I spent the better part of last week at a writing conference in Virginia, an exclusive little gathering of 25 or so members of Writers and Critters, an online writing and critique group. The youngest attendee was 24 and I think I was the second youngest at 43. The ages went up from there to 69. I loved the crowd because one person called me skinny, a word not used to describe me in ten years, and another person thought I was in my thirties. But none of that is here or there.
What is here is information we received from a literary agent. Listen up, all you budding novelists. This agent receives about 300 queries a week—that's 15,600 a year. She spends an average of 30 seconds on each query. Wanna guess how many authors she signs on a year?
If that is not enough to make your ink run cold, she also says that the average author writes 4-6 complete manuscripts before getting a book contract. Not 4-6 revisions of one manuscript, but 4-6 separate, whole, complete stories.
You heard it here.