No, I’m not talking about the birds and the bees, but I was out for lunch with Kristin Nelson and Sara Megibow on Monday, and part of our conversation revolved around queries, and how many clients we have, and how those clients came to us — what percentage from the slush pile, and how many from other methods. I didn’t have the exact figures on hand, but I thought it was worth a closer look, and I’m delighted to share my findings with you!
So, right now, I have 20 clients. Of those, 14 are published, or have contracts with traditional publishing houses for forthcoming publication. Of the six as yet unsold, two have MG novels under submission, three have YA novels being pitched, and one writes for the adult pop culture market.
Fully half of my clients became such through the regular query process. That is, they sent a letter with a short sample, I liked it, asked for more, then asked for the full manuscript, and eventually offered representation. Six of my clients were referrals either from other clients, publishing colleagues, or other authors I know and like. Two more of my clients were friends even before I became an agent, and I had the chance to snag them before anyone else could. One author is someone I met at a conference, and also sort of a referral. And the last is someone I reached out to after reading their stuff online, and liking what I saw.
Is that interesting? Is that hopeful? It should be. Of the last four clients I signed, three of them came to be through the query pile. So, yeah, it works!