(The following numbers are one season from one editor--probably not statistically significant, but interesting nonetheless)
Out of curiosity, and because we love data so much, I decided to take a look at one season of my list and analyze how we had found the books we acquired to publish for that season.
There are 36 fiction titles on my list in that season.
11 of these came to us through submissions from agents
10 were submitted directly by the author
Of this 10
*2 of the authors had an agent already
*3 signed an agent after we made our offer
15 are books that we pursued by contacting the agent or author ourselves
Of this 15:
*3 who were unagented when we approached them, signed an agent after we made our offer
Of all 36 books on the list, 4 had been previously self-published with sales of about 1000 copies or more. They were available from on-line retailers as well as by ordering from the major book retailers.
I receive 200-250 submissions per month. I would estimate that 60% of the submissions come from agents, and the rest directly from authors.
I have never, in 16 years of acquisitions, acquired a book for mainstream publishing that had been vanity-published.
What I'm looking for:
- single title romance fiction in all subgenres
- a heroine the reader can relate to
- a hero she can fall in love with
- a world gets created
- the author has a career arc
- commercial women's fic (strong romantic element, unusual premise and great hook!),
- historical fic (Regency, Georgian, Victorian England my faves),
- Jane Austen related fic (oh yeah!)