Dear Miss Snark,
How many times do you take on writers who you eventually find you cannot sell?
From my point of view, it seems that if I get an agent, my chances are very good that I will get published, but what I am afraid of is that I am wrong and that there are lots of agented writers who don't get published. My random shot in the dark is that about 90% of agented writers get published (the hurdle of getting an agent seems so high to me that I can't really imagine that number being lower), but I really don't know enough about the industry to validate that number; could you give me a better idea of how this part of the agent & publishing world works please?
PS--You'll be happy to know that I am so terrified of making a grammatical mistake in any correspondence to you that I've checked over this e-mail three times! If I've still messed up, then I'm just going to dunk my head into a gin pail; it's been a head-dunking-in-gin-pail kind of day!
No mistakes, but you sent it twice. Prepare the pail!
Right now what you are doing is the equivalent of what 15th century mapmakers in Spain did.....they drew pictures of monsters at the edge of the map. Right now you're in Spain preparing to set sail and you're looking at the map seeing only the unknown. Just remember that where they drew monsters is present day Hawaii.
There is no way to quantify how many agented writers don't sell. It does happen. But here's the thing: you can't worry about this. It's totally out of your control and it's just worry that drains the tank, nothing that will help you write better faster stronger.
Reassure yourself with this: agents don't make money till you sell, so we are REALLY motivated to sell your work. Focus on writing well. Let Miss Snark worry about the fleshpots of Waikiki.