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Unagented Submissions

With Harper-Voyage taking unagented manuscripts, I decided to toss in "Weeds Among Stone."


I expect nothing to come of this. With 12 slots open (I think), and likely a thousand submissions, that's a 1/100 likelihood that I'll make the cut.

What could change the odds?

Everyone who is offering up another vampire novel will wind up competing against each other. I don't feature zombies, vampires, or werewolves. So, say 50% of all those submissions are in those genres, and my odds have increased to 1:50. If I have successfully followed all formatting rules, then my odds increase again. Let's say 1:40. Let's assume even more cleverness on my part, and my odds might increase to 1:25.

1 in 25. I want to emphasize that. The rosie, optimistic chance of walking out with a contract is 1 in 25.

Personally, anticipate the number of submissions will be higher than 1000, so my odds are really worse than 1:25. 

Note that I haven't yet talked about whether the novel is any good or not. I'm just talking numbers. I figure that most novels will be tossed out based on summary. After that, more will get tossed out based on writing sample. Only about 10%, at best, will actually be read in whole or part.

So, to pass through, my summary needs to be unique enough to get through stage one, and my writing sample engaging enough to pass to stage two. Only after that does the novel itself get me a shot for stage three.