Saturday, March 02, 2013

Saturday Afternoon at the Question Emporium

I'm starting to research agents to query for the manuscript that's currently making its way through the teeth of my beta readers, and I find myself almost immediately stymied.

The novel I'm preparing to shop is pretty straightforward commercial crime.  While it's shopping, I'll be moving on to another project, and the three candidates clamoring for my attention are all various flavors of fantasy.  Looking at my portfolio of stuff in various stages of development and production, it's a pretty even split between crime/thriller and fantasy, with a couple that combine the two.

Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself here, but should this affect what kinds of agents I seek out? Should I try to stick to agents that rep both genres?  If I do push ahead with agents who don't rep fantasy and get some interest, at what point do I break the news that they might not be so interested in my next novel?  I know agents are generally looking to establish a long relationship with an author, and I don't want to shoot myself in the foot before I even start.

You answered your own question there in paragraph 3. Yes, you are getting ahead of yourself. Don't worry about the second book until the first book has done more than wow your beta readers. This is akin to casting the movie roles for a book that hasn't sold yet.  It's fun, but it's diverting you from what you should be thinking about: writing.  

However, there is an answer to your question and it's this:  what will happen will depend in large part on the agent you sign with.  Some agents rep several kinds of genre, so an agent like that might very well rep crime and fantasy. Some agents work in larger agencies so if s/he doesn't rep something you write, s/he'll have resources in the office to draw on in-house. Some agents have cordial working relationships with agents not in their agency and enter into co-agent agreements.

You of course, being a smart writer cause you read this blog will know to Query Widely.

None of this matters now. What matters now is you spend your creative energy writing fiction, not spinning scenarios.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Janet and to the questioner. This scenario is in my head today, and answered before I could ask.

Laura said...

Hi Janet,

I have an odd query question for you. I've read your entire blog and the query shark blog, and have never come across the situation I had recently. An agent responded to my query by asking me to rewrite my query and resubmit it to her. This seemed odd. If she hated my query, wouldn't she just say no? And if she was intrigued, wouldn't she ask for pages? Query writing is a blood, sweat and tears process, and I'm wondering if this is common for agents to ask for a query rewrite? Thank you!
Laura Martin