A Snarkling looks to write a thesis on snarkistics:
"Dear Miss Snark,Thanks for all the great info you share with us!You recently mentioned that you sell about 70% of the manuscripts you represent. On average, of those sold, approximately how long did they take to sell and with how many submissions? What was the fastest sale you've had? The slowest? Did these surprise you? When, if ever, do you give up on a manuscript? Do you then suggest new projects or directions for your clients? A new agent? "
I have no idea of the specifics. I don't tabulate those numbers. Since I don't report to a boss (so many clients signed, so many submissions made, so many gin bottles recycled this quarter) some of the number crunches are just irrelevant for me.
I have a sense of how things are going but thats it. My standard is a novel should be at least three places at any given time if it's not on an exclusive, or the editor hasn't said "i'm taking this up to the acquisitions committe and I think we're gonna buy it".
NF book proposals have faster turn around time so I usually make sure it's at least five places with the same proviso.
Fastest is about six weeks from finished ms in my door to offer signed and on the author's desk.
Slowest would of course be not sold and I have enough of those thanks.
I do give up sometimes and usually the client retires the project. Its VERY hard to get another agent to take something on if you've had a previous agent working on it and a string of rejections. I don't think anyone who has retired from my list is represented elsewhere. My clients and I tend to part amicably (knock on wood).
Do I suggest what they do next? No. Do I listen to their ideas? Yes.