advice

The Odds

Hello, my lovelies!

So, I’ve been realizing how lucky I am. My agent, Elana, has been violently angry with her query pile lately, and I’m sure with good reason. Every once in a while, I think about what it would be like to dig through tons of letters— some good, some bad, some obviously not my taste, some addressed to the wrong person… some showing no sign of understanding basic English— and have to pick out ones that I thought showed promise.

I think I lack a certain patience and toughness it would take to be a literary agent. Bravo to anyone who takes on that job and manages to make it through the day without pulling out their hair.

That said, I was thinking about what it’s like on our end, the writer’s end. Elana has been helpful enough to post some of her query stats on the CJLA blog, and based on those numbers, it looks like Elana got at least 3,000 queries last year. And I think she took on only 3-4 new clients. And not all of them from queries. So… yikes!

I’m genuinely counting my blessings and am so thankful she saw something worthwhile in my writing, and I hope, once The Selection is in all of your hands, that you feel the same way. But I look at those numbers and think that if I was starting out now, I’d feel kind of depressed. To be one chosen out of thousands… what are the odds?

Well, here are some things you should know. 1 out of 3,000, right? You’re odds of finding an agent are better than:

The odds of you drowning in the bathtub this year (1 in 900,900)

The odds of you winning an Olympic medal (1 in 662,000)

The odds of you dating a supermodel (1 in 88,000)

The odds of you winning an Academy Award (1 in 11,500)

The odds of you becoming a professional athlete (1 in 22,000)

The odds of getting struck by lightning. (1 in 567,000)

So be encouraged. There are harder things to do out there. And I also just discovered the odds of me writing a New York Times best seller are about 220 to 1...

Oh yeah, baby. Oh yeah.