Thursday, October 14, 2010

Representation: A Numbers Game

The best chance of landing an agent is to query widely and get as many full and partial manuscripts into the hands of agents as possible. One of the great benefits of using is connecting with other writers who are also seeking an agent. A writer on the QT site known as “queryhater” just acquired representation with Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger & Associates. He'd submitted 118 queries and received 38 requests for full manuscripts and 15 partial requests. He received an offer of representation last week. He waited a week to make his decision, and in the meantime sent an “Offer” email to the 20+ agents with his fulls and partials. He received another offer that day. Throughout the week, he received calls and emails from nearly every other agent, informing him that they’d read his manuscript that night or the next day. When all was said and done, he received eight offers of representation before making the decision to sign with Brenda Bowen. Eight offers!

This is how the query game is played. This was queryhater’s second novel. With his first novel, he sent out 187 queries and received 3 full requests and 4 partial requests. His request success rate was 3.7% and his first novel went in a drawer. He considered giving up, but instead wrote another novel. His request success rate with the second book was 45% (that’s amazing to me!). He never gave up. He queried widely. He now has an agent!

My current numbers are 78 total queries submitted with 6 full requests and 6 partial requests, for a request success rate of 15.4%. What queryhater’s numbers suggest to me is that I need to send at least 80 more queries out. I’m starting that process today.

I find queryhater’s story extremely inspiring. This is what it will take to gain representation.

No comments: