Thursday, April 05, 2007

Query Confession

STATUS: This song is totally making me want to visit Key West—that and the sudden cold spell Denver is having for the next two days. I’m so ready for spring.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? FINS by Jimmy Buffett

I love reading other blogs, but I have to be honest and say I haven’t been looking at my favorite sites for over two weeks. I feel so out of the loop.

So it was interesting to see one of my stats being batted around—the stat that last year the Nelson Agency read over 20,000 queries and we took on 8 new authors.

But here’s where the confession comes in.

I didn’t read 20,800 queries. My incredible assistant Sara Megibow read 20,800 queries (three cheers for Sara!) and I think it’s important that writers know the truth about that—that there are many agents who have assistants who screen the queries.

I probably only read about 4000 queries.

And how did I get that number? Well Sara, on average, usually sets aside about 60 or 80 queries for me to look at out of about 400 a week. With a little simple math, I came up with the number 4000--which I’m basically just pulling out of a hat.

Now there are some agents who read all their own queries (bless their souls—I don’t know how they do it), but I think writers should at least understand that the possibility exists that screening occurs.

In good news though, I’ve taken on two new clients since January—both from queries that were received and not by referral. Now how that will shake out in terms of final numbers for the rest of the year, I’ll let you know.