Saturday, January 22, 2011

The number game

I've had an AHA!  moment and I want to share it with all of you.

Over at Denise Little's blog (agent) she posted that she was getting 1,600 emails a day!!!  Now, I know there are three things little boys and girls want to be when they grow up--Doctors, Cops, and Writers, but this number jolted me into reality.

Agents are busy people. Don't laugh, I know you know agents are busy people. We all know. But seeing it and hearing it, is much more different than just knowing. Can you imagine having to filter through 1,600 queries! Sometimes I can't even stomach my own, I'm going to try to make sense of another 1,599.

It puts things in perspective.  When working on querying agents remember 1,599.  When writing your hook, pitch, conflict, synopsis, personal statement, first five pages, think 1,599 others waiting to be filtered. All those behind the nameless queries with the same aspiration, skills, and possibly plot idea as yours. 

Don't get discouraged!  That is not my intent with this post.  But learn from it, become better because of it, and know, for reals, that you need to put your best foot forward and then some. And revel in the small victories because if you think 1,599, that small victory jumped a few degrees and made you one step closer to your dreams.


  1. Gee, if an agent is getting that many emails-- we need more agents.
    I believe there is enough room for all of us on those book shelves, but that many emails would make anyone grumpy.

  2. just goes to show how hard it is to stand out and be seen among all those other queries and why it's so important to make our query - and everything that goes with it - the very best it can be.

  3. It is hard to get discouraged with those numbers... We write because we have something to say, something that might make a difference to someone not to be thrown in a slush pile!
    My novel (good or bad) is worth telling, and I am telling it... I am posting a chapter on it every week and would love feedback... This might be be a good approach, but at least my work will be out there and not in a slush pile!
    Hope you can spend 5 minutes to read and comment on my story!

  4. Those are some impressive numbers. Though it makes me nervous, it also makes me realize the importance of putting time and effort into a query. Your query has to stand out in some way for it to be noticed.

  5. Tanya, LOL. I think they should be used to it and love what they do. It's nice to know that we're not the only ones being tortured. LOL.

    Marcy, you are right about getting it the best we can.

    Hi Lisa, I agree our stories are worth telling and there are so many different ways to get published now.

    Heather, I know about nervous...but we keep going.

    Thanks for your comments!


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