Where Your Passion Meets the Market

Where Your Passion Meets the Market Last month I wrote a post about building a long-term writing career (Are You in this for the Long Haul?). In my list of things writers can do to develop a long-haul career, I said: Pay attention to where your passion intersects with the market. I want to expand on that because it’s so crucial. Most writers start out writing what interests them (obviously) which is the way it should be. But things change once you transition from writing for fun to writing for fun & profit. The profit part requires you think about what you can sell. I often hear writers debating whether it’s best to write what you love, or try to write to the market. I think this is a false dichotomy. You need both. As a writer, you’re probably interested in a variety of topics and genres. So if you...
[ Read More → ]

Identify Your Novel’s Genre

Identify Your Novel’s Genre Writers often ask me, “How do I figure out what genre my book is?” While the answer is straightforward for some people, it can be a tricky question for others. It becomes even more complicated if you’re also resisting the idea that you have to put a classification or label on your novel at all. So let’s start there. You need to be able to tell someone what genre your novel is for a variety of reasons that all relate to the fact that you’re trying to make your art into a business. When talking to an agent or publisher about your novel, practically the first thing out of your mouth should be the genre. It sets the stage, sets up an expectation, and gets your listener in the right frame of mind to understand your story. Just like on Netflix or at the Redbox,...
[ Read More → ]

I Write Multiple Genres – How Do I Choose An Agent?

I Write Multiple Genres – How Do I Choose An Agent? Dear Rachelle: I am about to search for an agent. My first book is a memoir, and an agent said he would like to see it. My second book will be a novel, set in South Africa. I believe it will sell very well in South Africa, less so in the USA. Do I select an agent now who has significant experience promoting books overseas (or in Africa), or contract with a good agent who wants to represent my memoir but who has little or no international experience? Is it acceptable etiquette to shop the two books different agents? Thanks. ### There are a couple of different issues here. First is the foreign nature of your novel, and the second is that you have two books in entirely different genres. #1. Books with foreign settings and/or more foreign appeal than U.S.  Many agents sell foreign rights to...
[ Read More → ]

Why I Write Magical Realism

Why I Write Magical Realism Guest Blogger: Athol Dickson Several novels back I decided to begin including magical realism in my work. I started writing about fires that burn in spite of floods, mysterious cures, angelic interventions, and flying artists. My novels include magical realism because I want to write more realistically about this world, not because I want to escape it. Consider this famous quote from The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis: “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.” Is Lewis describing the world as it...
[ Read More → ]

Will My Agent Rep a Different Genre?

Will My Agent Rep a Different Genre? Blog reader J. Larkin wrote: I am currently seeking representation for a picture book (as an author, not an author/illustrator). I know the demand for picture book texts is not high at the moment, so I’m not expecting much of a response. But if I DO land a representation deal, will I be expected to stick with that agent when my YA novel is ready? Is it considered uncouth to query other people with a different style of project when someone else has helped you into the publishing world? This is a great question because it allows me to point toward a bigger picture. As we agents try to remind writers often, the agent-client relationship is… a relationship. So once you have an agent for that kids’ book, then the question of what to do with your YA novel is between you and...
[ Read More → ]

Pick a Genre

Pick a Genre I received a query that pitched six completely different kinds of books: A social commentary. A historical novel. A “road” story travel memoir. A compilation of short stories. A contemporary novel about a class action lawsuit. A history of Harley-Davidsons. There is absolutely nothing I can do with this, and it’s a quick pass. First, I need you to sell me on one book – your very best book, your “break in” book. Then once I’m interested and we’re in conversations about representation, I want to hear about the other books you have in the works, books that would serve the same audience as the first one. I need you to have a “brand” that you, your publisher and I can build and promote, book after book. When you have books in so many...
[ Read More → ]

Book Genres and Blog Stats

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uRzXwGv4xhQ/TbTjLFoBRiI/AAAAAAAAEd8/9LbWu-XPhdc/s320/numbers.jpg I had fun collecting stats on my sidebar polls last week. Thanks to all 1,453 of you who answered the questions! Turns out: → 93% of you are writers→ 85% of you are writing fiction→ 73% of you are not yet published→ 77% of you are writing for the general (not Christian) market By far the most interesting info I gathered was the genres my blog readers are writing (or at least those who chose to vote). Here’s how it stacked up: 26%  Fantasy or sci-fi 21%  General/other (non-genre fiction)12%  Women’s fiction 12%  Mystery/suspense 10%  Supernatural or paranormal 9%    Romance 7%    Historical (romance or not) I was particularly interested in the fact that the largest percentage was fantasy and sci-fi. I don’t...
[ Read More → ]

What I’m Looking For

Updated January, 2012 I represent books for the Christian market (CBA) as well as for the general market, and I’m now accepting queries for both. Please note: Read our Submission Guidelines before sending a query! My query policy: While we would like to respond to all queries, our policy is that if you do not hear back within 30 days, you can consider it a “pass.” If you follow the guidelines and send the query to the correct email address, you’ll receive an automated response so you’ll know we received it. What I’m currently looking for: Adult Fiction:  General and Christian market, full-length, 75,000 to 120,000 words. Women’s, Mystery, Suspense/Thriller, Police/Crime, Family Saga, Historical, Legal, Literary, Mainstream, Supernatural, Romance....
[ Read More → ]

Ask the Agent: Writing in Multiple Genres

One of the most common questions I receive is: Can I write books in more than one genre? Well, sure, write whatever you want! Can I write books in multiple genres and expect to build a successful publishing career? No. A lot of people have asked me this question, and they don’t understand my answer. Hey, they can write historicals, suspense, and fantasy. Why wouldn’t I be ecstatic about a multi-talented author who can do it all?? This is a marketing issue, first and foremost. If you want to publish books, attract a loyal readership, and have long-term success as an author, then you’ll need to pick a genre, do it well, and keep doing it over and over. Simple as that. All the arguing in the world and all the talent in the world is not going to change this reality. You need to...
[ Read More → ]

line
Site by Author Media © Rachelle Gardner.