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!


Bowman said...

Ha ha. I wonder if anyone says, "You know, I'm in the 'inappropriate, illiterate, or crazy' section."

I'm hoping, as are you, we are closer to the .02% or 3% than the bottom 97%. :'( <-- tears of hope and joy

lotusgirl said...

Yeah, I'm hoping I would be in the upper 3% at least. I don't plan on sending my manuscript in on napkins written in crayon, so that'd be 1 out of 14,500. Maybe. haha!

PJ Hoover said...

The odds are totally working in your favor!

Christina Farley said...

Your there. You just need the right fit. Um, I'll get to your manny very soon. I plan on reading those first chapters ASAP! I'm cheering for you from over here on the other side of the world.