Author Topic: book-club fiction as genre  (Read 529 times)

Offline lucidities

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book-club fiction as genre
« on: March 20, 2022, 10:24:48 PM »
Hello, folks:

I'm currently personalizing a round of agent queries for a literary fiction ms. of 115K words that I see as very well suited to book-club readers. The limited extent to which "book club" is seen as a viable category of fiction (for example, it's completely absent in the Writer's Digest Guide to Literary Agents 30th Edition, 2021) poses a challenge if we wish to highlight that as the optimal "genre" when obliged to pick one. If it's even a choice anywhere!

I've largely been limited to agents who have, in some fashion or in some context, expressed interest in "book-club fiction" insofar as that can be googled. (Along with combing bios and profiles on agency websites.) It's a small number--though a ripe collection.

Would you like to chat a bit about any experience you may have had around "book-club" as a viable moniker for a genre, or even seeing the phrase used in this way? It'll be a pleasure to hear from you, if you're so inclined. Thanks!

lucidities  (aka Tom F.)

Offline JeanneG

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    • Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Re: book-club fiction as genre
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2022, 09:39:10 AM »
Book-club or upmarket fiction rarely stands on its own, so if you want to broaden your reach, combine your description with another genre: upmarket historical, upmarket women's fiction, an upmarket mystery. Your choice of comps will help with this definition.

JeanneG
Debut novel, BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) released in March 2015; winner of IPPY in national category of religious fiction and currently a finalist for IAN Book of the Year. My work-in-progress: THE DOUBLE SUN.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JeanneLyetGassman
Twitter: @JLyetGassman

Offline Viddiest

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Re: book-club fiction as genre
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2022, 01:44:21 PM »
Hello!

When I was querying, I pitched my book as Literary Fiction to agents. But now my agent will likely pitch it as Upmarket to editors. I think Upmarket and Book Club are pretty much the same. I’d pick the former over the latter when pitching to agents. Just my preference.

All the best!

Offline lucidities

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Re: book-club fiction as genre
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2022, 06:47:38 PM »
Thank you, JeanneG and Viddiest, for valuable perspectives! Onward--best of outcomes to you both--

Offline lucidities

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Re: book-club fiction as genre
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2022, 06:27:12 PM »
"book club" as genre category--if that can be argued. Or maybe better: "book club" as searchable identifier for finding agents who are keen on seeing manuscripts appropriate to that audience such as it is.
     I've been disappointed by not seeing the phrase highlighted, or headed or subheaded, or even glossaried, in the Reader's Digest Guide to Literary Agents 30th Edition. Wanted an alternative to scouring sooooo many entries for that phrase. . . .
     . . . and found a way. Using Google Books, I typed in the name of this reference volume to access a searchable version. (books.google.com) Then typed in "book club" to search among the spottily reproduced pages of the GLA 30. Many pages are labeled as "not shown in this preview"--but 17 hits on the phrase did show up. Fourteen agent listings were identified!