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Query Recap

As I mentioned in my return from vacation post last week in the spirit of Nathan Bransford I tracked all the e-queries I received while on vacation and intend to give you a statistical breakdown of what happened to them.

So here we go…

Total equeries received: 142
**keep in mind that this does not include the pile of proposals and snail mail queries that were also waiting upon my return

• Total equeries that I fished out of the spam filter: 12
• Total equeries rejected: 112
• Total equeries requested: 11
• Number of equeries where I advised the writer to seek help in writing a query letter: 5
• Total equeries from a country outside of the US or Canada: 8
• Total email thank yous from conference attendees (I was away recently at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference): 4
• Emails requested feedback on rejections (can you give me more details on why you are passing?), referrals to other agents, or status updates: 7
• Questions asked of the blog (to be answered later): 8
• Equeries sent to the wrong email address (forwarded from Jacky, Kim or our assistant Linda): 5
• Blank emails with an attached queries (returned to the sender with a note that we don’t accept attachments, but allowing them to resend): 4
• Equeries that I knew had already been rejected by another BookEnds agent: 1
• Equeries that flattered (while I’m not sure it meant I requested the work, these did get a more careful read and at times a personal note. Usually they commented on the blog, our meeting at a conference, or something similar): 7
• Number of equeries rejected primarily because of their word count (too short or too long): 6
• YA (which I don’t represent): 3
• Total equeries that used the wrong name (Janet and Jennifer are popular): 2
• Equeries that I took the time to write a personal note to: 3
• Number of equeries I passed to either Kim or Jacky: 1
• Number of equery responses that bounced back: 2
• And finally…the number of equeries that rejected me: 1 (in this case she signed with another agent before getting her material off to me)

So that’s it. In ten days that was my response to 142 equeries. I’ve actually got a ton to do right now and have to run, but I’d like to do a future post on common reasons why I’m rejecting queries.



Category: Blog



  1. First thing out of my mouth when I read your post was “Holy Cow!”

    The word count is one that interests me. Is it confusion about a genre or maybe a new writer thing? Hmmm, I’ll look forward to your touching on those in a future post.

  2. LOL! And of course, Jessica did NOT mention all the dopey, needy, pathetic emails she gets from her neurotic clients (me) who just need the occasional feedback to keep them motivated and out of the looney bin. If I think MY email is bad–imagine an agent’s is much worse!

  3. This one made me chuckle:

    • Number of equeries where I advised the writer to seek help in writing a query letter: 5


    I guess I should be relieved I’ve never received one of those. *knocks on wood*

  4. Ah, yes, the challenge of getting the name right … People mutilate mine all the time, but “Jessica”? How hard is that? At least you didn’t get any addressed to “Mr. Faust;” at least not this time.

    Thanks for the breakdown, Jessica. I am so not a numbers person, but this fascinated me.

    Kate — you’re too funny. So how many emails do you send Jessica in an average week? *grin*


  5. But none addressed to Fessica? (re: Using Pseudonyms 07/19/07)

    I don’t know why I love these query breakdownsas much as I do, but I think they’re my favorite posts.

  6. Very interesting. I’m exhausted just reading about it. What makes you request or reject a query? Anything glaring that stands out?
    What word count is acceptable?
    What sparks a personal comment?
    Sorry so many questions.

  7. What, so Dear Agent X, I have a great book you should buy. It’s really good. Love, Client 2 B isn’t acceptable?

    Gee whiz, you agents are picky, picky, picky.


  8. I’m fascinated by the breakdown as well! Don’t know why. I am a numbers person, maybe that’s one reason. Also, to see how many queries you recieve in a week, wow!! Must make the few you said yes to feel pretty good, I would think 😉

  9. Like Chiron, I was sobbing with laughter at “Number of equeries where I advised the writer to seek help in writing a query letter: 5”

    Could you post the letter you send to these people?

    ::still snickering::

  10. Kate, you just reminded me – I haven’t sent Jessica a Dopey, Needy, or other such dwarf email in a few days now. I’m falling behind!

    And all I can say after reading this is, I am SO glad I sent in my query 5 years ago!!!

  11. I have a question about BookEnds’ policy, based on something mentioned in this post: If an author is rejected by one BookEnds agent, does that mean they can’t query another?

    This makes it sound like a no-no . . .

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