My (Honest) Querying Statistics

Hello fellow #amwriting and #amquerying friends!

Today I have a super special blog post where I am going to show you my actual querying statistics. This is a tough thing for many people to speak about, but since I closed out all of my current queries (I decided to concentrate on my next book), I am happy to share. For me, I didn’t think there was enough transparency about this part of the process, so I wanted to help my fellow query-ers out!

DISCLAIMER: Although I will be making generalizations about the experience, this only represents one person and one book. Just because this is what my querying statistics look like does not mean it will match yours. I’m just trying to be honest and share what it was like for me so maybe *you* can hop into querying with a better understanding of the process.

My Requests and Rejections:

One of the many questions I asked when I first started querying is: what’s a good request rate? Honestly, I still don’t know the answer. I heard around 20% means you’re on the right track, but in my case, hitting that mark wasn’t a sign that I was going to get an agent. It was just a sign that the beginning of my book was compelling enough for some agents to want more.

I sent my book to 70 agents before I decided I was done and wanted to focus on my next book. Here is the breakdown of requests versus rejections from those 70 agents.

QueryRequest-reject

So I had around that 20% request rate, which is pretty great, but ultimately this was not “The Book”.

Another question I had was, how many agents actually respond to queries vs. how many are no response = no? Again, I don’t have a solid answer, but I can share with you my own experience.

TypesOfRejections

The frustrating truth here is that almost a third of the agents I received a rejection from… I never actually heard from them. Be prepared for this while querying.

My Query Response Times:

Another major question I had was… how long does it take most agents to respond?

For my queries (requests and rejections) here’s what the spread looked like. Keep in mind that the X-axis is in number of days for this one. I had to collapse the number of days on the right side so this graph wasn’t too long.

QueryResponseTimesDays

From this graph you can glean that quite a few agents responded within the first week and then it tapered after that. Another way to look at this same data is in the pie chart below. This pie chart is split into weeks and months.

QueryResponseTimesWeeks.png

From this graph I concluded that 87% of agents responded within 2 months. Therefore I gave the “no response = no” agents a two month window of hope until I crossed them off and emotionally moved on. The only exception to this is when an agent *specifically* mentioned on their website that they took longer (which was the case for some of the longer responders).

Requested Material Response Times

First, here’s a graph on how long it took agents to request more materials from me (fulls/partials).

FullRequestTimes.png

A surprising number of agents requested the very next day (5) and another bunch of agents requested within the first week (3 more). In my experience, most of the agents requested more materials within 2 months, but this is not a significant enough sample size to say that this is anything more than a trend.

After I received these full/partial requests, the next obvious question was, “How long until I hear back?” This one was the most variable and least conclusive of my statistics. Most of the agents who had my full replied within 2 months, but that’s definitely not always the case. Since I only have 13 data points, it doesn’t prove much, but it’s interesting and I wanted to share it regardless.

FullResponseTimes.png

How Accurate are Query Tracker Average Times?

This question was another that I was extremely interested in understanding. There are a few agents who are extremely true to their query tracker times (typically the fast ones) and many agents who definitely are not (typically the no response = no, since if it’s a no you never hear from them).

Here’s a graph showing how “off” query tracker was for the agents I queried. (Note: this is compared to the “over all time” pos/negative response days since I didn’t pay for the premium package)

The negative days mean that I heard back before Query Tracker said I would, the positive days mean that I heard back that many days after Query Tracker said I would.

QueryTrackerAverages

You can use this graph to tell you that only half of agents are even close to being within 2 weeks of Query Tracker timing… so it’s best not to trust it.

Or as I was telling my friends while I was querying, everything’s made up and the Query Tracker timing doesn’t matter (hahaha)

Image result for everything's made up and the points don't matter gif

 

I hope you enjoyed this info! If you did, let me know and I’ll try to do this for any of my future querying.

Also, if you’re interested, check out my previous blog post on general insights and tips from my first time querying. Hope this helps!

https://taratsai.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/tips-from-my-first-time-querying/

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7 thoughts on “My (Honest) Querying Statistics

  1. Wow! Thank you for sharing this info, Tara! The breakdown is so helpful. As someone who’s planning to be #amquerying in the next year and (also sent a few queries out), I really appreciate an inside look. Even though this may not be “the one,” a 20% request rate is really encouraging and shows you’re so close! Good luck on your WIP!

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  2. Much appreciation for the effort you made to produce this useful breakdown! I wonder is there is a pattern where faster responses translate into more positive outcomes, ie requests. Perhaps I missed it in the data. Did you see any pattern between outcome and lag time? Again, fascinating! many thanks!

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    1. One of the graphs that said “partial/full response time” was how long it took a positive response to come to me. There were a decent amount of quick positive responses but that wasn’t always the case. I didn’t have quite enough data to say that was a trend or not but it might possibly be.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been meaning to do something similar for my querying process but I haven’t found the time yet. What surprised me in your report was the quick response times of the agents you queried. Most agents I query take months! Maybe the difference is that I query UK agents. 😉

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