A few months ago, when we Crows were newly hatched, I wrote a post about how our submission guidelines ask for 20 pages with your queries. At the time, I was unsure whether or not this was the best way to go, more because of how long it would take me to read through them than what it meant for you. What can I say, I’m selfish.
Now that we’ve been at this for a little while, I’ve come to find 20 pages plus a synopsis is perfect for my needs. The query gives me a general idea of who you are and what the book is about, and the 20 pages is just enough for me to decide I’m either not feeling it or I absolutely have to read on. Granted, sometimes I like the concept enough that I’ll ignore some flaws in sample pages, or I’m intrigued by how wacky things are and want to keep reading, or I think the writing is nice but the concept isn’t strong enough.
If you’re the type who lives for statistics, here you go: Since we opened the doors to submissions in August, I’ve received over 750 queries. Of the 750, I’ve requested about 25. Of the 25, I’ve signed one project.
Now, if every single project had loads of potential, those would be pretty alarming numbers. Thankfully, I receive a lot of duds, like writers who don’t take the time to look up what I represent (there’s nothing easier than rejecting an adult book, which I don’t do), or writing that screams, “I’m a first draft!!” Lately, I’ve seen more and more people send a query with no sample pages, which frankly boggles my mind. If we’re giving you this nice gift, why must you snub us?
What’s to take from all of this? I have room for more clients! I want more great submissions, as does the rest of the Crow Crew! I just made up a new nickname for us! Keep sending your work in, because we all want to find new talent.