Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Many Queries?

In my ongoing search for agents for my YA mystery and romantic mystery, I came across an online publication that concludes it's necessary to send out 150 queries for any hope of snagging an agent. Unfortunately I didn't bookmark it for further reading but the article breaks down the actions an agent takes upon receiving a query: deleting it unread, reading part or all of it and then deleting it, requesting a couple pages or chapters, and the rarity of requesting a full manuscript. That long list of 150 queries narrows down to a few positive responses. I just had an experience with an agent I was certain was going to represent me but she bailed! Even surviving the submission odds doesn't guarantee anything.

Querytracker has a section which breaks down the number of monthly submissions specific agents receive to the number of rejections and requests for more material. Most agents have an extremely high rejection rate. Why bother to query an agent who rejects nearly everything they receive? Chances are they have a full client list. It may be more productive to look for agents with a record of being more receptive to new material. Don't overlook new agents - they're in the process of building a client list!

Always check Preditors and Editors to weed out unscrupulous agents!