How often do agents read queries? I ask because several agents post query status updates that seem to occur monthly, or at least several weeks apart. Of course I know everyone’s different, and the answer will vary widely depending on one’s current workload and how many queries one receives. But I am wondering whether most agents tend to read a couple queries every day (sort of like taking one’s vitamins and just getting it over with), or do they set aside a day for it, curl up with a beaker of scotch and slog through as many hundred as possible? Are there days of the week or month or year that agents tend to attack the slush pile more frequently? Do most agents have interns for just this sort of thing? Do most of you work weekends?
Oh my beloved woodland creature, you must be at a particularly difficult point in the novel if you are worrying about this!
What difference does it make to you?
However, because I know that you won't stop fretting till you have some information here you go:
(helpful, I know)
I read queries almost daily. I like to keep up. A simmering vat of unanswered queries makes me slightly crazy.
I know other agents read as they can and get very very behind. One agent who shall remain nameless (because really why would you need a name when you can have 1000 words instead)
often had 700+ queries backed up.
Another friend right now has over 1000.
That would kill me.
Some agents do have interns who do the first cull. A LOT of queries are so bad they can be rejected almost instantly.
Some agents read all their own queries. I do. Most of my colleagues read their own queries too.
And all of us read on weekends, in the middle of the night, on our phones on the subway, and when we should be paying attention to the flight attendant talking about water landings.
Here's the good news: no matter how many I get, the good ones catch my eye. Even if I don't request the manuscript, a good query gets serious attention.
As for posting updates: most of us post updates less often than we read queries because saying you're caught up throgh X date every day would soon become tedious.
I'm much farther caught up than my blog widget indicates. The reason it says 9/10 is because I have one query from 9/11, two queries from 9/12, one from 9/13 and one from 9/14 still pending. Those are queries that merited a closer look when I was tearing through them a couple days ago.
Given I get 20 or so a day, you can see I've already said no to 18 or 19 queries from each day 9/11-9/14.
NONE of this matters to you. You have no control over it and how agents read queries doesn't have much to do with how they'll view your query.
There is ONE thing you can control: the effectiveness of your query. Work on that.
Send your queries. Count forward 30 days. Query again to those agents who are courteous enough to reply to all queries.
Quit fretting about this. Figure out what's really bothering you and go take a bite out of that.