I've begun sending out queries to agents for my recently completed non-fiction manuscript.

A decade ago, I sent out queries frequently, for children's books, directly to publishers. After a while, based on my response rate, I could gauge how good any particular query was.

But non-fiction, agents, and today's market are all new to me. Does anyone have any experience to know what's a good ratio of queries sent to responses received?

  • 2
    I am reasonably certain that such a number, if anyone tracked it, would be meaningless, because I am reasonably certain that the query to acceptance ratio is going to differ greatly from one field to the next. Non fiction sells based on demonstrated expertise, demonstrated platform, and demonstrated market. If you can demonstrate those things, your chances are probably excellent, unless the market is truly saturated, and if you can't, they are minimal.
    – user16226
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:19

1 Answer 1

  1. I don't know, I am not sure with the changes Amazon and others have introduced that anyone is even tracking it scientificly. Here is a nice article on "Agents" https://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/why-agents-reject-96-of-a_b_4247045.html and one on Publishers accepting manuscripts without an agent https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2014/03/6-publishers-accepting-unsolicited.html
  2. I don't go at it that way. "I don't want or need permission", it's my art, so I want to sell it. From all that I have read online, the response rate is highest in romantic fiction aka dime novels. My audience is worldwide, yet largest market segment by pages read is in India, most gross sales revenue in US and UK, male 35-55 speaking english, which matches "STEM" stats of the human population at present. My books are non-fiction technical education aka HOWTO use API's. I have been learning and growing my publishing business every since I started "writing" in 2013. Here is my journey https://blog.grigsbyconsultingllc.com/grigsby-consulting-llc-presents-story-of-the-developer-labs-integration-cookbooks/
  3. May I be so bold as to suggest you look at a couple of my favorite self-publishing how-to sites and "get noticed" by the sales and understanding your "audience" and let the publisher approach you. DaveC at Kindlepreneur https://kindlepreneur.com/book-marketing-101/ MarkD at SPF https://selfpublishingformula.com/ GuyK at APE http://apethebook.com/

If you want, take a look at my profile links to my consulting and book site, I clearly make more per hour at present doing consulting, yet my content sales are making progress towards replacing my active income with passive.

Best of luck no matter which way you go.

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