A recent query included this line:
My ego would love to tell you that this is pure, unadulterated literary fiction, but if I’m being realistic, it’s probably much more commercial (although my ego would also like to add that there’s definitely at least one or two very deep literary elements present).
I'm going to give the query writer the benefit of the doubt: he didn't actually intend to insult me, or my clients who write commercial fiction.
And maybe I'm just being too prickly.
That's always a valid choice since I am by nature crabby, prickly and easily annoyed.
But the problem is: he's querying me for a novel and this is probably the least effective thing to say about a book you want me to read. Well, there's "fiction novel" but I stop reading when I see that.
"My ego wants this to be literary fiction" implies your ego would be ruffled were it to be called commercial. I don't need a degree in logic to understand you mean commercial is somehow lesser.
Yea well, fuck that noise.
Honest to godiva, do you think I sneer at commercial fiction? The kind that makes money and sells a lot? Man oh man, you need to look at my list again.
And even the agents who specialize in more literary fiction don't exactly turn up their noses and refuse the lovely lolly when their books sell well.
Your take away from this: if you think commercial fiction is beneath you, self-publish.