The Intimidation Factor

I just read Janet Reid’s statistics from the summer of 2009. See for yourself: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2009/12/statistics-to-torture-yourself-with-in.html I have to admit, I’m a wee bit overwhelmed by her numbers. I have to remember, finish editing, submit and write the next one.

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8 Responses to โ€œThe Intimidation Factorโ€

  1. Jeannie Lin says:

    I totally know what you mean. I had only three requests out of my first round of querying ever and I felt like a failure. But when I looked at Jennifer Jackson and Kristen Nelson and Jessica Faust's query statistics, I knew it wasn't personal. It's just a hard game.

    Some people send out five queries to their top choices and land an agent. But we don't like them. ๐Ÿ™‚ You have the right mindset. All you can do is get yourself out there in the game.

  2. Sarah Skilton says:

    It can definitely be intimidating to look at statistics, but I think these numbers are actually encouraging. She mentions that certain ones weren't quite right for her, although the writing was good — so in many cases it's more of a matching game. If you query the right people and query widely, your changes go up. Hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Dara says:

    Yeah, it's intimidating. It's definitely a hard game to play and win, but we just gotta keep at it.

  4. catwoods says:

    Like Sarah, I tend to look at these numbers as reassuring. Writing is hard work. It takes years to hone and years to learn the industry. I believe that many submissions are by beginning writers who haven't put in their time yet.

    If they have perseverence and a desire to work hard, they will someday be in the small number of requests and possible polite rejections–the ones that don't quite match up with the editor/agent they are submitting to.

    Then–publication.

    There's nothing wrong with putting in time while we learn. I for one am thankful that four years ago, when I first started subbing my longer fiction, I was politely rejected. I am a much better writer now and am more confident in myself as a public figure.

    I would have shrivelled up at the prospect of self-promotion. My life experiences have changed that.

  5. Victoria Dixon says:

    Yes, in retrospect I've decided her stats were more a hidden suggestion of what's possible, than what's probable.

    Far more people were rejected because of lack of fit WITH HER than due to bad writing, if I remember correctly. I was comforted she referred people.

    This and the fact I got a partial request fills me with hope. LOL

  6. Janet Johnson says:

    You got a partial request? Awesome!

    But yes, good info . . . now to apply it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Sandy Shin says:

    Yay for the partial request! :>

    I read that post a few days back, and I was depressed for a whole minute. But, you know, I am telling myself: if my ms fails to interest an agent, it must not be good enough yet. If I keep practicing, one day, one of my manuscripts will get an agent. :>

  8. Victoria Dixon says:

    Good for you, Sandy! That's almost word for word what Christian Writers agent Rachelle Gardner told another writer on her blog (http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2010/01/wake-up-and-smell-coffee.html, if you're interested), so you're already well one your way.

    I got the request in the weirdest way possible. I'd gone to Absolute Writers Water Cooler and asked if anyone knew who Liza Dalby's agent was, or if anyone knew of an agent who might be interested in magical realism with an Asian setting. Dalby's agent and the agent's assistant stood by the water cooler and the assistant responded. So now I have to stop surfing the net and get the manuscript submission prepared, do why am I sitting on the sofa SURFING?! LOL

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