Monday, December 21, 2009

HOW MANY QUERY LETTERS DO AGENTS RECEIVE?

Just how many query letters do agents receive? I've heard many figures bandied about over the years but last week learned some current statistics from Kristin, the agent who writes the Pub Rants blog.

In her agency there are only two agents and they received and responded to 38,000 queries in 2009, up from 2008. Doing the math, that is 104 letters each and every day. Forget relief on weekends, holidays, vacations, the queries just keep coming. Out of that avalanche, they sold 15 books this year.

This sobering number tells me three important things:
  • No wonder agents can't read more than a 500 word query to see if they like your proposed book idea
  • Create queries that stand head and shoulders above the competition (Read Creating Irresistible Query Letters)
  • Hedge your bets by querying smaller publishers directly, as well as agents
For the rest of Kristin's stats, visit http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2009/12/year-in-statistics.html. She blogs every day with some of the  most useful info I have found for aspiring authors seeking publication. Add her blog to your Google Reader so you don't miss anything. Kristin will be blogging again after New Year but there is loads of valuable stuff at Pub Rants to learn until then.