Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why Don't Agents Accept All Genres?

I frequently get submissions from authors for things I just don't acquire. Personally, I am always shocked by this because the guidelines are pretty darn clear on my website. But what I find interesting are those authors who write back to me after a rejection questioning why I would not look at their work. I have even had some authors complain that they think I am not being open enough to consider "their books." What people fail to realize is that agents specialize in genres for a reason.

These are the novels they understand.

Now, let me explain that the lack of understanding is not an intelligence thing. It is simply the fact that the genres we represent, we get all of the nuances of this style of book. We know what makes books that are successful in this genre tick and what makes some just fall flat.

Consider this. You probably read a lot of different genres out there. You can probably pick up a book in a different genre and say it is good or bad. But here is the catch. For those books that are out of your "normal" genre, you might not be able to pinpoint what it is about that book that works or doesn't work. Sure, you might like it but your reasons for liking it are probably pretty general.

You may have already experienced this if you have tried to write in a style or genre that you are new to. If the writing came across as a struggle, or you wrote things that came across as being very formulaic, or basic in style, then you really don't get that genre.

A lot of times, we also stick with genres that we simply like and enjoy. Look, when we are reading an excessive amount of submissions, we have to enjoy it! Work simply would not be fun if we were reading things we really don't like.

For me, when I opened Greyhaus 13+ years ago, I decided to stick with just romance and women's fiction. Why? I read it before I opened the agency and I loved knowing that these are stories about people. I also represent series romance, and especially Harlequin, because I have spent years getting to know the lines and what it takes to really write well in those lines.

This knowledge also gives us the connections that we need to make the sales for you.

So, as you consider who you want to send your stories to, really take the time to learn how much that agent really knows about the line. The more they know, the more they can help you!

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