I've been querying a particular novel for some time now. At the beginning of the query track, I made a list of "dream agents". Blew through those. Revised the query letter, sent out the next batch, expanded my list.... all those things you do in an attempt to improve one's chances of getting a full request, and possibly an offer. But I think I've come to the end of my agent list.You don't mention which genres you're working in, but it's not the genre that might be tripping you up; it might be category.
My issue is that I tend to write in two specific genres, with projects often crossing over. (I am pleased at how many authors are writing crossover novels between my two genres, so I know this isn't an outlier idea, and I'm never at a loss for comp titles.)
My list was comprised of agents who said they repped these two genres. While most agents have been form rejects or NORMANs**, those few who have offered personal replies, either on my initial query, or on a full request, have had good things to say about my novel... just not that it's suitable to their list at this time. Alas.
Looking for agents who rep both my genres has limited the field somewhat, enough that I've now reached the end of agents who are open to queries and who rep my two genres.
My question is, should I risk querying agents who only rep one of my genres (and say they don't rep the other), knowing that they might not be interested in projects that skew towards another genre?
Or am I better off putting this novel aside and waiting six months until my next novel is ready for querying (again, another cross-genre project), and start from the top of my list once more? I'm not looking for an agent to rep a single project. I'm looking for a long-term relationship with an agent who wants to stick with me for my career (or significant part thereof).
Some categories just don't lend themselves to blending: Amish romance and serial killers; zombies and police procedurals; dystopian chick lit.
My hunch is you're probably not testing those boundaries since you got some requests, but sometimes agents look at something and think "nawww" without even reading to see if you pulled off Bakers in Space: The Final Fondue Tier
That said, I'm firmly in the camp of query every agent you're willing to work with regardless of what they say about genre or category. Sometimes we don't know we're looking for you till we hear from you.
As an example, I have a science fiction project on my list right now. If you were to ask me if I rep sf I'd say no, but this novel blew my sox off, and I will sell this thing if it requires I read the entire SF canon to be able to talk about it knowledgeably.
Thus: query everyone.
And, you might enter some of those Twitter manuscript cattle calls too. Those things are stalked by younger, less well known agents who are building their lists; agents you might not have heard of but work for agencies you have.
|Junior agent stalking manuscript|
**NO Response MeAns No agents
(NORMAN is a coinage of this blog; don't feel foolish you didn't know what it meant.)