diversity tips · other

Request Statistics

It’s been a while since I wrote a stats post! The other day I compiled months of data. The results…

In 6 months I requested 60 books. They came in at any time: 19 in April, only 3 in July. (Median: 12 requested queries per month.)

The rate of when I requested them was more even. (Median: 9.5 requests per month.) Most required some consideration.

Once I requested a manuscript the day of; four times I requested it the next day.

The average time from receiving the query and requesting pages was 17 days (both mean and median). Longest wait time was 54 days, though I rarely took more than 30.

Note this fast turnaround time is because this is my main job as an intern. An established agent will take longer. It will also take much longer to read the full manuscripts after I request them.

Genres I requested:

  • Thriller / mystery / suspense: 33%
  • Sci-fi / fantasy / urban fantasy: 29%
  • Contemporary / women’s fiction: 24%
  • Romance (incl. paranormal romance): 14%
  • Horror / contemporary paranormal: 14%
  • Nonfiction / memoir / true crime: 6%

These stats somewhat reflect the queries we receive. We get little nonfiction — mostly memoirs, not well-done. Suspense and speculative make up the bulk.

While we don’t get as many romances as those two, I believe it makes up more than 14% of incoming queries. I may judge romance harder because I want wholly original ideas.

We primarily get adult queries, so these numbers aren’t surprising:

  • Adult: 76%
  • YA: 18%
  • New Adult: 6%

Something that saddened me: I requested a total of five LGBTQ books. This isn’t because most LGBTQ queries sucked. (Regardless of my passion for diversity, I only request good books.) We got very few, despite welcoming diverse authors.

I’m guessing, but we may not have received more than a dozen or so LGBTQ queries in the last 6 months.

Of the 5 I requested, one didn’t meet expectations. Another was offered rep and signed on. (Woohoo!) The other three await a final answer.

They run the gamut of genres: speculative, romance, thriller, women’s fiction. Four were adult and one YA, in keeping with my overall stats.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about these requested books: I remember most of them.

No matter how long ago I requested it.

Seeing the title, I instantly know plot and characters and why I requested. A few are unique subgenre mash-ups which I don’t even need the title to remember.

With each one, I associate powerful emotions. Each one was potent and effective at making me feel a certain way. Each one was different. There’s no formula for a great book.

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