Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Query Recap

It seems you like to see query recaps from me. So here’s another. I was out of the office October 12-21. It took me until today to get through the queries from that time away. So here’s a statistical breakdown of what happened to them. . . .

Total equeries received: 100 (Keep in mind that this does not include the pile of proposals and snail-mail queries that were also waiting upon my return.)

• Total I fished out of the spam filter: 11
• Total rejected: 76
• Total requested: 7
• Requested fulls: 1
• Used the Wrong Name (i.e., Jennifer Fraust): 2
• Total from a country outside of the US or Canada: 7
• Emails checking submission status or the arrival of material: 5
• Young Adult submissions (which I don’t represent): 3
• Emails begging me to take a second look at the query or chastising me for rejecting them without reading more than a query: 1
• Examples of queries rejected for word count issues: 15,000-word nonfiction; 225,000-word fiction
• Queries I had to jump on over vacation (requesting a full be sent to my mom’s home): 1 (later rejected)
• Thank yous for previous rejections: 1
• Queries that included nothing but a Web link: 1
• Odd items that only confused me: 3
  • “please contact me at this phone number. I’ve written a book.”
  • follow-up email that reads like a new query. I wasn’t sure if it was a query or a status check.
  • response to a rejection asking me to keep the work in mind when I have an opening on my list. I can contact at . . .
• Request for submission guidelines: 1
• Submission with a long list of titles: 3
• Submissions made to all three of us in one email: 2
• Addressed to the wrong agent: 1
• Number of equeries I passed to either Kim or Jacky: 3

So that's it.




Josephine Damian said...


• Total I fished out of the spam filter: 11

is the reason for this

• Emails checking submission status or the arrival of material: 5

Writers use those read-receipt features for this reason, not because we don't think the agent didn't respond to our query, but we're afraid they never got it.

Megan Frampton said...

Thanks for that recap, it is quite illuminating.

Now I feel even better about you requesting pages from me, although I was subsequently rejected, but it was a very nice rejection letter. I should have emailed back 'thank you,' but I figured you get enough email, and I flaked on writing a real letter. Lame, since you only got one thank you letter that cycle.

So thank you for a lovely rejection letter. I appreciated the time you spent on my pages.

Jaye Wells said...

I love query stats. It's kind of like joining one of those fantasy football leagues.

Laura K. Curtis said...

I have a flag on Craig's List for anything to do with writing in NYC just in case critique groups or workshops of interest show up, and yesterday it brought up a "query" someone posted, hoping to attract an agent/publisher. The futility of some of this--Craig's List, calling an agent by the wrong name, sending nothing but a web confuses me.

Karen Duvall said...

“please contact me at this phone number. I’ve written a book.”

It's not good to read this kind of thing while drinking hot liquids. Ow.

Linda C. McCabe said...


I love it when you and Nathan Bransford give us your stats. It helps ground us writers as to the realities of what agents face in your profession.

BTW, I happened to stumble across this post today and thought you might find it amusing.

You are listed as being one of the Top Ten Agents for Self-Help Books.

It also says that you do not accept email queries.

Ironic that I should read your post and then come across this one all in the same day.

BTW, I sent a heads up to Writer Beware! about that blog. I think it may be part of an elaborate scheme to put a notorious scam agent's name amongst legitimate agents such as yourself.

I just thought you might like to know what information is being disseminated about you on the internet.

Keep up the good work!


Linda C. McCabe said...


Sorry, the link seems to have been cut off in the previous message.

Try this instead:


Felicia Donovan said...

Jessica, just dropping by to say how much I enjoy this blog despite being past the "Killer Query" stage in my writing career. The stats you cite are quite interesting. Those folks that you rescued from the spam filter ought to be very grateful you didn't just hit the "delete" key.

Felicia Donovan

Anonymous said...

Jessica, I just saw this query tally. How very interesting, but a reminder of perspective on all thing. I miss Ms. Snark's posts, but I think you are taking over nicely.