the numbers are (drum roll please)....

100 queries
11 requests (11%)
3 offers (3%)

These figures don't reflect some of the details, such as agents who never responded, agents from whom I withdrew my query or manuscript after I accepted an offer, and so on.  But the bottom line is, I queried 100 agents, 11% of whom requested the full manuscript (I received no partial requests), and 3% of whom (two the first round, Liza the second) offered representation.

I should also say that I have no idea how representative these numbers are.  Kang's numbers, for instance, are much better (more requests, more offers).  Other writers' numbers may be worse.

But that's not the point.  The point is simply this: it's tough out there.  Even successful searches ("successful" in the sense of obtaining an agent) are filled with rejection, anxious waiting, close-but-no-cigar moments, and general misery.

Whaddya gonna do, though?  It's the nature of the beast.

And by the way, while I have your attention, check out the website and Facebook page of the debut authors' group to which I belong, "OneFourKidLit," YA and MG authors debuting in 2014.

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