Author Topic: Literary Agents on how many queries they get  (Read 830 times)

Offline jonny_555

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Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« on: April 12, 2021, 12:28:49 PM »
I have tried to put this together to share some of my findings on how many queries agents get. I believe QT has a way to get similar info, but I thought I would check further as not all queries go through QT. I have listed in bold the year/month that these figures are for. Sorry it's a bit jumbled; it was put together as I found the info:

Clare Wallace, Darley Anderson Agency: 15, 000+ (2018)
Danielle Zigner, LBA Books: 2, 600 (2018)
Juliet Pickering, Blake Friedmann: 4, 700 (2018)
Lucy Luck, Lucy Luck Associates: 2, 600 (2018)
Hellie Ogden, Janklow & Nesbit: 5, 200 (2018)
President, London Literary Agency: 18, 500 (2013)
Combined 4 agents at NLA: 13, 561 (2020) - took on 13 new clients

Following is for BookEnds Literary (July, 2016)
Jessica Faust
Queries received: 250
Queries rejected: 227
Requests for more material: 23
Average query response time: 4 days
Offers for representation: 0

Jessica Alvarez
Queries received: 106
Queries rejected: 99
Requests for more material: 7
Average query response time: 2 days
Offer for representation: 1

Kim Lionetti
Queries received: 108
Queries rejected: 87
Requests for more material: 21
Average query response time: 3 days
Offer for representation: 1

Beth Campbell
**Queries received: 227
Queries rejected: 122
Requests for more material: 3
Average query response time: 17 days
Offers for representation: 0

Tracy Marchini
Queries received: 170
Queries rejected: 157
Requests for more material: 11
Average query response time: 12 days
Offers for representation: 0

Moe Ferrara
**Queries received: 380
Queries rejected: 144
Requests for more material: 13
Average query response time: 40 days
Offers for representation: 0
__________________

Janet Reid, of Query Shark fame: 2, 000 (2020)
P.S. Literary, entire agency: 6, 000 (2012)
Unknown Agent, Irene Goodman Agency: 6, 205 (2013)
Nathan Bransford, Unsure if independent or with agency at time: 1, 032 (June, 2010)
Carrie Plitt, Unsure if independent or with agency at time: 3, 000 (2020)
Karly Caserza, Unsure if independent or with agency at time: 1, 500 (2020)
Jane Dystel, Unsure if independent or with agency at time: 100's (2020) - interesting, she said hundreds, not thousands
Carlisle K. Webber, Unsure if independent or with agency at time: 5, 000 (2020)

That's all for now folks.




« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 02:01:36 AM by jonny_555 »
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Offline redseafish

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 05:57:45 AM »
Thanks for compiling that. What a reality check!

Offline Odd John

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 08:11:23 AM »
Thanks jonny_555 for such a thorough breakdown.

So, should I query NLA, who seems um, more comparatively liberal with offers of rep, or Book Ends Literary, who, with only a bookends "2" offers and room on the shelf for more?


Sincerely,

Starving Writer
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Offline Odd John

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 08:39:50 AM »
These results are painful. I just took (1) aspirin, (1) Tylenol, (1) Advil, and (1) Aleve. I'll report back in two hours...  :(
My inferiority complex masks my superiority complex. It's very convenient.

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Offline jonny_555

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 08:52:25 AM »
If there is any silver lining, it seems that agents are getting LESS queries than they used to (from the agencies I have looked at). I stand to be corrected of course and this might not be true for all agencies, but this is what I have been seeing onilne, from websites and interviews with real agents. This is including 2020 when arguably people had the chance to finally write that novel. Can't say how 2021 has been but probably the same.

Janet Reid for example said she had about 4000 queries in 2019, but only 2000 in 2020. That is a quite a change! Maybe self-publishing helped (in several ways) and success stories such as Amanda Hocking's changed some writers' approach.

But at present, averages for agents seem to be around 4, 500 queries per year. 375 a month. About 13 a day. About 2 an hour :)


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Offline jonny_555

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 08:54:55 AM »
These results are painful. I just took (1) aspirin, (1) Tylenol, (1) Advil, and (1) Aleve. I'll report back in two hours...  :(

I don't know if I should laugh or do the same!
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Offline JeanneG

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 11:54:47 AM »
As someone who regularly submits to literary magazines where the submission numbers are much higher, these stats don't seem that terrible. In fact, they're slightly encouraging.

JeanneG
Debut novel, BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) released in March 2015; winner of IPPY in national category of religious fiction and currently a finalist for IAN Book of the Year. My work-in-progress: THE DOUBLE SUN.
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Offline ctheokas

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2021, 08:20:43 PM »
As someone who regularly submits to literary magazines where the submission numbers are much higher, these stats don't seem that terrible. In fact, they're slightly encouraging.

JeanneG
I'm glad for this perspective, because I looked at those numbers and my heart sank.

Offline Munley

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2021, 09:26:06 PM »
 :v: :v: :v: :v:

Reading queries comes with the job.

Lots of agents can determine it's a NO within the first few lines of a query. Same goes for sample pages included.
It's not as if they ponder each and every one deeply.

I feel a lot sorrier for supermarket cashiers who check out groceries for hundreds of customers a week during a highly contagious pandemic. They didn't sign up for the pandemic part when they took the job.

Receiving lots of queries shouldn't be a nasty surprise to anyone who decided to become an agent.

Just a bit fed up when the query load is used as an excuse for agents not responding, yet not specifying in their submission guidelines a specific time for consideration --- for example, it's a NO if you don't hear back from the agent within 3 weeks. I'm fine with "no response means no" --- as long as the time an author should wait is spelled out in the submission instructions.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2021, 09:46:15 PM by Munley »

Offline Odd John

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2021, 11:22:01 PM »
Ah, Munley... Now THAT'S perspective!  :rant: :yes: ;D
My inferiority complex masks my superiority complex. It's very convenient.

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Offline kciswriting

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Re: Literary Agents on how many queries they get
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2021, 04:39:17 PM »
:v: :v: :v: :v:

Reading queries comes with the job.

Lots of agents can determine it's a NO within the first few lines of a query. Same goes for sample pages included.
It's not as if they ponder each and every one deeply.

I feel a lot sorrier for supermarket cashiers who check out groceries for hundreds of customers a week during a highly contagious pandemic. They didn't sign up for the pandemic part when they took the job.

Receiving lots of queries shouldn't be a nasty surprise to anyone who decided to become an agent.

Just a bit fed up when the query load is used as an excuse for agents not responding, yet not specifying in their submission guidelines a specific time for consideration --- for example, it's a NO if you don't hear back from the agent within 3 weeks. I'm fine with "no response means no" --- as long as the time an author should wait is spelled out in the submission instructions.

Totally agree and love your perspective!