Pub Rants

Category: statistics

It’s that magic time of year when I tally up the numbers and share Kristin’s Yearly Stats! Apologies for being so slow to get this posted.

37  :  total number of New York Times bestsellers (up from 33 total in 2014)

51  :  books released in 2015 (22 print releases, 9 reprints, and 21 digital releases)

3  :  new clients, two of whom sold at auction for six figures. One deal is public, the other is not yet announced. The third client is going on submission next month!

29,000+  :  estimated number of queries read and responded to

87  :  full manuscripts requested and read (up from 45 last year)

129  :  number of sample pages requested and read (down from 856 last year. See my January Newsletter column Think Like An Agent below to learn why we requested far fewer sample pages this year than we have in years past.)

2  :  number of projects currently on submission

71  :  foreign-rights deals done (down from 99 last year, mainly because I only took on one client in 2014), 14 in Asia, 3 in Brazil, 3 in Mexico/Latin America, and 51 in Europe

4  :  TV and major motion picture deals

46  :  number of print runs for my longest-selling title, which is Jamie Ford’s HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET—which originally published in 2009. Twelve for the hardcover version, 34 for the paperback—four of which occurred in 2015! Crazy for a title to still be getting reprints after six years.

8  :  conferences attended (which includes Bologna Book Fair, London, BEA, and Frankfurt Book Fair)

3 million+  :  copies in print/sold for my bestselling long-running series this year

2.5 million+  :  copies in print/sold for my bestselling individual title

3.5 million+  :  copies sold for my bestselling hybrid author

Millions and Millions  :  ebooks sold for four of my bestselling indie-publishing-only authors. I can’t even track anymore.

100  :  physical holiday cards sent

539  :  electronic holiday cards sent

Not telling it’s so embarrassing  :  number of eggnog chai lattes consumed during November and December

Lots  :  of late nights reading on my living-room chaise with Chutney

All  :  great days loving my job!

Happy New Year!

It’s that magic time of year when I tally up the numbers and share with everyone Kristin’s Yearly Stats! Last year we reported numbers on the whole agency, but I figured it would be fun to just take a look at my own year in review. Please note that sales figures are approximations rather than exact calculations.

Enjoy!

9

books sold

99

foreign-rights deals done (down from 128 last year). Twenty-nine were deals made in Asian territories, and the other 70 were for the rest of the world. All 99 foreign-rights deals were done on behalf of 12 of my clients.

1

new client (I actually wasn’t reading much during 2014 but I’m actively reading in 2015!)

35,000+

estimated number of queries read and responded to

45

full manuscripts requested and read (down from 67 last year)

856

number of sample pages requested and read (down from 972 last year)

4

number of projects currently on submission

6

TV and major motion picture deals (I actually did all 6 in November and December!)

3 million+

copies in print/sold for my bestselling long-running series this year

2 million+

copies in print/sold for my bestselling individual title

2.5 million+

copies sold for my bestselling hybrid author

3 million+

ebooks sold for two of my bestselling indie-publishing-only authors.

31

number of print runs for the longest-selling title

9

conferences attended (which includes Bologna Book Fair, BEA, and Frankfurt Book Fair)

33 

New York Times bestsellers (up from 31 just last year)

175

physical holiday cards sent

450

electronic holiday cards sent

Not telling it’s so embarrassing

number of eggnog chai lattes consumed during November and December

Lots

of late nights reading on my living-room chaise with Chutney

All

great days loving my job!

2013 Year End Stats!

I’d like to cordially welcome you to the new year! Out with the old and in with the new but before we move on, I know readers love to get the tally of our end-of-year statistics. This went out to our eNewsletter readers first but for the archives, here’s the list.

Enjoy!

40
books sold (up from 33 last year).

128
foreign rights deals done (way up from 83 last year—holy cow!).

7
number of new clients (down from 16 total last year: 3 for Kristin and 4 for Sara).

35,000+ or some big number…
estimated number of queries read and responded to. Down from last year as we closed queries in the month of December.

67
full manuscripts requested and read (down from 81 last year).

972
number of sample pages requested and read (down from 1029 last year).

2
number of projects currently on submission

3
tv and major motion picture deals – Kristin

2.8+ million
number of copies in print/sold for my bestselling long-running series this year

1.5+ million
number of copies in print/sold for my bestselling indvidual title

1.6+ million
number of copies sold for my bestselling hybrid author

3+ million
number of ebooks sold for my bestselling Indie-only publishing author

300,000+
number of of copies in print/sold for my bestselling debut series

800,000+
number of of copies in print/sold for Sara’s bestselling author

13
number of conferences attended — 6 for Kristin (which includes Digital Book World, BEA and Frankfurt Book Fair), 5 for Sara, 2 for Anita.

31 
number of Kristin’s career New York Times Bestsellers (up from 20 just last year). I did 11 more in 2013 alone. Wowza!

32
total number of New York Times Bestsellers for NLA as an agency (Sara had her very first with Jason Hough’s THE DARWIN ELEVATOR this summer. Woot!)

130
number of  consecutive weeks on the NYT bestseller list for a Kristin author

170
number of physical holiday cards sent

468
number of electronic holiday cards sent

Not telling it’s so embarrassing
number of eggnog chai consumed in the months of November and December.

Lots
number of late nights reading on my living room chaise with Chutney

All
number of great days loving my job

2012 Year End Stats!

STATUS: Off and running. Need to play catch up on everything that wasn’t completed by Dec. 19 when I headed out for winter break. And I’m so close to finishing up the text for the new website so we can finally launch!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? BITTERSWEET by Hoodoo Gurus

Happy New Year! I hope your 2013 is off to a raucous start!

I’ve got contract work aplenty. Sara has an offer on the table and signed somebody new literally as we were closing. The query inbox is crammed with 341 queries from folks who wanted to send in December but couldn’t because we were closed to queries that month. 

33
books sold (slightly down from last year).

83
foreign rights deals done (up from 65 deals last year).

16
number of new clients (5 for Kristin and 9 for Sara). Updated to 11 for Sara –she signed two authors right as we were closing for the year!

32,000+ or some big number…
estimated number of queries read and responded to. Down from last year as we closed queries in the month of December.

81
full manuscripts requested and read (up from 69 last year).

1029
number of sample pages requested and read (up from 618 last year).

3
number of projects currently on submission

4
tv and major motion picture deals

2.5 million

number of copies in print for my bestselling series this year

1.2 million

number of copies in print for my bestselling title this year

300,000+

number of copies sold for my bestselling eBook-only title this year

23
number of conferences attended (8 for Kristin (including BEA and Bologna Book Fair), 1 for Angie, 8 for Anita, and 6 for Sara)

20  Forgot Manga edition of SOULLESS that hit #1! Smacks forehead. so it’s not 19 but 20
number of career NLA New York Times Bestsellers (I actually sat down to count them up. I was surprised it was that many.)

1
number of books named to Publisher’s Weekly list of top books of the year (that would be Sara’s THE PECULIAR by Stefan Bachman this year).

135
number of physical holiday cards sent

450
number of electronic holiday cards sent

Uh, 30?

number of eggnog chai consumed in the months of November and December. I’m embarrassed to say.

Lots
number of late nights reading on my living room chaise with Chutney

All
number of great days loving my job

2011 Year End Stats!

STATUS: I’m baaaaacccckkk!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
(oh the nostalgia….)

Happy New Year! I hope your 2012 is off to a rip-roaring start. Mine is. I’ve got exciting news on the film front for two of my authors and an auction unfolding next week.

I even signed a new author when we were closing for the holidays. Talk about cramming stuff in as the year closed.

My New Year’s resolution is to be a better blogger in 2012 so I better get started.

41
books sold (up from 28 last year). Why the big jump? Two agents on fire during the year.

65
foreign rights deals done (pretty much on par with last year).

7
number of new clients (Kristin and Sara combined)

36,000+ or some big number…
estimated number of queries read and responded to. We get so much spam these days, despite good filters, it’s hard to tell. We estimate anywhere from 80 to 100 a day. Times that by 365 and you get approximately 36,000.

69
full manuscripts requested and read (down from 98 from 2010)

618
number of sample pages requested and read (this is down from last year–mostly because I took a several month hiatus from reading submissions actually. I’m back to reading lots in 2012 though so bring it on).

5
number of projects currently on submission

2
tv and major motion picture deals

2.2 million
number of copies in print for my bestselling series this year

1.1 million
number of copies in print for my bestselling title this year

8 for Kristin (including BEA, RWA and Frankfurt), 4 for Anita, and 9 for Sara
number of conferences attended

13
number of career NLA New York Times Bestsellers (who says that’s an unlucky number!)

1
number of books named to Publisher’s Weekly list of top books of the year (that would be LEGEND by Marie Lu this year)

105
number of physical holiday cards sent

451
number of electronic holiday cards sent

20
number of eggnog chai consumed in the month of December. It was probably 31 but that makes me look like a glutton!

Lots
number of late nights reading on my new chaise with Chutney

All
number of great days loving my job

2012 is going to be a GREAT year!

A Year In Statistics–2010

STATUS: Uh, ask me tomorrow morning. Still working to try and wrap stuff up.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? SLEIGH RIDE by Babyface

This week has just been crazy with no time to blog. Nobody wants to go into the holiday season with a bunch of stuff still outstanding and cluttering the desks. I know authors who have submissions with us wouldn’t mind an answer either. So, our goal is to finish everything up by today.

With that in mind, I’ve been hitting the office at 8 in the morning and pretty much every night this week, I didn’t leave until after 8 p.m. (and some evenings not until after 9).

Well, I’m going to have to come in tomorrow as not everything is done but hey, I came close. Blogging just wasn’t an option with everything that needed to wrap up—including 3 deals that I literally was negotiating this week.

Still, I can’t end the season without one more post. The year 2010 would not be complete without my annual Year In Statistics entry so voila! Here it is. Enjoy!

28
books sold (up from 15 last year and mostly thanks to Sara! Also interesting to note, of the sales I did, all but 3 were deals well into the six-figure range and two were 7+. Sweet!)

64
foreign rights deals done (up from 53 last year. That’s a big increase. Foreign rights went gangbuster.)

9
number of new clients (Kristin & Sara combined)

36,000
estimated number of queries read and responded to (this is actually down a bit from last year. Last year we averaged around 150/day. This year it was more around 120/day)

98
full manuscripts requested and read (way up from 55 last year.)

839
number of sample pages requested and read (down from 1053 of last year)

6
number of projects currently on submission

5
tv and major motion picture deals

1.5 million
number of copies in print for my bestselling series this year

668,000
number of copies in print for my bestselling title this year

144,000
number of copies in print for my bestselling debut this year

9
conferences attended (also includes BEA and Bologna Children’s Book Fair)

5
number of New York Times Bestsellers this year

10
number of career New York Times Bestselling titles

1
Number of books named to Publisher’s Weekly list of top books of the year

82
number of physical holiday cards sent

398
Number of electronic holiday cards sent

10+
number of Starbucks eggnog chai consumed in the last week (sort of embarrassed to admit it!)

Lots
number of late nights reading on the couch with Chutney

All
number of great days loving my job

Have a safe and happy New Year. I’m out! See you back here on Jan. 3, 2011.

White Noise

(Just a note, this post is from our archives. Some references and links may be from past years.)

STATUS: Last week was just tough. Battling being sick so just didn’t know when I’d be in the office or not. So not pleasant….

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE by Mat Kearney

When I was at the Rocky Mountain Writers Conference, I gave a couple of workshops. In my classes, I always give the daunting statistics on how many queries we get, how many sample pages we read, and how many authors we actually take on from what we read.

Yep, the icky stuff.

Then I tell them to cover their ears and say, “la, la, la I’m not listening” because what it boils down to is that these stats should be white noise to you aspiring writers. You can hear it, but it’s in the background. Know the stats so you have a keen understanding of the reality behind the business of publishing but then don’t let it stop you. .

If you love writing, if you are passionate about it as your dream, then you are going to write no matter what. Publication is one possible end result but whether that happens are not should not be the only determiner of why you write. You write because you have to. It’s like breathing. Absolutely necessary.

Besides, you never know when toughness and persistence will finally pay off so don’t lose sight of that!

Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

Talk About the Money

STATUS: If I read my latest Publishers Weekly magazine at the same time as getting a pedicure, does that qualify as working? Hey, it’s summer time.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? I AND LOVE AND YOU by Avett Brothers

Last weekend I spoke at my local Lighthouse Writers Litfest. They wrapped up two weeks of celebrating literature and authors with an agent panel at the Tattered Cover in Lodo (which stands for Lower Downtown)—and to be honest, agents doesn’t sound overly celebratory to me but hey, they thought that was the way to do it. Didn’t you know that most of us are full of hot air?

One of the questions asked at the panel was how much of an advance can a writer expect for a debut novel.

Admit it. All of you just perked up your ears. Always, always, writers want to know about the dollars involved. The problem is that this question is really hard to answer. Depending on the novel, it literally could go for any amount of money.

When pressed, which happened of course, the audience wanted to know what was “typical.”

Once again, no such thing but if you hold a gun to my head, I’ll say this:

1. Most debut novels will have advances of under 25k per book. I’d say that’s typical.

2. What a debut novel will get for an advance will depend on genre.
a. Romance novels—5-15k per book
b. YA or MG—10-30k
c. Mysteries & thrillers—Uh, no idea. Don’t rep them. Janet Reid, my friend, can you chime in here? I think you are the Queen of repping this genre.
d. Literary fiction—10-30k
e. Women’s fic—10-30k (are you noticing a pattern here?)
f. SF&F—5-25k

Okay, fine. I told you the money—as long as you realize this list is meaningless, we’re fine.

Have I sold a debut romance author for six figures? Yes. Debut literary author for six figures? Yes. SF&F debut author for 6? Not yet (but I’ve gotten really close…).

Etc. It all depends on how many editors want your particularly debut novel. For my part, I often feel the most satisfaction for selling a debut that took forever to place (and the author was on the verge of giving up hope) and the novel I sold for peanuts that then exploded and just sold and sold.

Now that’s the kind of money I like to talk about.

No Freewheelin’ With The Blurb Endorsements

STATUS: It was quiet for one day. I can’t even believe I said it was quiet yesterday. Plenty to do between now and Thursday. Won’t be in the office on Friday and of course, no blogging.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? DEMOLITION MAN by The police

I’m not really going to tally the results this time. Yesterday’s “poll” was more about creating a discussion around blurbs. For an author who is receiving the blurb endorsement, it’s an incredible feeling. That someone way more established than you (or famous) thought your novel worthy of praise. It’s big validation for a debut author in a world where there aren’t many validating moments outside of sales performance. And I always think of it as incredibly generous for an established author to do. When done right, it takes a lot of time to read a novel and it takes even more time to think of a short, pithy blurb that really captures the author’s emotion about it.

Try writing one for a favorite book of yours just as practice. It’s not easy.

For readers, it seems a mixed bag. I do know that booksellers and publishers absolutely do believe that blurb endorsements help to sell books.

Here’s what I’ve gleaned:

1. The author name has to be pretty big—as in immediately recognizable—for it to make an impact.

2. Readers do feel it’s part of the advertising.

3. Authors should not be too carefree about what they blurb as that can shape reader perception—of the blurbed books and for the books that author writes. Blurb only books where the endorsement is really meant.

4. Many readers find it helpful. That maybe they’ll try a new author they might not otherwise if a favorite author has blurbed the book.

5. The text of the blurb is just as important as the blurb itself. Faked enthusiasm is recognizable.

A Second Totally Unscientific PubRants Blog Reader Poll

STATUS: It’s a bit quiet leading up to the long weekend so I’m actually getting some things done. And yes, I’m still working on my query inbox…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? UNKNOWN LEGEND by Neil Young

When we did our completely unscientific first ever Pubrants Blog Reader poll, I realized that I left out one important question (or maybe series of questions).

We talked about covers and back cover copy influencing book buying decisions but we didn’t talk about author blurbs.

Often times before a book is to be published, the agent, editor, and author will put our heads together and discuss who would be a great blurb candidate for the project. Obviously blurbs are going to come for established authors with solid reputations and a large following, otherwise the blurb probably wouldn’t have much weight. The name has to be recognizable and appropriate for the genre, type of book, etc.

For example, this week has been very exciting at the agency as we just received word that Lisa See (author of Snow Flower And The Secret Fan), who we asked to read an ARC of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford, loved the book and is thrilled to give us a blurb to use.

Needless to say, Jamie and I were giddy. Now I realize that the book isn’t out yet and therefore anyone who reads this blog can’t buy it yet, but would that influence you?

So that’s my poll for today:

Do you notice and read author blurbs on books you are potentially interested in buying?

If so, have you ever bought a book because an author you loved and trusted endorsed the book?

If you can remember, what established authors created the swing vote for you and you did indeed buy the book with their author blurb on it?

Have you ever bought a book based on an author endorsement and then were dissatisfied with the book bought? If so, did that impact a future buy for a book for which that same author has endorsed?

I imagine this random poll will spark some interesting discussions this week!