I asked people on Facebook to tell me what they’d like me to address on the blog. This post is in response to Debbie Maxwell Allen, who said:
Several agents post on their sites that they’re looking for manuscripts “at the intersection of literary and commercial.” Could you give a few examples of books that fall into this category?
This question kind of cracks me up because it’s hard to identify a book of this type until it’s already a commercial success. I mean, you could have a book that you think lies at that intersection. It’s on the literary side, and you think it has commercial potential. But it doesn’t gain any traction in the market so it’s not a commercial success. So did it lie at that intersection or not?
Basically when agents and editors say they want something at “the intersection of literary and commercial,” they’re looking for big bestseller mainstream (non-genre) fiction. They probably want something that might be categorized as general fiction opposed to genre fiction. It’s well written, with some depth, and a broad theme that would attract a large audience. Some might consider it to be on the literary side but it’s totally accessible.
Some 2011 examples might be:
It’s important to note that if you ask different agents and editors this question, the answers will be all over the map.
[ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]