Author Topic: Stats for queries that Agents receive  (Read 475 times)

Offline jonny_555

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Stats for queries that Agents receive
« on: March 25, 2021, 02:45:30 AM »
Does anyone have a more recent average stats count or link to a post that details the numbers of queries an agent gets these days?

In my own personal research, and for posts from 2015-2019ish, I have seen some massive agents for YA say they get 30 to 50 a day (sounds very low but hey I hope that is true!). Some say they get 100's a day. A boutique agency I found said they get 300 a day. One agent has a little tool on their website that you can click to see query backlog and numbers that have come in, but the data seems years old so not updated often.
Despite the variations in number, agents still seem to pick up very few new authors each year (one to three), but agencies as a whole seem to bring in between 10 to 20 newbies a year give or take. So helps to look at it from an agency perspective.

Just curious to see how the numbers have changed, especially with Covid.

PS: I found this article which is quite helpful and encouraging: https://jerichowriters.com/hub/get-published/getting-a-publishing-deal/


« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 04:17:10 AM by jonny_555 »
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Offline richardclin

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 05:02:45 AM »
Dear Jonny,


I have read similar stats to yours.


I have heard from several publishers, literary journal publications, and agents remark that they have been receiving a significantly greater number of queries this year than in past years, ostensibly because of the pandemic and associated constraints on movement and travel. I don't have any specific numbers from them, but from the tone, it feels like they may be receiving 50% to double more than in the past. But that is just my guess. So the supply of written works and querying agents is much higher and hence more competitive.


Of course, one might expect more people are reading as well during the pandemic. But as there is a significant lagtime, I assume we as authors querying now are unlucky whereas authors with books that came out over the last year are lucky in terms of timing.


I would be curious to see how others react to this very pertinent question.


Sincerely,
Richard

Offline littlewritings

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 05:38:59 AM »
I've heard that there's more people querying as well, although it's probably hard to tell what the quality of those queries really is. Maybe a bunch of really talented authors finally had time to write a novel because of the pandemic or maybe there's a higher percentage of authors who wrote something that doesn't stand a chance in the current market or isn't up to par in other ways. So maybe it's not that there's more competition, but just more... slush. That kind of thing is hard to judge from our end. But I would say one thing is for sure: many things that already took a long time take even longer now.

Offline jonny_555

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2021, 07:10:14 AM »
Indeed, very slow steps this journey is.

You'd think lockdown would give them more time to read. Maybe they're pulled into endless virtual meetings.

Someone said something this morning which gave me hope: "The world is smaller than you think." This was from an interview with a screenwriter and film producer discussing odds and responses from agents and studios. That statement was not in reference to how few agents and studios there are, but in reference to how many people actually get around to writing, finishing, polishing, and being able to create something actually good. And this was in LA!



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Offline littlewritings

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2021, 08:02:04 AM »
I don't think they'd necessarily have more time to read subs during lockdown. What you have to keep in mind is that reading queries isn't an agent's main job. Their main job is taking care of edits/sub/events related to their client list and whatever other jobs they do for their agency (like subrights etc). Even under normal circumstances, they have a ton of stuff to read already, and the queries and material they request is piled on top of what they already have.

A lot of agents also have kids at home that would be at school otherwise, which takes away time, too. And then they're also humans who are living through a global pandemic just like the rest of us. A lot of agents (especially younger ones) also have a day job, because being an agent doesn't pay well when you're just starting out.

Queries are just a teeny-tiny part of all that and if they're receiving more than usual, I'm not surprised that everything is taking waaay longer.

Offline richardclin

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2021, 09:17:31 AM »
True, Littlewritings. In fact, my editor friend just emailed me now to say that the big house editors in NYC are receiving more submissions from lit agents this year, so the agents are facing more competition in getting our books placed as well...

Offline jonny_555

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2021, 09:35:20 AM »
Hear! Hear!

Do publishers have a limit to how many new books they acquire and publish each year? I know time, marketing and money plays a part in it, but I have always wondered if they would say yes to 20 great books but no to say 30 great books if they believed they could all have a shot at being a success. Maybe an unknown statistic.

Despite the rising tides, I'm glad that people have found time to explore their writing pursuits. Some friends of mine have all rethought their careers and dived into new interests as a result (not only writing). Silver linings.

I do wonder if things will "return to normal" once stores and businesses recover, or if the number of queries will continue to rise.
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Offline richardclin

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2021, 09:48:12 AM »
Hi Jonny,


My editor friend thinks things will return to normal in the lit world sometime after normalcy returns to the wider world.


I think I read somewhere that the pandemic has actually delayed many book launches. So the pipeline has many more books awaiting new release dates. So kind of like the movie industry. However, unlike the movie industry, where many productions were put on the shelf to wait out the pandemic, productions (projects) in the book industry have only increased. So I suspect it may take a while for trad publishers to work through this pipeline issue. In turn, I think the competition for trad publishing has stiffened, but I assume many more authors may be choosing to self-publish as well so that they might see their books on Amazon or even shelves during their lifetime. :clap:








Offline jonny_555

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Re: Stats for queries that Agents receive
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2021, 08:27:38 AM »
Thanks Richard, that is encouraging in a way. I guess we just wait for normalcy in the real world to arrive!

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