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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Query Stats Post You've Been Waiting For

It's really weird being off the query trail. I never even thought about that before I hit this point. No one tells you that after spending months watching every agent like a starving hawk watches the field mice scurry that you won't know how to stop watching once you have an agent.

This is a post for the hungry hawks out there. For those who are counting queries, looking at averages, and trying to get a handle on the madness that is the query trenches. If numbers and publishing aren't your thing, go ahead and skip this post. I'll return to what passes for normal around here on Monday...

Number of Queries Sent: 63
Number of Page Requests: 21
Number of Full Requests: 6
Number of Revise & Resubmits: 1
First Query Sent Out: October 1st, 2012
Last Query Sent Out: May 29th, 2014
Quickest Turn Around on a Rejection: 3 days
Quickest Turn Around With Page Request: under 24 hours
Longest Wait: 200 days
Average Response Time: 44 days
Average Response to Requested Pages: 19 days 
Number of Agents Queried With a "No Response Means No" Policy: 9
Months With The Slowest Response: November and December
Months With The Quickest Response: September and February
Where I Found Agents To Query: AgentQuery.com, Writer's Digest, Query Tracker, Twitter, and the dedications of books I love

Other Observations of Note:
- Approximately half of the rejections came back with a personalized note saying why the agent passed.
- Agents who requested pages with the query were less likely to ask for a partial. They either rejected off the sample pages or asked for a full.
- Most common reason for rejection off of partials and fulls was "I like this, but I don't love it enough to rep it."
- 7 of the 21 page requests came from Twitter pitch parties
- 2 of the 6 full requests came from Twitter pitch parties
- 2 full requests came from query critiques that were "send a query and get honest feedback" deals
- Only 1 agent failed to get back to me after requesting pages. I nudged the agent twice (3 months and 6 months after pages were sent in) before giving up.
- No agent wrote back to tell me my writing sucked, suggested I give up, or otherwise made fun of me. The rejections were all encouraging and helpful.


  1. *faint*
    such hard work! Sometimes it can be discouraging. BUT we mustn't give up. I should keep tabs on my stats :)

    1. It's not the work, it's the waiting. The wait time between sending things out and getting a response is nerve-wracking. If you don't have another project to write all you do is worry. If you are writing something else, you always wonder what will happen if you get a good response.

      Once I had my submission packet ready it all went very smoothly. If someone requested pages I already had everything ready to do. Sending out a new query was a matter of checking what the agent wanted and attaching the right documents to the email. The stress is mostly mental when you're querying.

  2. I've only queried for my kids' novel so far, and I only sent out some 25 queries (I'm revising the submitting material completely at the moment, then I'll try again), but I can say your numbers match mine. Only I never received a request :-(
    For me too the main reason for refusing was, "This is good, but I don't love it enough'.

    I've never tried Twitter, but I'm told it's great for the publishing industry. I just wish I understood how it works :-(

    1. Twitter is a lot like IM or GTalk. You follow whoever you want and then you only see what the people you follow say. People who follow you will see what you say. To send a message to someone specifically you write to the @ handle i.e.:

      @Inkylaurens How are you today? <-- Goes only to Inky (and people who follow both of us)

      How are you today? <--- Goes to everyone who follows me

      If you want to get the benefits of the publishing community on Twitter I recommend following agents, editors, and some of your favorite authors. Many agents give editing tips online and tell you what they're looking for. It's worth checking out!

      I'm @LianaBrooks on Twitter, so send me an @ if you sign up. :)

    2. Hey, Liana, thanks so much for the tips. I'll certainly seek you out if I sigh up... which I think I'll do :-)