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Patty
07-12-2018, 05:41 PM
This isn't the same as the other thread asking about the summer slowdown, although it's related.

I just don't have a firm grasp on numbers (percetanges) of responses to expect to a query. So that's my question here.

I've sent seven queries beginning about six weeks ago. I'm holding now, to gauge response. I expect seven rejections, because I think this is the way it is, and I'm not bothered by that part of it.

One agent said no fairly quickly.
Two of the agencies said if they don't answer in 4 - 6 weeks = No.

I suppose I was sort of expecting to get responses on maybe half, that those would be no's, or possibly a request for pages followed by no's.

But for 6 out of 7 I've heard nothing at all. I'll put the two that said they don't reply with 'no's' into the no pile at six weeks, not a big deal, but that still leaves four up in the air. I don't really feel like emailing to check and that's not my question anyway.

My question is, is this the normal definitive response rate for a no? Do 85% of agents really not respond at all (besides the auto reply 'got your query')?

Marissa D
07-12-2018, 06:00 PM
I don't know about precise percentages but yes, the "no response means no" thing, whether stated as policy or not, is becoming more and more common. I think enough agents have been burned by nasty responses to rejections that they're finding it easier (and probably less exhausting) to not respond. And response times can vary wildly. When I was last querying agents a couple of years ago, I never expected to hear anything sooner than 3-4 weeks, and usually assumed after 8-10 that it was a no...but sometimes I'd get requests for mss. at 12 and beyond.

It's a messy business and not really amenable to quantifying, unfortunately.

Thedrellum
07-12-2018, 06:03 PM
Yes? It really depends on the agents you are talking about because the norms of responding or not responding vary a lot from agent to agent. There are no guaranteed ways to know what's going on with your query at a particular agency until you receive a response BUT if you have the money QueryTracker has some tools which might help. Specifically, you can see when people report sending in their queries and when they report getting a response (you can also get this through the BR&BC section of the forums here and through comments on individual agent's pages on QueryTracker, but that requires more wading), and this can give you an idea as to whether the agents you've submitted to take (on average) 4 weeks, 3 months, or never respond at all.

When querying, I found it best to just assume my queries were sent into the void and continue to send out more regularly. Anyway, best of luck with the (draining, sometimes demoralizing, sometimes exciting) process.

Patty
07-12-2018, 06:11 PM
I feel like there should be metrics out there for the actual percentage of agencies that simply don't reply at all.

I feel like ... we have estimates on a lot of other things, and this seems like an obvious one to look at too. Do 20% of queries get a definitive response on average? 50%? 2%?

Collie
07-12-2018, 06:17 PM
I pulled up the ‘premium’ query tracker report on average responses for qt users.

49.1% - no response
35.9% - rejection
6.1% - still out (qt marks as no response by default at 120 days)
5.0% - full request
3.9% - partial request

Patty
07-12-2018, 06:25 PM
Exactly what I was wondering. THANK YOU. :) :Hug2:

I don't have the premium. Was just browsing the QT net there and thinking that if I had one more forum in my life any last bit of writing time would evaporate in a puff of gibberish.

Old Hack
07-12-2018, 08:22 PM
There's no one answer to this question, I'm afraid.

Every book is different, so every book will get a different response.

Some books have no chance of getting a response at query stage because they're so poorly written no agents will know what to say. Some books have such a good chance of being published that they'll get responses from almost every agent queried.

If you want to understand how this works, look up Slushkiller, on Making Light.

Harlequin
07-12-2018, 08:45 PM
Query tracker stats and my own experiences so far is that agents respond VERY quickly if interested. Not always, but many do. (Qt shows you how quickly people record responses and where you are in a queue.)

And it makes sense. If you see a hot project, you leap on it. Or you lose out to faster agents.

The consistent trend I'm seeing is faster agent responses overall, but at the expense of No Reply Means No now being standard.

Unless the agent consistently takes a month to reply (some British agents do) then I write them off as CNR after two weeks. On average.

Patty
07-12-2018, 09:12 PM
Thanks Harlequin-

I assume this to be the case. My book will be a tough sell on basis of subject matter alone, but I'm not writing to be a famous author, as mentioned too many times before - - - :) - - - But rather to get to the point where self publishing the clearest and most engaging book I can write makes sense.

I don't want to query all 120 agents at once if feedback on a couple queries ends up being ... actually ... helpful to a subsequent round. Cuz I would take an agent if one was interested. And I think the process does result in a more engaging book ...

Another issue here, is that some agencies have multiple agents who could fit but I need an R from one before subbing another at that agency. I think.

So, the metrics several posts are useful.

Maybe I should find on QT which SFF agents are good about responding, query them for the feedback they *might* give, and then tweaking for the rest.

OldHack - thanks for the tip on slush killer.

Harlequin
07-12-2018, 09:23 PM
Good about responding only means they respond at all. I've got a spreadsheet listing sff agents by responsiveness but all that means i s you get form rejections, mostly. It is VANISHINGLY rare to get personalised rejections IME, even on partials and fulls (the latter is based on what friends have told me).

I think my query is decent (I hope that doesnt sound like a brag). I am estimating I will end up with a 10-15% response rate at best. Either way, I've had NIL feedback on the query -- agents simply dont tend to give that.

It sucks but it is what it is.

Patty
07-12-2018, 09:56 PM
In my book, a form rejection 'counts' as feedback.

I do think we all understand the vagaries of this particular business. The problem of non-response is hardly limited to publishing, either.


Thanks again!

Sparverius
07-12-2018, 10:04 PM
At least 30% of my queries garnered no response at all. Though a lot of agents (like mine) may simply miss a query and like to have a reminder nudge if it’s been over their stated time frame. Usually/hopefully they state this preference somewhere.

Here’s a good BookEnds rant about agents/agencies not responding to queries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUVmLcwJkQ4

Carrie in PA
07-12-2018, 10:26 PM
Non-response would be more palatable if they at least had an autoresponse so you know your query was received at all.

% of response is just as subjective as the rest of this business. An amazing query might garner a 90% response rate, and a really terrible one might not get any response at all.

When I was querying, I had about a 70% response rate overall. 90% of those responses were "no thanks," but those were better than no response.



The whole industry reminds me of the intro to Whose Line is it Anyway: "the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter." :tongue

Undercover
07-12-2018, 11:19 PM
Query tracker stats and my own experiences so far is that agents respond VERY quickly if interested. Not always, but many do. (Qt shows you how quickly people record responses and where you are in a queue.)

And it makes sense. If you see a hot project, you leap on it. Or you lose out to faster agents.

The consistent trend I'm seeing is faster agent responses overall, but at the expense of No Reply Means No now being standard.

Unless the agent consistently takes a month to reply (some British agents do) then I write them off as CNR after two weeks. On average.


I agree that agents respond quickly if they're interested. Although requests for fulls still happen after, but very rarely. IMO I think the no response thing is getting worse. BUT luckily there are still places that respond either way.

pingle
07-12-2018, 11:35 PM
From the 12 I sent out earlier this year I got 10 form rejections. All UK agents, and all within a month I think. I've got a handful out now and it definitely feels like a longer wait, only one responce so far.

lizmonster
07-13-2018, 12:22 AM
I agree that agents respond quickly if they're interested. Although requests for fulls still happen after, but very rarely. IMO I think the no response thing is getting worse. BUT luckily there are still places that respond either way.

Given that AFAIK agents read queries in the order they arrive (apart from personal referrals), I'm not sure how this makes sense.

Harlequin
07-13-2018, 12:34 AM
Things that look good they seem to respond quickly to. Lots of stuff seems to get put on a maybe pile, and only gets read jf an offer comes in from elsewhere. If no offer does then it gets jettisoned with the crayon queries. Not saying it works that way for everyone but some agents seem to work that way and qt appears to back that up.

Liz_V
07-13-2018, 01:02 AM
I think about 85% of the agents I've queried have responded.

However, I tend to give preference to agents who do send responses. I won't refuse to query a NR=N agent if they sound good otherwise, but it's a point against them. And it's a big point against an agent if they say they respond, but reports from writers (on threads here, and elsewhere) indicate that they actually don't. (I prefer to work with people who do what they say they'll do.) So my data is self-selected toward responders.

Also, 7 is a pretty small sample set.


Hereís a good BookEnds rant about agents/agencies not responding to queries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUVmLcwJkQ4

Jessica Faust is a class act. She read my full a while ago; her turn-around time was fast, and her rejection, though brief, was polite and detailed enough to make it clear she'd read the whole book and given it due consideration. I'm not surprised that she makes a number of very good points in that video.

lizmonster
07-13-2018, 01:21 AM
Things that look good they seem to respond quickly to. Lots of stuff seems to get put on a maybe pile, and only gets read jf an offer comes in from elsewhere. If no offer does then it gets jettisoned with the crayon queries. Not saying it works that way for everyone but some agents seem to work that way and qt appears to back that up.

One of the few things I learned while agented is that they don't look at incoming subs every day. Sometimes it's weeks, or even months, before they return to their backlog. This isn't callous disregard; it's them having work to do for paying clients. If you send them a requested partial the same day they (for example) learn they have to negotiate film rights for a client, you're going to be waiting, even if you're the second coming of John Grisham.

If they've requested a partial and you tell them you've got another offer, of course they're going to stop what they're doing (assuming they have any bandwidth) to take a glance at it at that point.

I may be completely wrong. But based on what I see discussed on Twitter, and what I heard while I was agented myself, very few of them have time for a pile of "I'm not wildly enthusiastic but I'll keep it around to maybe look at on a slow day" subs. They read when they can, and they decide when they read. But delays between us subbing and them reading is really unlikely to have anything to do with us at all.

It's also worth remembering that QT data is self-reported, and I don't think they get the participation level of a place like Submission Grinder. I'd take any data there with a big grain of salt, and I wouldn't do much interpreting of what I saw.

Harlequin
07-13-2018, 01:32 AM
I know the data is dodgy, but it goes back years, and lots of agents (at least on my list) have a faster yes/request time than a no/reject time. Sometime by a significant margin.

lizmonster
07-13-2018, 01:40 AM
I know the data is dodgy, but it goes back years, and lots of agents (at least on my list) have a faster yes/request time than a no/reject time. Sometime by a significant margin.

You may very well be right. But I can't get past the fundamental illogic of the premise, and there are too many simpler ways of explaining the data.

ap123
07-13-2018, 03:06 AM
It's been my experience that requests usually, but not always, come quickly.
It's been my experience that the percentage of non-responders has increased over time.
It's been my experience that the percentages of both requests and responses are variable with the genre being queried.

One final--I've only been able to see average percentages after a large number of queries. In other words, let's say I sent 100 queries, and when all was said and done, I had a 20% request rate, and 40% non-responders. There is a chance that in the first batch of 10, I had 0 requests, and 1 non-responder. In the next batch of ten, I might have had 4 requests, and 6 non-responders, etc. Inevitably, there are some stragglers: a request that comes 3 months after the query was sent, rejections that come 5 months, 7 months, even a year after querying, long after I closed them out as non-responders. I had a rejection arrive in my inbox last week on a requested full sent 2 years ago.

screenscope
07-13-2018, 03:07 AM
When I used to do blanket querying, I would be very lucky to get a 10% response, but these days I do a lot of targeted research and send out small batches of queries (4-6 at a time) for a 50-75% response. This is probably because the research means I can personalise the query, which agents, I think, appreciate and makes them more likely to respond.

But as others have said, positive responses and manuscript requests tend to come back within a few days and I find that a response after two weeks is highly likely to be a rejection.

Harlequin
07-13-2018, 03:16 AM
I guess I dont see it as illogical.

If I were an agent, I would absolutely prioritise queries that look amazeballs, otherwise I risk losing out (esp if newish and still building a list). The rest I'd leave and either not answer or follow up later if I'm still interested and/or the hot stuff I've prioritised doesnt pan out.

A lot of agents now seem to say they will respond within 2-4 weeks or not st all, but if you bring up their data, the vast majority if requests are within 0-3 days in many cases, with only a handful of outliers being requested much later.

In a way, it's better. I write off most agents as CNR after a couple of weeks (you can track whether or not people who queried after you are getting requests which helps). I'm not sat here holding out hope four months down the line. Mostly.

British agents seem slower but they're usually more inclined to reply. Not always.

lizmonster
07-13-2018, 03:29 AM
If I were an agent, I would absolutely prioritise queries that look amazeballs, otherwise I risk losing out (esp if newish and still building a list). The rest I'd leave and either not answer or follow up later if I'm still interested and/or the hot stuff I've prioritised doesnt pan out.

Which doesn't seem logical to me at all.

Based on what I read, there is no "if I'm still interested" list. They either love it enough to request, or they pass. There's no prioritized list; there's just yes or no. I've seen folks like Laura Zats talk about having "maybe" feelings about a query before deciding. The time between thinking "Hm, I wonder..." and deciding yes or no is possibly twenty minutes.

I just disbelieve that this "well, if nothing better comes along" list exists. Agents don't have that much time to put into queries - the fifteen-second yes/no decision takes far more bandwidth than a lot of them have to spare in the first place.

And I suppose I'll never know if I'm right about that, unless I somehow become an agent myself.

Patty
07-13-2018, 03:33 AM
Perhaps the passes at some agencies are handled by administrative staff, and maybe they do them on a separate schedule.

I queried somebody (with their name in the address, so I thought it'd go to their box) and had an auto reply from another person saying they were out of the office. From this, I infer that some agencies have administrative folks (and people here would know better than me.)

Whereas a positive response may have a different route of contact.

Patty
07-13-2018, 03:39 AM
And I also assumed that email queries have contact information on them, because ... email. As in, I don't need to clog up the query with my email address for an email query.

I had the odd thought today that this might not be the case. I am not grasping at straws, simply realizing that made an assumption that I didn't need to provide my email address or phone number in the query itself, and you know what, I think will from now on.

Kats
07-13-2018, 04:48 AM
And I also assumed that email queries have contact information on them, because ... email. As in, I don't need to clog up the query with my email address for an email query.

I had the odd thought today that this might not be the case. I am not grasping at straws, simply realizing that made an assumption that I didn't need to provide my email address or phone number in the query itself, and you know what, I think will from now on.

Yes, add your contact info (I put address and phone number) at the end of the email! (ETA: I also included email address.)

Most agencies say on their websites if no response means no and after how long. I put this info in my spreadsheet for queries so I knew when to close it out.

As a counter to interest usually coming quickly, my agent asked for more material after 5 weeks of sending the query, and then it was nearly 4 months after that for offer of rep. I think it really depends on the agent and where they are in their workload! (And yes, you do want an agent who prioritizes client work to queries!)

Sparverius
07-13-2018, 06:08 AM
Re: Harlequin and lizmonster… I only have one example of this, but recently (when I nudged on a query with an offer) I did have an agent say "I've been holding it for further consideration." She had a query and 5 pages, for about a month after I queried her. I can only assume this means it went into a Maybe pile.

lizmonster
07-13-2018, 06:27 AM
Re: Harlequin and lizmonster… I only have one example of this, but recently (when I nudged on a query with an offer) I did have an agent say "I've been holding it for further consideration." She had a query and 5 pages, for about a month after I queried her. I can only assume this means it went into a Maybe pile.

Well, just because I think it doesn't make sense doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about. :)

Fuchsia Groan
07-13-2018, 08:37 AM
My now-agent took more than a month to request a full from me, which came as a surprise since I'd read that if I didn't get a request in a day or two, I never would. But my belief that requests had to be instant did encourage me to forget about queries as soon as I sent them, which was better for my overall peace of mind. :) I never looked at response times, just reworked the letter and moved on to the next agent on my list, assuming the previous ones were probably nos.

Patty
07-13-2018, 05:22 PM
Well, for sure my strategy needs to change. I had thought that 'send out batches in 6 - 12' made sense because one could tweak.

But (1) with no responses coming and (2) the fact that most of these have pages attached anyway, and (3) my sense that I'll self publish in the end ... this strategy doesn't make sense anymore. I feel as though I've set this hurdle for myself of querying in small batches, gauging response ... but the math would work out to the querying alone taking like ten months to get through the list of ~120 agents. You guys would hear me moaning for the next year.

I think I'll send out twenty today and see what happens. I've been researching them, have even written some of them up.

Twenty queries. today's goal. Go from there.

mpack
07-13-2018, 06:06 PM
Looking at a couple of the projects I've queried, it looks like about 1/3 never reply. Very few rejections give any personalized feedback; I've had more requests for additional materials than personalized rejections on the query.

For whatever it's worth, I query in batches. 5-10 to start and add a few any time I receive a rejection.

Liz_V
07-13-2018, 06:28 PM
And I suppose I'll never know if I'm right about that, unless I somehow become an agent myself.

And even then, you'd only know for sure how one agent does it. ;)

Patty
07-13-2018, 06:43 PM
All of it helps for me to contextualize.

Halfway there. Ten. Need a break. Gonna bike.

Harlequin
07-15-2018, 01:15 PM
Here is a good video blog covering some of the topics we've been talking about (specifically, check ins and how quickly offers happen or don't happen.)

Huge salt, this is ONE agent at ONE agency and as she says, the do vary a lot. Plus even in her case, some reads take longer. But it's a useful data point nonetheless.

http://bookendsliterary.com/2018/07/13/how-long-will-it-take-for-an-offer-of-representation/

Sage
07-15-2018, 06:08 PM
I have to admit that the idea that an agent pounces on requests at the query stage is baffling to me, since agents are constantly telling us that the reason it's taking them so long is that they haven't gotten a chance to look at their query inbox. How can they know what's a hot commodity before they read the query?

At the full stage, sure, I'll buy that an agent who was super-excited about the query (and maybe first pages) might have that full jump the line because they're worried about missing out, but at the query stage, how can they know?

However, it's totally possible that the agents who are faster to respond are also the ones with more time to read fulls, and so they might be more likely to request than an agent who doesn't have time to look at her inbox. And non-responses are waiting for infinity, so you have no idea whether the agent rejected you just as fast as they requested from someone else, because it never comes. I realize that as far as the author is concerned, it's the same thing. Still, I personally wouldn't write off an agent just because no response came in the first 2 weeks. But I also suggest not waiting on every individual query, anticipating when it will get a response, either. Save that for the full requests ;)

Harlequin
07-15-2018, 08:20 PM
in the video she stresses that things happen quickly once she's read the full BUT that getting to the actual query can take time. So a bit of both I suppose.

Knight Agency has an intern who reads the queries (or seems to, since all rejections come signed by the office assistant) and their turn around is about 0-3 days for quick rejections. Suzie Townsend, Ginger Clarke, and all the Triada gang say they'll answer in 2 weeks or not at all. But then others takes months I guess.

Anyways. I'm probably overanalysing.

WeaselFire
07-15-2018, 10:25 PM
My question is, is this the normal definitive response rate for a no? Do 85% of agents really not respond at all (besides the auto reply 'got your query')?

There are no absolutes. On percentages responding or time responding. I actually once got a response to a query six months after the book had been published by a different agent/publisher. The two agents I know well will say they probably respond, other than a canned response no, to about .001% of the queries they receive. The vast majority of non-responses are because they get queries like "Hi, will you publish my novel?" or "I have written a 6,000 word book about the history of the world that will alter your beliefs!"

They also seem to get a ton of queries for stuff they don't rep. Amazing how many people are writing LGBT porn and sending it to agents who rep children and preteen books. But for every writer responsible enough to check the agent's credentials and look to see what genres they are looking for, there are a thousand who blast emails off to every agent listed anywhere for anything.

The magic of email the internet and electronic societies today is that stuff comes in greater volume and with a far wider range of quality. It's only natural that agents will simply ignore the drivel, hoping it just goes away. There's plenty more coming in tomorrow.

Advice? Six weeks is nothing, especially when agents are getting their kids out of the city on summer break. Be patient. And stop looking at response rates unless you're also reviewing your query's appropriateness and effectiveness. Send a dozen queries, wait a few weeks, send a dozen more. If you're like many writers, eventually you'll get a really good and encouraging response.

Jeff

Liz_V
07-16-2018, 04:15 AM
On the subject of Maybe piles, I just happened to run across this:
http://www.michelle4laughs.com/2015/07/query-questions-with-heather-flaherty.html

...in which the agent says that she frequently holds on to queries to give herself time to think about them before responding. Now, that interview's a few years old, so maybe this is more of a new-agent thing, but clearly some agents do it.

I'm sure I've seen other agents saying that they never/hardly ever "hold" a query; it's yes or no on the first read.

Which means it's down to the individual agent's working style, and you can't predict one from another. Which sums up a heckuva lot about this business.

Patty
07-16-2018, 06:04 AM
Funnily, if I had an agent, I'm sure my feeling would be "Why are you looking at queries when you should be helping sell my book?"

:) I would never want to be an agent.

I'm happy with my new strategy. I had the wrong idea going in: Six queries, tweak based on the response, six more, rinse and repeat. If there is no response, or the response can take this long, then you know what? that strategy simply doesn't work.

I only made it to ten the other day, but that's OK. I'm up to 18 overall. Still only one response of the original six. Each one has been researched. :-)

Treehouseman
07-21-2018, 02:15 PM
My last 2 agents read through Queries, Partials, to Fulls, to offers, both in under a week. I'm just suspecting that if it doesn't come hugely quickly than the chance of a positive reply may fall sharply after a fortnight, or it may be down to luck.

I got a whole rash of requests and replies at the 4 month mark though, and I made a habit of querying "responders" mostly. So in the end about 60% got back to me.

Patty
07-21-2018, 07:23 PM
I'm only at 10% response (2 rejections of 20 queries; 18 non-responses) including having queried agents who claim to respond.

I doubt 90% did not read it, which likely means my story is not something they see as marketable. I knew that going in. It's also an important topic (climate change.)

I really suspect my outlier data point here, is down to those two things. Important topic and some agents probably emotionally agree, but hard to market a book that says we are killing ourselves.

Harlequin
07-21-2018, 07:38 PM
10% is fine, considered a good rate. I was at 10%, on track to drop to less than that. Chasing up with receipt at offers means my final tally for people actually answering was only slightly better than 10% in the end. (Even then, 3/10 people I chased up didn't bother answering.)

It sounds like your query package is doing all it should.

mpack
07-21-2018, 08:01 PM
I'm only at 10% response (2 rejections of 20 queries; 18 non-responses) including having queried agents who claim to respond.

I doubt 90% did not read it, which likely means my story is not something they see as marketable. I knew that going in. It's also an important topic (climate change.)

I really suspect my outlier data point here, is down to those two things. Important topic and some agents probably emotionally agree, but hard to market a book that says we are killing ourselves, folks.

So my guess is this is why I'm getting so few responses - It's easier to ignore the query and put it into some sort of limbo, than to face to topic or reject it outright.

According to the posts in this thread, your oldest queries have been out about two months, and the newest queries aren't even two weeks old yet. You can't reach any conclusion from the lack of response at this point. You're still well within the response time frame for many agents.

As for putting your query into limbo, I don't see it. According to tenqueries and similar twitter projects, agents receive a lot of message fiction, and they have no problem rejecting queries that don't work for them.

Sage
07-21-2018, 09:09 PM
I'm only at 10% response (2 rejections of 20 queries; 18 non-responses) including having queried agents who claim to respond.

I doubt 90% did not read it, which likely means my story is not something they see as marketable. I knew that going in. It's also an important topic (climate change.)

I really suspect my outlier data point here, is down to those two things. Important topic and some agents probably emotionally agree, but hard to market a book that says we are killing ourselves, folks.

So my guess is this is why I'm getting so few responses - It's easier to ignore the query and put it into some sort of limbo, than to face to topic or reject it outright.


10% is fine, considered a good rate. I was at 10%, on track to drop to less than that. Chasing up with receipt at offers means my final tally for people actually answering was only slightly better than 10% in the end. (Even then, 3/10 people I chased up didn't bother answering.)

It sounds like your query package is doing all it should.

Actually, I believe she was saying she has 10% of any kind of response, not of requests. 10% is considered a good request rate, not a good response rate.

However, I agree with mpack that it's too early to say this bunch of queries have any definitive stats at all. 2 months is nothing in the world of querying. Really and truly.

Harlequin
07-21-2018, 09:15 PM
Ah, sorry, my bad. Although, I was keeping track of my response rate, so I guess mine is low too (because I didn't have a 10% request rate until nudging) but as before, it's not been very long.

I don't know of any agents who opt for no response because they dislike a query; they'll have a blanket policy one way or another.

Patty
07-22-2018, 03:43 AM
Maybe.

Thanks.

Sage
07-22-2018, 04:12 AM
When I was more actively querying, and before QT changed so that non-subscribers can't see data beyond querying, I was more often than not the person who was the longest wait before response. I don't know if that's because most people who waited that long or longer gave up on keeping track on QT, or if I just had the misfortune of hitting agents at their slowest times or if something about my novels were just interesting enough to request but not interesting enough to read in a timely manner. There were times when I was on the earlier or middle of the stats too, but I just couldn't believe how many times I'd be waiting beyond the longest time. But rare were the times when a request didn't get a response (back then, at least).

I don't remember what my stats were for queries. I track them on a spreadsheet for my own uses, but I tend to send out queries and forget about them, after the first 10.

CharlesXav
08-23-2018, 05:26 AM
I pulled up the Ďpremiumí query tracker report on average responses for qt users.

49.1% - no response
35.9% - rejection
6.1% - still out (qt marks as no response by default at 120 days)
5.0% - full request
3.9% - partial request

Wow! Thanks for that information. I was always curious as well. Looks like I'm ahead of the pack with an 85% response rate although they all were rejections - ha!

LeslieWilliams
02-01-2019, 08:00 PM
Somewhere there's an email query waiting room, with under-stuffed metal chairs and three year old magazines. And really bad coffee. Where folk sit and sweat, knowing rejection is never hearing at all....

Patty
02-01-2019, 08:58 PM
What? The thread revived. Cool!

Hi Leslie, yes there is definitely such a waiting room. :-)

Well, of those initial seven queries mentioned in the first post, from last summer, here are the current stats:

One R came in after two weeks. A second R came in after twelve weeks.

The other five had no response. Two of those five said no response=no, leaving three queries (almost half of the initial seven) in complete limbo. I nudged on one of those three, appealing agent, but still heard nothing...

SOOO... the non-response rate on those seven was 5/7, or ~70%, and almost half (3/7) should have responded according to their websites (as far as I can tell) and never did.

I am very glad I am not sending one query letter at a time and waiting for a response on it, heh.

LeslieWilliams
02-02-2019, 06:36 AM
I was sending one at a time...no wonder I got discouraged.

Remember those old war movies, where planes rained flyers down on those below, trying to make a difference?

Harlequin
02-02-2019, 12:11 PM
Agents encourage authors to simultaneously submit, and to submit widely--I would definitely go that route if you query again in future.

Patty
02-02-2019, 08:13 PM
Yep--I agree. Keeping track of everything (in a spreadsheet) is also useful--for me, to help me track what is an isn't working--especially since the rules and expectations are different at many of these agencies.

But, they all expect personalization and research of the agents.

aus10phile
02-03-2019, 06:35 PM
Well, if it's helpful, I'll share my stats on my last MS, as disappointing as they are! I sent 102 queries and had 40 no responses. A few of those listed timeframes where no response means no, but not most of them. I queried this MS in 2 rounds, the first half in 2016. Then I did major revisions and queried again in 2018.

Patty
02-03-2019, 08:46 PM
Between all of us, it sounds like a very full waiting room! Hopefully there are enough chairs.

popmuze
02-03-2019, 09:00 PM
Well, if it's helpful, I'll share my stats on my last MS, as disappointing as they are! I sent 102 queries and had 40 no responses. A few of those listed timeframes where no response means no, but not most of them. I queried this MS in 2 rounds, the first half in 2016. Then I did major revisions and queried again in 2018.

Any requests? In my case, a few years ago, I must have had 40 full requests (out of maybe 100 queries sent). Although I had a couple of r&Rs, and in one case signed with an agent for a few months before we broke up, nothing happened. I thoroughly rewrote the manuscript and this year I've sent out maybe 40 queries with probably 30 no responses and 10 form rejections. No one requested even a partial.

Harlequin
02-03-2019, 10:41 PM
I narrowed my selection from 160 to 50, picking agents who either had a "you'll hear in 2 weeks or not at all" and agents who are supposed to answer. Still had a 47% CNR rate (but a 16% request rate).

aus10phile
02-03-2019, 11:04 PM
Any requests? In my case, a few years ago, I must have had 40 full requests (out of maybe 100 queries sent). Although I had a couple of r&Rs, and in one case signed with an agent for a few months before we broke up, nothing happened. I thoroughly rewrote the manuscript and this year I've sent out maybe 40 queries with probably 30 no responses and 10 form rejections. No one requested even a partial.

I had 9 requests on that MS, which ended up being all rejections. I'm not that sad about it now because I like my new MS a lot better, and it's off to a stronger start. I'm at 5 requests, 11 rejections (9 forms, 2 that are past the response window at no-response-means-no agencies), and 17 still out. I started querying just after the start of year, so I'm expecting responses to at least some of those still out, one way or the other, but I imagine others will be nonresponders.

I use Query Tracker to see who tends to respond to most queries quickly and start with those people so I can get a read on my query letter before I query everyone under the sun and prepare for the long waits.

I do think the number of nonresponders is increasing and that it's harder to get a request... I queried a manuscript in 2014 and had 7 nonresponders, 12 requests, and 9 rejections out of 28 queries sent. But I didn't query nearly as many agents that time, so maybe the numbers are too small to be significant. And maybe I just lucked out with that particular pitch getting all those requests. Or maybe it's because it was a different genre than the last one. idk

aus10phile
02-03-2019, 11:14 PM
Related to the original question, does anyone notice a difference between agents who use Query Manager and agents who don't?

I've noticed that even in the year that has passed since I queried my last MS, a LOT more agents seem be using Query Manager. I would think this would guarantee a response, because nothing gets lost when you have a tracking system like that... but I had a query that has definitely been skipped by an agent. I mean, she's responded to pretty much everyone else's but mine according to Query Tracker. So it could be that I'm in a maybe pile, but I had one very tiny typo in that query (ugh!), and of course I'm wondering if that's the reason! But you would think that if an agent was annoyed by a typo, she would just send a form reject. It's got to be easy with Query Manager.

Anyone have else have nonresponders who use Query Manager?

Patty
02-03-2019, 11:18 PM
My sense is that these QM agents have responded more reliably and I like it (it's a similar system to what is used in academic journals) but I haven't thought to include that variable in my spreadsheet. Until now!

Aus10phile--do you think it is your letter or your opening pages that is getting you a better response on your manuscript now? Or, how you are curating the agents?

Harlequin
02-03-2019, 11:38 PM
Agents definitely have maybe piles, and also if they accept multiple genres they will read only some genres at certain times.

Patty
02-03-2019, 11:43 PM
It must be a strange job. I get overloaded from reading too many books at once. Depending if it's my first crack at something or second attempt to 'get into it;' if I've had coffee or not, what time of day it is, etc etc etc, I can either love a particular book or hate it. And feel differently the next day.

aus10phile
02-04-2019, 12:15 AM
My sense is that these QM agents have responded more reliably and I like it (it's a similar system to what is used in academic journals) but I haven't thought to include that variable in my spreadsheet. Until now!

Aus10phile--do you think it is your letter or your opening pages that is getting you a better response on your manuscript now? Or, how you are curating the agents?

I think it is my query letter and opening pages for the most part. I'm not good at predicting who is going to be interested!

P.K. Torrens
02-04-2019, 10:33 AM
I'm not good at predicting who is going to be interested!

Join the club, heh.

Iíve heard a couple of agents not replying even though they use QM. Rare though. But, I think, itís made a big difference to agents in terms of work flow and control.

Old Hack
02-10-2019, 02:13 PM
I had one very tiny typo in that query (ugh!), and of course I'm wondering if that's the reason! But you would think that if an agent was annoyed by a typo, she would just send a form reject. It's got to be easy with Query Manager.

Good agents aren't going to reject you because of a single typo if the rest of the query is strong. Correct the typo for future submissions; try to stop worrying; keep on submitting.

Vatnip
02-10-2019, 11:22 PM
I haven't done much querying at all, but of the 14 or 15 I sent out, I received 9 rejections. So, 6/15 were no response, or exactly 40%.

All these little calculations based on someones taste are completely and utterly useless for the practicalities of sending queries. However, they are very useful for calming ones brain :P

Maxx
02-13-2019, 03:37 PM
I haven't done much querying at all, but of the 14 or 15 I sent out, I received 9 rejections. So, 6/15 were no response, or exactly 40%.

All these little calculations based on someones taste are completely and utterly useless for the practicalities of sending queries. However, they are very useful for calming ones brain :P

I'm about to start a new cycle of queries. One thing I find somewhat disturbing (though not for any good reason) is getting responses to things I sent out years ago. That has only happened twice, but it was kind of jarring (maybe in a good way?). Naturally, I quickly sent the responders-from-two-or three-years-ago my latest queries and such and this went well since they helpfully (with some interesting remarks at least) and very quickly rejected two or three things at once (more or less).

Thomas Vail
02-14-2019, 12:34 AM
On the subject of Maybe piles, I just happened to run across this:
http://www.michelle4laughs.com/2015/07/query-questions-with-heather-flaherty.html

...in which the agent says that she frequently holds on to queries to give herself time to think about them before responding. Now, that interview's a few years old, so maybe this is more of a new-agent thing, but clearly some agents do it.

I'm sure I've seen other agents saying that they never/hardly ever "hold" a query; it's yes or no on the first read.

Which means it's down to the individual agent's working style, and you can't predict one from another. Which sums up a heckuva lot about this business.
It's down to queues and priorities. Because not only does an agent have to keep prospecting and evaluating new authors, but they have to continue supporting their existing ones as well. As Patty herself said, 'hey, why are you looking at queries when you should be-...' :D Maybe one's person style is to hold onto things for a second look when they have more time, and another's is, they have enough to do already that they never will get to a 'maybe later' pile.