if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Quarterly Status Update

numbersIt was a little crazy to count up a full year of queries for my last review (in January for all of 2009), so this year, Intern Jenny and I are planning to post the stats quarterly. And can I just say? I’m already a little floored.

In the first three months of 2010, we received 1,297 queries. That includes inappropriate genres, queries cc’ed to me and several dozen of my agent colleagues, queries without sample pages, and the few, the proud, the ones that actually followed my submission guidelines. To those authors, I say: THANK YOU!

Of those queries, we requested partials on 20 manuscripts, most of which I read while I was traveling back and forth to Europe for the Bologna Book Fair.

Out of those 20 partials, we requested 3 full manuscripts, all of which are currently under consideration. I didn’t sign any new clients in the first three months of 2010. Still, just to get a full request? We’re looking at only .2% of all queries received.

I know you know this is a tough business, but I thought you’d like a look at the cold hard facts of the numbers. More specifically, those 20 partials were overwhelmingly YA — only 2 middle grade novels made the cut, and both of those were MG paranormals or contemporary fantasy. The YA was split pretty evenly between contemporary and paranormal or fantasy, with one dystopian novel. All three fulls I requested were YA fantasy.

I desperately want more great middle grade, but I’m not getting it. If you have it, please send it my way! If you have a YA novel that’s on the end of a curve for a dying trend, please think twice about its freshness. Against these numbers, can it stand on its own?

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