Thursday, September 15, 2011

What are the odds?

As you know, I submitted my first book a while ago to a lot of agents/agencies. The total number of submissions was 101 (like the number of dalmatians.) In hopes that you might find it interesting, here's the breakdown.
  • 101 queries sent
  • Total number of replies (any) 49
  • Total number of no reply (any) 52
  • Total percent of agents/agencies that didn't reply at all 51.4%
Seriously. Just a smidgen over 51% of agents/agencies chose the "no response = no interest" methodology. Now while I understand their reasoning, and have spoken about that very topic before, these agents/agencies need to understand something important.
Agents and agencies that responded in any fashion whatsoever will get first "dibs" on any future submissions, and agents and agencies that chose not to respond will not receive a submission in the future.
That's an important thing they're missing. See, sure, perhaps my first novel didn't grab 'em, I can dig that. Not all things are meant for everyone--we're not talking the mythological chameleon here--we're talking about a story; but what if my next book is a million seller? What if, because of their unwillingness to put forth the extremely simple effort of firing back an email that says "No, but thank you," they get nothing? Does that not mean that some other agent does receive the "glory" of the find?

Yep. That's what it means exactly.

Now, I'm not saying my next book will blow you out of the water--I have literally no way to know if that's the case--but it makes you wonder a little why agents would chance a guaranteed future failure to acquire against the ten seconds it takes to reply with a negative acceptance.

At least, I wonder about that. And I wonder about how many mistakes of this sort it takes for them to realize the error of their ways--or is it that they simply don't care?

Agents, those of you who were so kind as to reply in any manner at all, I thank you from the bottom of my stone-cold heart. I truly do. But for those that fail to take into consideration that simple act, I wish you well on your journey, but I will not be joining you.

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