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. So inspiring to know that there are possibilities out there. Keep writing everyone. No matter what happens success will find you,

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