A male name makes you 8 times more likely to get published, one female author finds.
So reads the headline of this article in the UK Independant earlier this month. Author Catherine Nichols received a strikingly positive response to here query letters once she realized what was wrong with her pitch: she was using her own, female, name.
After nearly 50 rejections of her well crafted queries she finally gave it a try: set up a new email under a male name and gave it another go. Almost immediately she received an enthusiastic response, from both male and female literary agents, including several who had previously rejected her book.
In another article about her in the Guardian, she explains:
“Apparently ‘George’ is eight and a half times better than me at writing the same book. Fully a third of the agents who saw his query wanted to see more.”