Formulaic answers

A burning question about the secretive habits of agents -- how many clients
must the average agent represent to survive?

And how much gin is enough to allow a manuscript over the transom?

Well, you only need one if it's John Grisham.

Some agencies represent hundreds of people but they're not all doing a book a year.
And our money comes in on the back end too--if your book keeps earning, we like that a LOT.

So the answer is-it varies. I have 20 or so active clients. That number is based not on how much I earn but how much I can do. More than that and I'd be too overworked to stay on top of everything the way I like.

And the answer is Zero on the gin question.
Manuscripts over the transom are rejected without being read.
I only read solicited work.
Now, throw your query over the transom all you like, I read everything I get.
But send your ms without the secret code, and it's Yapp fodder.


Dave Kuzminski said...

So that's where all the confetti comes from each year at the parades! KY is obviously quite important in the scheme of things in NYC.

KillerYapp said...


Harry Connolly said...

Talking about how things work inside the publishing biz (were we?):

Here's a link to a list of jobs and job descriptions inside a publishing house.

via one of the particles on Making Light.

martineo2@aol.com said...

What the hell is yapp fodder...is this a jewish thing?

martineo21@aol.com said...

Okay...I figured out Yapp fodder...well my wife told me...but okay..what's this about a secret code? Excuse my rudeness..I had a bad reaction from my viagra...

Maya said...

Martine: Sometimes agents respond to query letters by asking for a full manuscript and telling the hopeful soul to put a certain word on the envelope so the agent will know it was requested.

I assume this is done because some unscrupulous writers send full mss claiming they were asked to do so. Talk about nervy.