Querying PULL: A Statistical Breakdown

Lovely readers,

First, I must say a huge THANKS for your love, support, and confetti-tossing over these past few weeks. The baby, the book deal, the new agent–well, it’s just so much fun to share all of it with you!

And now, as promised, I shall give you my query stats along with some other juicy details that led to THE OFFER! Ready? Here we go!

Agents Queried: 37

Agents Who Responded To Query: 22 (the rest did not respond, either negatively or positively)

Partial Manuscript Requests: 5

Full Manuscript Requests: 12

Agents Who Pursued Me Through Twitter: 3 (And by “pursued” I mean they actually said “Send me a query letter” or “Send me your manuscript”)

Re-queries Are Your Friend: Five of the agents I queried earlier on were re-queried later with a revised version. They had requested the original full and liked it, but not ENOUGH, so I asked if they would like to see the new version. All but one said yes, and one of those was Emma Patterson, who made an offer after seeing the revised manuscript!

Think Agents Are Mean? Think again. Here are some excerpts from my rejection letters.

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I am taking on very, very few new projects right now, and I have no doubt that you will find a wonderful publishing home for PULL. In fact, I’m fairly sure I’ll be kicking myself down the road…

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Thanks so much for your patience while I reviewed PULL. It’s such a wonderfully layered project, and I found your writing to be quite good. You obviously have the talent!

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The writing is strong and the plot is compelling and well-paced. I do so admire your ability to keep the reader’s engagement through your skillful writing…

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Thank you so much for letting me spend this time with your enchanting novel. I love the story premise, the setting, the family dynamic (I was particularly drawn to Rosie’s strained, yet intense, relationship with her brother), and Rosie’s voice (which is geniune, likeable, and totally inviting!). Your writing is sharp and appealing, and I was immediately drawn into the story…

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As promised, I read PULL over the weekend, and (not surprisingly) it was great!  I usually try to keep work reading to a minimum on holiday weekends, but honestly, PULL didn’t feel like “work” at all–you’re a skilled writer and really enjoyed getting to know Rosie and her family…If you hadn’t already received an offer, I’d probably ask to see it again with revisions, but since you did receive an offer, I think it’s best if I step aside at this time…

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Hey Anne, thank you so much for the heads-up and congrats on the offer! I read over the weekend and while I think you are a truly lovely writer, I thought this one landed in a crowded part on my list. So I’ll step aside here, but you’ve definitely got a fan in me. Thanks again for the chance to read and congratulations!

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What I Learned: 

This time around, I had a much better idea of how to query properly. I did a lot of research on how to write an effective query letter and I had several friends critique my query before I sent it out.

I researched each agent thoroughly and read everything I could find (interviews, bios, etc). I only queried agents whose personalities appealed to me and who seemed professional and experienced.

I sent out my letters in small batches, only 4-5 at a time, and I paid attention to the feedback in my rejections. This is what led to my revisions, which ultimately led to an offer!

Not that I am a Query Master BY ANY MEANS, but I have done this twice–successfully–so I’m going to put this out there: if you are thinking about querying, or you are working on your query letter, and you have questions or need some help, please ask me. I’d be happy to help you out. My email address can be found on the contact page.

Happy weekend!

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11 thoughts on “Querying PULL: A Statistical Breakdown

  1. Jemi Fraser says:

    That’s awesome! The agents I’ve ‘spoken’ with have all been so kind and professional. So glad you’ve found a home for Pull! All the best!

  2. Rebecca Berto says:

    Thanks for this! I don’t think I am “above” anyone but with the type of thought and preparation you put in (seems logical but from agent insight it isn’t) we can become more effective at finding the right agent in less time.

    The saddest part of this is how great your story seems. It’s just that so few agents are taking on new authors!

  3. Ansley says:

    While I will never go through this process, I love reading about it. I also love PULL and I’m thrilled that someone decided to pluck it like the ripe, ready to eat peach it is 🙂

  4. Jessica Love says:

    Thanks for sharing these stats, Anne. I am so interested to hear everyone’s query journey. I had the same experience with agents…when you take the time to research and do things right I think you’ll find that they are really awesome and helpful.

    Yay for finding a perfect fit! Tons of luck to you and Emma and PULL! 😀

    • Anne Riley says:

      Yes, when they can tell you’ve taken the time to do things properly, they appreciate it and treat you with equal respect. And thank you my dear!

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