Pub Rants

A Year In Statistics

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STATUS: Vacation time!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? CHRISTMAS WRAPPING by The Waitresses

Happy Holidays to all you blog readers. The agency officially closes today and won’t reopen until Wednesday, January 2, 2008.

I won’t be blogging again until the new year, but then I’ll be back and in rare ranting form!

Here are the stats for 2007:

books sold

foreign rights deals done (and that includes one pre-empt and one auction)

number of new clients

estimated number of queries read and responded to (and yes, that is up from last year)

full manuscripts requested (I miscounted the other day)

number of projects currently on submission

major motion picture deal


new deals for previously published clients

deals for new clients (4 of which were debut authors—as in not previously published)

200,000 +
number of copies in print for my bestselling title this year

conferences attended

number of New York Times Bestsellers

number of holiday cards sent

number of Starbucks eggnog chai consumed in the last week

number of late nights reading on the couch with Chutney

number of great days loving my job

Have a safe and happy New Year. I’m out!

46 Responses

  1. L.C.McCabe said:


    Those are impressive numbers. Thank you for sharing and I wish that the coming year is just as successful for you and your clients, if not moreso.


  2. Hélène Boudreau said:

    Congratulations on a fantastic year! You’ve obviously been working your tail off, so enjoy your holidays–you’ve earned them!

  3. Anonymous said:

    Ummm… 22 books sold compared to 30,000 queries read leaves me utterly speechless.

    22 books is A LOT, but the agony of 30,000 queries of writers in need of agents, with books completed, with dreams of authordom… WOW!!!

  4. Anonymous said:

    As one of the 74 fulls you requested this year, out of 30,000 queries, I suppose I should be honored, even though you ended up passing.

    Have a wonderful holiday break, I look forward to your rants in the new year.

  5. Amanda Ashby said:

    I’m so pleased that one of those conferences you attended was our one in New Zealand!!! Have a great holiday, Kristin and I’ll look foward to reading more Pub Rants in the New Year!!!!

  6. Dave Kuzminski said:

    Kristin, I hope you won’t mind if I post this here.

    I dare Barbara Bauer to post her honest statistics for the same categories you listed.

    Actually, I also dare Robert Fletcher and Michele Glance Rooney to likewise post their stats for the same categories.

  7. alienbogey said:

    Fun with numbers, based on 30,000 queries and the other stats:

    82.2 queries per day

    575 queries a week

    405 queries per full manuscript request

    3,750 queries per new client

    Chance of any one query resulting in a new client: .027% *gulp*

    53 holiday cards sent per Starbucks eggnog chai consumed last week

    Thanks for the blog, Happy Holidays.

  8. DoE Writer said:

    Wow Kristen, that is completely incredible. Congratulations on a great year.

    And, come to Germany for a conference! I would love to meet you in person.

  9. Jess said:

    “Chance of any one query resulting in a new client: .027%”

    I think this is the more telling of stats. But then, who knows how many of those are rejected immediately for being the wrong genre, awful format, or simply unreadable? (None of which are illegitimate reasons to reject, but they’re not as alarming as rejections for stories that are good but just don’t have the magic.)

    Happy holidays, Kristin!

  10. LorMarie said:

    Whoa, the difference between queries received and manuscripts requested in mind blowing. Now I understand why the query must stand out above the rest.

  11. swampytad said:

    On behalf of the writers of one of the 29,992 queries that did not result in representation, let me just say, sincerely, thanks for loving your job and working hard at it, and then taking time on the side to let us in on your thoughts. We’ll all get better in this profession because of it.

    Have a happy holidays!

  12. brian_ohio said:

    Have a great vacation, Kristin.

    I think what surprises me most (besides the numbers you posted which are quite brilliant) is your ability to keep your Blog topical and interesting.

    It can’t be easy trying to come up with new stuff 5 times a week.

    Thanks for that.


  13. Josephine Damian said:

    alienbogey: where were you when I was taking my statistical analysis class?

    Kristen: 30,000 is staggering!

    But I’m sure Chutney apreciated the Mommy-and-me cuddle time on the couch.

    Best wishes for the holidays, and much thanks for the always insighful posts.

  14. Kyle Foley said:

    i searched your blog for the word percentage – so i guess this question is a new one: what percentage of queries would you say are not worth publishing.

  15. 150 said:

    Arcaedia posted stats as well, and there was an interesting metric in the comments: of the new authors you signed, how many had been previously published?

  16. Anonymous said:

    I just want to point out, for those of you who are bemoaning the 22/30,000 mark, that there are plenty of people who were rejected by Kristin who have nonetheless found agents and published their books in this last year. The statistics aren’t good, but they’re not completely grim, either.

    Through the grapevine, I know of at least 4 people who were not only rejected by Kristin during this last year, but who eventually sold their books–in one case at auction, and in another in a preempt.

    Kristin isn’t the sole gateway to success.

  17. Travis Erwin said:

    Merry Christmas and Happy new Year to you and yours.

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to do the blog. The insight helps far more than you’ll ever know.

  18. EA said:

    I’ve read your blog a few times, always wanting to see the latest updates, but have never commented. This last post made me rejoice for the publishing company’s success. 2008 will be a greater year.
    Best wishes.

  19. Kim Stagliano said:

    Astounding! Thank you for a terrific year of blogging. Here’s to a happy, healthy ’08 for all.

    Wordver: gbood which I immediately read as bgood. And why not?

  20. April said:

    Thanks for sharing those stats! As intimidating as it is to read that you read 30,000 query letters, it’s at the same inspiring to see that most of the new clients were completely new authors, unpublished…like me! There’s hope…I hope! 🙂

  21. Rita St. Claire said:

    Wow. 30,000 queries. How do you do that, I’m wondering, and sell, and even BLOG? I can see you work very hard.

    The sheer volume of writers out there submitting tells me that much good work must necessarily be rejected and that publication is indeed a long shot.

    Thanks for sharing these most interesting statistics.

  22. Isis McGowan said:


    Busy year! Hope things go better for you! (And you might want to switch to something other than those eggnog chai drinks–unless you want to explain to your doctor how you gained 20 pounds overnight. (grin) )

    Happy New Year!