I've been thinking about publication a lot recently, somewhat brought on by blog posts like this.
Jennifer states that there is a 1 in 3,467 chance she will accept you as a client. Another words, your odds of being struck by lightning are better, at only 1 in 3000 even. This post is meant to be encouraging, and it actually is if you take the time to read it.
It's sad to think that the odds of landing a top agent are so bad, but look on the bright side. The odds you will even pick up the pen are even worse. 15% of the worlds population is illiterate. Of the 85% remaining people on Earth, 1 in 4 haven't read a book in over a year. I'm sticking my neck out here when I suggest those who read also write, but there haven't been any polls about writing. :-/
If my math is right (and it probably isn't) we're down to 63% of the planet as potential writers and no one has even picked up a pen yet. Of course, that's still 3.5 billion+, but when you take away from that how many peopel start writing, how many actually finish, and get down to the remarkably few people who do the work...it's amazing there's that many submissions at all.
Just my thoughts.