Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pushing the Limits Query Statistics

This month, on July 31st, my first novel, Pushing the Limits, will debut with Harlequin Teen.

And WOW…what a ride it has been.

To celebrate my upcoming release, I thought I’d share with our YA Fusion readers something I’ve never talk about before: my statistics for Pushing the Limits.

Agents Queried: 41
            *Note: I tried to query agents that not only accepted the query letter but also a small sample of my writing. I also tried to avoid agents that wanted a synopsis upfront as I suck at writing a synopsis.

Queries Written: 2
Queries Out With Agents at All Times: 5

Agents Queried with First Query Letter: 5
Rejections: 5  

Agents Queried with Second Query Letter: 36
Rejections: 26
Personal Rejections off query and sample pages (often a note telling me that contemporary was a hard sell, but they liked my voice and asked to keep me in mind for future projects): 2
Requests for Manuscript: 8

Offers for Representation: 1

Kevan Lyon was the first agent to offer me representation on Pushing the Limits and I accepted. I actually had the manuscript still out with several agents and I had two more requests for fulls come in the week that Kevan contacted me. (Those 2 requests are not included in the above statistics.)

On a personal note, I did what was best for me and my manuscript by immediately accepting representation and have never regretted it, but I often advise others who are offered representation to talk to the other agents who have their manuscripts and shop around.

So, I’m opening the floor up to questions. Is there anything you’d like to know about the querying stage of the publishing process? If so, ask your question in the comment space below and I’ll try to answer your question this week.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing your advice and stats Katie. Your road to get an agent went pretty fast, which is great and says something about your story. I don't write synopsis that well either so I think I'll take your advice and try not to query agents who want one.

Good luck with your debut. I'm excited for you.

Kristin Lenz said...

Thanks for sharing, Katie. How did you keep track of all those queries? I know some writers who have used Query Tracker and others who have created their own spreadsheets. Would you like to share a bit about your experience revising with Kevan before your book got submitted to publishers? Please don't say it was perfect and immediately ready to submit - otherwise I might kick you when I finally meet you in person one of these days!

Katie McGarry said...

Natalie-thank you for commenting! You should try all agents, but I save the one who wants queries for last.

Katie McGarry said...

Kristin-I kept track of my queries in an excel spreadsheet.

As for my revising experience with Kevan, we had a few changes to the manuscript before we sent it out. She sent me the suggested changes in track changes, I fixed them, then sent it back. At that point we were ready to submit.

Lori L. Clark said...

I simply adore YA contemporary and can't wait to read this! Is PUSHING THE LIMITS your first novel?


Katie McGarry said...

Hi Lori!

Yes, Pushing the Limits is my first novel. I hope you enjoy the read!

Miss Knight said...

Late to the game, but I liked this post and seeing your thought process on how to choose agents. Thanks for the information!

(I also agree about having to write a synopsis as I feel I'm terrible at them too.)