Friday, December 12, 2008

Statistics and Numbers for Friday

Editorial Anonymous just posted about an interesting topic--a year-in review, if you will, of her slush pile.
  • 15,000 manuscripts in slush
  • 50% were "inappropriate, illiterate, or crazy"
  • 47% were "just poorly-written, or aimed at the wrong age level, or derivative of much better (and better-known) writers, as well as having several concept/plotting/arc issues"
  • 3% were "nice, but manuscripts that no consumer was going to spend her money on when she's got so many other choices"
  • .02%--3 of the original 15,000--were worthy of publication at her house

This is more than a little depressing. .02% of her slush was published at her house?! That's depressing for the editor and the writer!

But... I don't think I'm in the first 50%. After that last SCBWI conference, where I met crazy, I know I ain't crazy (not that crazy). And I'm not illiterate, and while my book is dark at times, I don't think it's inappropriate. So, I'm better than half! The next 47% is a bit rougher. I don't think my book is poorly written, at least, it won't be after the revisions. And the one thing everyone agrees on is that the age range is gold. I don't think my work is derivative at all--it's certainly not intentionally derivative, and I've not heard of any similar works (and actually struggle to find comparisons with it). So, bets are that I'm past that 47%, too.

So, 97% of 15,000 = 14,550. So, yay! I'm better than 14,550!

Um, but that leaves 450.

Now the remaining 450, that last 3% were nice but not marketable. And, realistically, I might be in that range. But 2 of the remaining 450 were publishable. Heck, I'm willing to say that more than the 2 were publishable--it's just that 2 were publishable for that house. Even so, my odds are a lot better at being 1 of the 450 than 1 of 15,000.

So, while those stats do seem pretty bleak...they actually aren't that bad!
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