Author Topic: UK vs US (targeting agents)  (Read 428 times)

Offline jonny_555

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UK vs US (targeting agents)
« on: April 13, 2021, 04:02:29 AM »
Hi guys,

Here is my situation and I hope you can share your thoughts:

I reside in the UK, I write books set in the US, and 95% target US agents. My dream, since I was but a young boy, was to be a writer, publish in the US, and one day move and live there. While both sides operate similarly and work together, I do see a difference in how agents put themselves out there and how they call out for authors and submissions.

So after the last 6 months of query dejection with my last book (laugh you veterans, laugh) and nearly giving up hope, I am wondering if I should look at UK agents instead of the US. My concern and why I did not do this to begin with, is that my writing is for the US (spelling, pop culture, regional dialect and terms, settings). Would that put off UK agents? I also fear that some things are pictured differently between the two: a setting of a misty, spooky, small cozy town in the hills is very different in the US than the UK. The charm might not come through as planned.

Perhaps my book is to blame. I am under no illusion that it's great. Perhaps there are other reasons as well outside my control. But to have ZERO requests for partials or fulls after nearly 80 queries?

 :cry:

Disclaimer: I am ruled by the planet Mercury. One day I have hope and will never back down; the next I hate publishing altogether and want to quit.

If anyone would like to read my query, I will happily share it via PM (special thanks to the ever wonderful and helpful Richard C Lin who has already taken a look and shared some great feedback).

 

Find the blessing in your curse

Offline MKWrites_318

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Re: UK vs US (targeting agents)
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 07:54:47 AM »
If you've sent out that many queries and gotten no traction, something isn't working. And that sucks, and I've been there more than once, so my heart goes out to you. It could be the query letter, but it also might be the pages or the premise. Have you had a critique partner or writing group go over your work? Did you have it beta read? Have you looked at the market trends for your genre and age category to get an idea of how sellable it is right now? Because before querying anyone else, I'd take a step back and go back over your materials. Make sure that everything's as good as it can be before sending it out again.

As far as sending it to UK agents vs. US. UK agents are as familiar with American culture and American literature as you probably are, and I'm sure they receive queries set in the US and written by Americans pretty frequently. I queried a British agent a few years ago, for example. So I wouldn't worry about whether or not they'll get the vibe of the story. Actually, because you share the same culture and have a similar lens to them, they might catch the intended aura of your story better than American agents would, even though you wrote it with Americans in mind.

I'm more than willing to go over your query letter, if you'd like more eyes on it. It's up to you, of course. But definitely have more people look over your submission package (if not your full manuscript) and give you some fresh perspectives.

Offline Odd John

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Re: UK vs US (targeting agents)
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 08:51:23 AM »
That might actually work better.  No doubt there is a some market for US-slanted books in the UK.

And I could be wrong as to UK/US, but I'm pretty sure your "home agent" has to use a partner agent in the US if you still want to publish here. Specifically ask her to do so. It might sound odd, but so what. She would most likely not send anything she wouldn't rep herself "at home". Thus, you get the benefit of the US agent receiving an MS from a qualified source with an affirmative opinion, not "merely" a writer from the slush splash.

It's worth a go.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 08:54:01 AM by Odd John »
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Offline jonny_555

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Re: UK vs US (targeting agents)
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 09:25:05 AM »
Thanks MKWrites_318 and Odd John for your very encouraging views :)

Certainly worth a shot and hopefully with more success!
Find the blessing in your curse