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Randy Ross
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II. Publishing & Marketing Tips > How Many Agents Should You Query: 50? 150?

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message 1: by Randy (new)

Randy Ross (rsquared) | 82 comments How many agents do you query before giving up? At least 50. After that, you can contact small publishers directly, enter contests, and try other avenues. Plus, why the odds may be better than you think.

Click here to read the story


message 2: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (jennabayleyburke) | 12 comments Ten at a time, starting at the top :D


message 3: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 179 comments Surely it depends on what you've written. When I was trying to place an earlier book, by the time I'd narrowed the list down to UK agents who worked in the genre and who were looking for new clients I was into single figures.


message 4: by Dani (new)

Dani Collins (DaniCollins) | 11 comments I agree you should only target agents who represent the kind of book you've written, otherwise it's a waste of time.

I heard once you should expect 100 rejections before receiving representation. I was lucky enough to get rejections that invited me to submit my next project, so that skews your total maybe.

I used to start with 3-5 and as one rejection came in, sent out another query. That way there was always a few in the pipe.

I ultimately got an agent after finaling in a contest. She was great, but we had parted ways by the time I sold, so my question for you would be, why do you want an agent? If you're clear on that, then make sure you include it in your query so you're more likely to get an agent who will live up to your expectations.

Hope this was helpful.


message 5: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (AbigailSharpe) | 425 comments I queried probably around 40 or so - and signed with my agent after a romance writing contest.

It depends on what you want. Above all, though, KEEP WRITING.


message 6: by Dianna (new)

Dianna Winget | 5 comments I queried batches of five at a time. I think it's important to pay attention to the responses you're getting. If you're getting very few responses, and nothing but form rejections, then you need to ask yourself why before sending out more. If on the other hand, you find you're starting to get some personal rejections, or requests for partial manuscripts, then you know you're on the right track. It can take a frustratingly long time to connect with the right agent who really loves your work. But it's worth the wait. The best thing you can do to shorten the time is carefully research the agents you chose to query and follow their submission guidelines to the letter.


message 7: by Randy (new)

Randy Ross (rsquared) | 82 comments Great advice, all. Thanks!


message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (RichardSutton) | 198 comments I'd like to add that it's important to remember that agents are now harder pressed than they ever have been before, to handle accounts that can actually produce an income. They are all very tightly focused specialists, so be absolutely sure any agent you pitch can sell your work, in their niche and in the genres that produce. Check their track records and existing clients before you send anything, and remember that the biggest selling series of all time (Shades of...) was self-published online and selling thousands of copies before the book deal came.


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