Following Kathleen Ortiz’s blog today (fantastic!), as well yet another turned down query (that the author refused to accept afterwards), I feel it’s time for some “agency” math. I will be using hypothetical #s, in an effort to keep this as simple as possible.
Imagine you are ONE literary agent. Imagine that you prefer to have 10-15 projects (to be brought to publishers) per YEAR.
Imagine it’s January or September, and you estimate you’ll only want to add FIVE additional projects to your current agency list. Let me repeat, 5 projects.
Imagine receiving approximately between 150-250 queries (unsolicited) a week. In an effort to keep the math simple, we’ll use the number 150. 150 queries received (on average) in a week.
Being there are 52 weeks in a year, that means you’ll be receiving approx. 7800 (unsolicited) queries/year.
Let’s go back to the 1st number = you, the literary agent, only wants to add FIVE clients/book projects to the current agency list. FIVE.
In addition, there is the other process of you, the literary agent seeking out writers–folks who maybe wouldn’t go the route of mailing queries to literary agents.
7800 queries received in a year.
Literary Agent only needs 5 projects.
Obviously there is more than one agent in the publishing world, that’s the silver lining here.
My point is this:
-Fine tune your art (of writing)
-Promote yourself (and your writing)- i.e. platform
-Interact with other writers in the publishing community (try to get critqued!)
-Please understand that if you do receive a rejection, it’s nothing personal. Each agent needs to focus on his/her current authors, while at the same time pursuing future projects. We do our best to respond in a timely manner, and share the same love of books (as YOU, the writer).
My perspective? An author’s query is the time to shine! So, make sure you’ve got all the figurative bases covered before seeking an agent. It’ll make the query process hopefully a little smoother, which is my goal with this hypothethical “agency” math today.
As usual, please drop me a note, or comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.