News Feed Forums Agents & publishing Querying – what's the best number to send out?

  • Querying – what's the best number to send out?

    Posted by Robert Scott on 22 November 2023 at 17:11

    Hi All

    I just wondered how many queries people are sending out.

    Is there a best number?

    Good luck to any of you out there already querying!

    Robert Scott

    • This discussion was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by
       Robert Scott.
    • This discussion was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by
       Robert Scott.
    Robert Scott replied 9 hours, 12 minutes ago 6 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Katrin Feldhus-O’Connell

    22 November 2023 at 18:49

    Hi Robert, it’s 4-5 for me (3 sent, another 1 or 2 to go). I don’t want to exhaust all of the best matches in one go in case I get some dreaded feedback that suggest my manuscript isn’t ready.

    All the best, hope you’ll succeed soon!

    • Robert Scott

      23 November 2023 at 08:52

      Hi Katrin

      That sounds like good advice. I’ll get myself over to Agent Match and get on it!

      Good luck to you.



  • Jeannie Mehta

    23 November 2023 at 11:28

    Hi Robert

    I’ve totally appraoched 12 agencies using all the advice for doing a submission from Jericho! After being down for two years post hip op…I now am girding myself to try again!!! My novel is bookclub fiction according to one agent who assessed it. Just keep going . It’s like flyfishing I think! Hoping for a bite! Good luck with yours!


    • Robert Scott

      24 November 2023 at 08:29

      Hi Jeannie

      Thanks for replying.

      Interesting that you and Katrin seem to be following the two different approaches I just found out about on one of the Jericho videos; either in smaller batches 5/6 or with one larger round 12 (then hope with both!).

      Good luck with yours. Yes, good advice to keep going until something bites ( a big or little fish would do for me!)


  • Jilly Wheeler

    24 November 2023 at 08:54

    I’m following this thread as also ready to query. I think perhaps see who is accepting submissions and who sounds like your ideal agent. I was going to send one a day for a week initially then wait for feedback.

    • Robert Scott

      24 November 2023 at 14:55

      Hi Jilly

      That’s such a great/fun way to do it. I hadn’t heard of that idea of sending one a week.

      I like it because I imagine you could have a few ideas of which agents you might send to, do the research all week on your long/shortlist and then pick one to send to.

      I like it because I’m still tinkering with my ‘final draft’ – some days I’m happy with it, some days I worry it needs changes, but I also wanted to try querying just a little while I was doing that.

      Thanks for the idea (btw, I was just curious – was it your idea?- great if it was, but also really well done finding it if you read about it somewhere).


  • R. Jay Brenner

    21 February 2024 at 03:59

    I’ve heard a story that one writer set a goal of querying 100 agents. If she didn’t land an offer by then, well.

    She received an offer on query 101.

    I don’t believe there is a magic number. Some people advise sending out 10 – then evaluating whether the hook/query is working based on feedback. Given the fact that most agents don’t respond or if they do it’s a generic/polite ‘no’ — IMO, this advice isn’t really actionable.

    • Robert Scott

      21 February 2024 at 08:38

      100 sounds a lot but yes, thanks, I need to do a few more – only done a dozen so far

      Thanks for the comment

      Good luck with whatever you’re doing


      • R. Jay Brenner

        21 February 2024 at 14:18

        I began querying in the Fall of 20 and have continued on a sporadic basis since. When discouragement set in, I went on hiatus. I’ve probably sent out about 65 queries and have found QueryTracker very helpful for organizing/keeping track.

        I also participated in about 15 Zoom pitches via a couple of conferences I attended. Of those, at least 10 requested pages. While no one offered, I did obtain some feedback as compared to hearing nothing back from the majority of email or Query Manager submissions.

        Recently, I’ve watched YouTube videos & interviews with agents. I wish I had discovered these at the beginning of my process as I’m finding them interesting and helpful.

        A tip, if you haven’t discovered this already… if you utilize any site’s database, like Agent Match, you’ll discover that when agents participate, they click category boxes indicating what they’re interested in. They click many category boxes. Relying upon those database lists as accurately reflecting agents’ interests is a red herring…research deeper (Wish List/Profile Pages) to discover what they’re really interested in.

  • Robert Scott

    21 February 2024 at 15:01

    R. Jay

    That’s all really interesting, thanks.

    I just started querying in November, using Agent Match (so that’s a useful reminder to read deeper about the agents’ preferences, which I do a bit but should do more). I’ve never done pitches on social media though I am on X, so I could I suppose.

    I’ve used query tracker but just the basic version not the paid up one.

    Hope your lucky number turns out to be 66! (You just never know!)


    • Nikki Watson

      27 February 2024 at 18:10

      Hi Robert,

      I started querying in November as well and I’ve found that getting involved in pitch events and agent 1-2-1s get you the most feedback (and most likely to get an MS request). My writing mentor also suggested competitions as a good in. You might not win but you might just catch the eye of one of the agents who are judging and they’ll invite you to query.

      All of these are possibly less frustrating than the wall of silence that is the usual submission channel!

      Good luck!

      • Robert Scott

        28 February 2024 at 17:33

        Hi Nikki

        Many thanks for the reply and tips.

        I’ve heard of pitch events and seen mentions of them on ‘X’ but never tried it so I will look out for those and maybe give one a go if I feel brave enough. And competitions, too, I’ve tried now and again. As you say, it’s nice to have a few approaches/strategies etc to give ourselves the best chance (throw enough mud …)

        I’ve just started on the next novel – a bit more commercially-oriented hopefully (following Harry’s tips) – so we’ll see how that goes

        Good luck with your writing and querying (I’m up to about 17 sent out now and not a glimmer!)

        But …. it only takes a second for that email to fly in!