How much does (assumption of) gender preference play a role in who to query--am I shooting off a proverbial foot by excluding men from my queries because my novel doesn't seem like something to their preference--or is it really more about what a person can sell?
I understand finding the right agents means finding someone invested in the story and willing to read, re-read, and re-re-read a client's manuscript. Finding the agent that actually does feel "drawn into the opening pages" is no small feat. I've (likely wrongly) assumed an agent interested in say, Romance for example, tends to be women and this has bearing on what they'll represent.
You're shooting yourself in the foot by excluding men in general from your query list.
Unless you absolutely do not want to work with a man no how no way**, in which case you're in the wrong place cause we let men work in all aspects of publishing and you're bound to run into one sooner or later.
Blanket assumptions about what groups of people like/don't like/think/believe/act are what make one any number of -ists.
Assuming men in general don't read romance is sexist.
And assuming something about a particular agent is equally dangerous. If my incoming queries are any indication, people who start their queries with political assumptions about me are wrong 100% of the time.
everyone. Sort 'em out when they come with offers of rep based on what they say and what they've sold.
**A recent Twitter post about a job applicant reveals this as a less-than-effective thing to tell prospective employers.