Some stats

Since opening to e-queries (LGT bio if you want to send me one of your own)  a little over a year ago (which is the last time I posted here!), I’ve been tracking what’s come into my query e-mail.

Here are some quick stats:

  • I’ve received and responded to 5,246 queries, 4,915 of which were e-mail, 331 of which were print (e-mail turned out to be wildly popular for us; my print queries plummeted, and quickly)
  • Of these 5,246 queries, I’ve requested 188 partials or fulls (3.584%)
  • I’ve received exactly 200 partials to date (some referrals & conference requests in there), rejecting 184 and requesting 16 full mss (8.000% of partial requests have gone on to be full requests)
  • I have requested 28 full mss or non-fiction proposals in total, offered representation 7 times, and signed 5 clients, for a .714 batting average
  • All told, I’ve signed 0.095% of what’s come in through the front door, addressed to me
  • Because my client list currently has more men than women, I tracked my requests by gender to try to ID and deal with any unconscious biases that might be coming up. 53% of my partial requests have gone out to female writers, 47% to male writers, so that’s a start; 2 of 5 new clients I’ve signed have been women (40%; both slush pile), but I think there’s work to be done here.

There are a couple other things these stats don’t address: Professional referrals, and the (very) occasional situation where I reach out to someone because I’m interested in them. I started tracking professional referrals this past August, and between current clients, other authors, editors, and agents, have had 12, from 12 different sources, in a month and a half. (I’ve also, for curiosity’s sake, started tracking authors who have fired their previous agent and are querying me — 9 since July, indicating there’s some turnover going on right now.)

So, it’s a great time to query me!

With that slightly frightening 0.095%, you might think it’s not, but I’m looking to aggressively expand into non-fiction, literary fiction, and middle grade, in addition to my current staples (YA and adult SF/F).

I’m going to try to sign any author whose work I really like (and have in most cases succeeded in doing so, though occasionally every agent loses a “beauty contest” in which lots of us vie for one writer), but I also have a burning desire to diversify my client list (balancing gender as much as I can, signing more non-American writers, GLBTQ writers, and writers of color) so that’s weighing in the back of my mind as I go through the slush pile as well.

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5 Responses

  1. You make me smile, Eddie! Good luck with your goals to diversify. That’s an awesome plan.

  2. Um, just to point out that the 2/5 and the 53:47 split are not so far off 50:50 to represent any statistically significant deviation from random, so I think you can safely consider yourself nonbiased in the gender department.
    Also, incredibly impressive that you’d bother to check in the first place. Which means, I think, that you are considerably biased about being nonbiased, which, to be biased, is IMO fantastic.

  3. [...] strangely, getting an agent was more difficult than getting a book accepted. (look at Eddie’s acceptance stats) I had agents make polite overtones, but otherwise indicate that while they liked my writing, they [...]

  4. I found the statistics in your post to be both informative and useful. I’m beginning to wish that all agents would have a similar resource posted to help authors determine 1) how “actively” they’re actually seeking to represent new authors and 2) how interested they actually are in a particular subject/genre/viewpoint/etc. Thanks again for putting the time in to track it.

  5. Ghost Blog Patrol #33785 reporting-no signs of life or activity in this sector-removed from galactic trading coordinates-transmission ends

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