Random Numbers for your perusal

February 27th, 2009 • Kate

Curious about the breakdown in queries I receive? I hope so, otherwise I’ve wasted a huge amount of time tracking these things by the numbers! Nathan Bransford shared some of his recent stats the other day, and inspired me to do the same. So, at the time I read Nathan’s post, I had 157 unread emails in my query folder. A few of them turned out to be misdirected, or better sent to other folders to deal with, which left me with 151 queries. Of those, the breakdown was as follows:
26 General Young Adult queries

  • plus 1 YA Historical
  • 33 YA fantasies, including paranormal, magical realism, etc.
  • and 5 YA Science Fiction

13 Middle Grade queries

  • plus 10 MG fantasies

6 Literary Fiction queries*
10 Mystery/Suspense/Thriller queries*
18 Women’s Fiction queries, including romance
2 Memoirs or Narrative Nonfiction
13 Adult fantasy novels
2 Adult Science fiction queries
1 Picture Book*
1 Book of Poetry*
1 Gay Novel (as per the author’s own description)
2 Early Chapter Books*
2 General Nonfiction proposals*
4 queries I couldn’t qualify
and 1 for a project that wasn’t actually a book.
Of those 151 (if I’ve done my math correctly), 15, or 10%, were not personalized. And to break some hearts, I only requested 1 partial. And the asterisks above refer to genres or categories that I don’t actually represent. So count that as 22 books directed incorrectly to me.
And for your entertainment, you should know that 3 authors actually managed to misspell the word “query”, “submission”, or the title of their own book. Six queries featured characters who woke up on the first sample page. One email was just a link to a self-published book without an actual query attached, and 3 were addressed to another agent or agency altogether.
Hope that’s somewhat interesting! For my part, I think I enjoy live-blogging my queries more than I like just looking at the numbers. Next time, we’ll get back to that.

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8 Responses to “Random Numbers for your perusal”

  1. Josh Says:

    Out of curiosity, what was the subject matter for the partial you requested?

  2. Gina Black Says:

    Your pie chart looks like a peace sign. 🙂
    Thanks for compiling all this information for us. It's always so interesting. I do find that the live-blogging is the most informative, but it's *all* good. 🙂

  3. lotusloquax Says:

    This was very interesting. It's nice to know that I'm at least not on the outer fringe making the crazy mistakes.

  4. Jamie Says:

    I would love to know what kind of partial you ended up requesting!
    And, yes we do care about the numbers! It really makes us stop and think before we query haha!

  5. Anna Swenson Says:

    This was interesting, but I do love it when you live blog your queries. Hint, hint.
    Have a great weekend, Daphne! I loved reading Maureen's account of her visit. Glad to see you can put "the talent" in her place! 🙂

  6. Audry T Says:

    I've had the same experience in my inbox. On an almost daily basis, I find myself deleting email queries that have spelling errors in the subject header, email body, and/or in writing samples they insist on including (which are, generally speaking, fan-fic).
    Because we publish comics rather than prose, aspiring writers seem to think they can get away with having poor grammar and spelling skills. Instead, they can't even get past my front door.

  7. Ann Says:

    It seems that all my favourite agent blogs have had query stats recently. They've been quite interesting and, for me, heartening. Seems like most agents average around 150-200 queries a week and, out of that, make only 1 or 2 requests for partials. I sent out 6 queries and got 4 rejections plus 2 requests, so I feel like I just might be doing something right.

  8. chocolateinspir Says:

    These are facinating stats. I too am interested in which category you requested your partial. Thanks for sharing. Definitly worth your time.