Pub Rants

57 Fulls & Counting

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STATUS: You guys are going to laugh but I plumb forgot to blog yesterday. I’ll blame it on all the snow Denver is getting. I’m having a huge affair with Starbuck’s eggnog chai I must add.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SILENT NIGHT by Stevie Nicks

We keep track of all the full manuscripts we read, and we also keep a copy of the response letter. Since we do everything by email, you never know when a response might not have reached the writer. It’s even worse when the writer emails us six months later asking about the status. Oi. We feel terrible when that happens. The poor writer had to wait all those extra months to hear just because of an email snafu.

Out of idle curiosity, I looked in the file and so far we’ve read and responded to 52 full manuscripts this year.

Must be slacking! We looked at 57 last year.

Then I remembered that not all the reviewed manuscripts are included there. I had a record number of referrals from current clients, other agents, and even editors this year.

That added more than 10 other manuscript reviews to that total. All in all, I’d say we easily looked at about 70 full manuscripts (or proposals from already published authors).

We took on 6 new clients this year. That’s a new record for me. All of them sold except for the last client I took on and she’s only been with me for a week so there really hasn’t been time to do anything but formalize our agreement.

And probably the real statistics you’d want to know is how many authors I passed on that were picked up by other agents and sold. I have to say that I don’t really track that but I do keep a casual list if something sounds familiar or if I remember the project.

I have that I passed on at least five different authors. Personally, I’m glad they found the perfect agent to represent and sell them.

14 Responses

  1. Linnea said:

    I know what you mean about the snow. I’m a lot farther north than you – northern B.C., Canada. It’s snowing right now and we’ve already got about 18 inches. Ugh. Sounds like you’ve had a productive year! Time for a rest.

  2. Thomas Smith said:

    Chalk me up as one of the authors who got a form rejection on a partial read — and found the perfect agent for the book elsewhere! 🙂 Just wasn’t your cup of tea. ‘Tis the nature of the business!

  3. Mr. Guinness said:

    Guess what? I write, but I don’t submit.
    Why? Because I wrote for my ancestors,(ie,kids, grandchildren, etc.)because they simply will have a better meory and appreciation of “Dad”, “Grandpa”, etc,as they take thier royalty checks to the bank!
    You have to motivate memories,…good or bad! It helps when they come with a check!
    (OK , I’m a not a “warm huggy bear”)

  4. Tia Nevitt said:

    I, on the other hand, was one of the 52 who Kristin didn’t take on! I still have not gotten any takers, but I have been heavy into revisions since about April, so that’s hardly surprising.

    Even though I’m still agentless, I find endless encouragement in the fact that my novel was among the 52 out of what was probably well over 20,000 manuscripts, if Kristin’s stats from 2006 hold true for 2007.

    Since then, I’ve written another novel (or most of one), and I think is an even stronger novel. In fact, part of the reason I tore back into the one Kristin rejected is because I wanted to apply all that newfound writing polish to it. I am very excited about the results

    Please wish me luck for the new year!

  5. Allison Brennan said:

    Tia, FWIW, I wrote five books with over 100 agent rejections (some on fulls) before I found an agent and sold. Each one was better than the last. And, since I’ve been published, I’ve found my work improving as well. So keep going! Just the fact that Kristin requested a full shows that you have *something* extra–most writers don’t even get that far.

  6. Lara Zielin said:

    I, too, was rejected by Kristin but she was right to do it. My novel sucked. The thing is, I kept re-writing it and, praise be, I landed an agent (and a book deal) in 2007. I love this blog, it’s one of my faves, and I’ve learned so much from it. Even rejections can be good things if you use them as fuel to just keep re-writing. And re-writing and …

  7. Carrie said:

    I’ll step forward and say I’m one of the authors Kristin passed on but who later got an agent and sold 🙂 My YA book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, will be published hardcover by Delacorte in Spring 2009.

    In fact, I just blogged about what a subjective business this is (I got a form rejection from an agent the day after I sold and another the day I got my advance check). In the end, I think that I found the best agent for me and so I’m glad I got rejected by those who thought it wouldn’t be a good fit.

    It really does go to show how everything tends to work out for the best! Congrats to Kristin’s new clients (and to those who got requests for fulls)!!

  8. thomas smith said:

    Yes, it’s an incredibly subjective business. It’s SO important your agent absolutely loves the book. 99 agents could pass and as long as one legit agent loves it and knows how to sell it, that’s all that matters!

  9. writer in exile said:

    As another one of the 52, I have to admit it perks me up to learn that Kristin receives around 20,000 queries a year. Enough to make me put myself out there yet (sigh) again.