Author Topic: When you write in multiple genres...?  (Read 508 times)

Offline mesmer7

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When you write in multiple genres...?
« on: August 17, 2020, 09:37:35 PM »
What do you do when you write in multiple genres, but you land an agent that only represents one of those genres?

I ask because I'm currently proposing a book on human sexuality (which I think will be classified as self-help), I've previously written two Crime novels, and I have a science fiction novel in progress. What do I do if I land an agent that only represents self-help books? Do I query other agencies for the novels?

Offline Tigerlily1066

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Re: When you write in multiple genres...?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2020, 02:56:06 PM »
For fiction and non-fiction, you may need separate agents. There are some who do both well and you can research this by seeing what types of books an agent has sold in the past few years.

For fiction, jumping genres can sometimes be a red flag for agents. Typically you would need to put out at least a few books in one genre before you could consider moving to another one. This is to try to build your audience, and the audience needs to know what kind of books to expect from you. If you're all over the place in the types of books you put out, it harms your ability to build your author brand. One potential way around this is to use a pseudonym for different genres. Even still, authors who go this route often develop one kind of book first before branching out.

Good luck!

Offline salliekate

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Re: When you write in multiple genres...?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2020, 03:36:53 PM »
While researching agents in general, I have seen this question answered most often with: it depends. Some agents who primarily represent adult fiction may represent a YA title for a current client. Or they may refer you to someone else in their agency who represents YA. Or they may say you should find a different agent for your YA title. Overall, from what I've read, there doesn't seem to be a standard "right" answer.

Offline Tabris

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Re: When you write in multiple genres...?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2020, 06:39:43 AM »
If you land an agent who only represents one of your genres, you ask how the agent intends to handle this fact.

I suspect what will happen is the agent will amend the standard contract to exclude your books in those genres and then either hook you up with another agent in the same agency who can handle them, or else free you to go look for a separate agent for just those books.

I would recommend NOT letting the agent go ahead with, "Well, I don't know anything whatsoever about this genre, but I'll try!" because they won't have the contacts, won't know how to pitch this specific book, and won't do a great job representing it. An agent can't pitch a book the agent doesn't understand.

Offline mesmer7

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Re: When you write in multiple genres...?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2020, 12:39:06 PM »
Thanks for the replies. This was helpful.