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Old 09-14-2009, 09:09 PM   #1
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Agents for "conservative" political fiction?

Are there Agents who specialize in fiction with a "right-wing" i.e. conservative/libertarian political slant? And how would I find one?

As a hypothetical (and somewhat facetious) example, let's say I have a novel in which the "good guys" are gun-toting, beer-swilling, SUV-driving, Sarah Palin-voting, fundamentalists from Kansas; and the 'bad guys" are sensitive, environmentally-conscious, latte-sipping Bryn Mawr graduates who majored in multicultural gender studies. I find a little hard to believe that the average Agent, who is herself a Bryn Mawr graduate (or similar) is going to be real thrilled about promoting a book that attacks her core values.

By the way: Before somebody comes back and says "it doesn't matter because there's no market for that kind of trash anyhow," my reply is going to be that there seems to be a very good market for "right-wing" NON-fiction. The Glenn Becks and the Ann Coulters and the Jonah Goldbergs seem to be able to sell plenty of books. So why would there not be a market for fiction directed at the same audience?
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam smith View Post
Are there Agents who specialize in fiction with a "right-wing" i.e. conservative/libertarian political slant? And how would I find one?

As a hypothetical (and somewhat facetious) example, let's say I have a novel in which the "good guys" are gun-toting, beer-swilling, SUV-driving, Sarah Palin-voting, fundamentalists from Kansas; and the 'bad guys" are sensitive, environmentally-conscious, latte-sipping Bryn Mawr graduates who majored in multicultural gender studies. I find a little hard to believe that the average Agent, who is herself a Bryn Mawr graduate (or similar) is going to be real thrilled about promoting a book that attacks her core values.
I would think any agent that handles political fiction would be able to place your ms, but maybe I'm wrong.

Quote:
By the way: Before somebody comes back and says "it doesn't matter because there's no market for that kind of trash anyhow," my reply is going to be that there seems to be a very good market for "right-wing" NON-fiction. The Glenn Becks and the Ann Coulters and the Jonah Goldbergs seem to be able to sell plenty of books. So why would there not be a market for fiction directed at the same audience?
Nobody here worth their salt should ever come back with a comment like that. They'd be seriously hoisted up the yardarm because it breaks Rule #1: Respect your fellow writer. However, if you're afraid somebody might say something like that, take a deep breath; you're underestimating the level of help you might get here.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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A common way to do this is find such novels and look up the publishers. I've not read the the novel and don't know how "conservative" it is, but there's Newt Gingrich's "1945" and I recall he may have written other novels (check publishers for all, he may have had different ones).

Also there's the novel by "Anonymous," Primary Colors, the reviews said it was "obviously" a snarky take on the Clinton Presidency. The "Anonymous" writer was eventually revealed to be a Washington DC reporter whose name I didn't recognize.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam smith View Post
As a hypothetical (and somewhat facetious) example, let's say I have a novel in which the "good guys" are gun-toting, beer-swilling, SUV-driving, Sarah Palin-voting, fundamentalists from Kansas; and the 'bad guys" are sensitive, environmentally-conscious, latte-sipping Bryn Mawr graduates who majored in multicultural gender studies. I find a little hard to believe that the average Agent, who is herself a Bryn Mawr graduate (or similar) is going to be real thrilled about promoting a book that attacks her core values.
I think the main thing to do would be to make sure I had written an entertaining novel that tells the story I want to tell, written the best I can write it, and not just a three-hundred page delivery system for my attacks on anybody's core values.

Thrillers are a pretty conservative genre to begin with. I would find some published works that are pretty close in topic and tone to my 'red versus blue' book and check the Acknowledgements pages. Then I'd query whichever agents those authors thanked.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:36 PM   #5
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If an agent has issues with what a character in the book thinks, they aren't the agent for you. Plus, most agents have topics they don't represent for personal reasons. Don't query one who says publicly they don't like that kind of book.

And what a character thinks isn't important. It's the story that matters. If a story works and is entertaining, you can find an agent for it. If it's just a vehicle for the author to get out their views on whatever topic, it's bad. It'll come through and likely no one will want it. People read fiction to be entertained, not preached to.

You'd find an agent for it same as any other book. Try agentquery.com, research agents and find ones who represent books like yours. Check amazon.com and see what other political fiction is out there, and see who represented it (either check acknowledgments, or subscribe to Publishers Marketplace and search their deals database).
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:58 AM   #6
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I doubt you'll have much of a problem because your description of the conservatives in the story fit the liberal view of who conservatives are. Without turning this into a political post, the "conservative" agent might be turned off because of this, since conservatives are regular workaday people with regular kids in a regular home trying to get through the day, just like liberals.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:44 AM   #7
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I think many agents who deal with adventure novels would be fine with that because the MC is usually gun toting/explosive loving. Also, if you look at the latest Bond movie, the bad guy was an environmentalist...

Is your book really a political book? Or is it a story that just happens to have a right-leaning protag?
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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Your good guys can be good guys just because they're good. Their political inclinations, gun-totingness and religious sensibilities can be perfectly correct to them, for reasons that are perfectly appropriate from their point of view.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:11 PM   #9
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I'm not an agent, but the only thing that would really annoy me one way or the other would be if the work was excessively preachy. I can't quite think of an example, but I know I've read some things that are. I get irritated by anything that tries to tell me which party I should be voting for, or worse, that is obviously a case of the author demonizing whatever side they disagree with. That goes left- and right-wing.

If you have a character with a particular political leaning then cool. I can't imagine an agent turning down a great book just because it happens to have something in it they disagree with. Heck, this is fiction. I've also liked plenty of characters that I disagree with, some precisely because of it.

I'd say as long as you aren't overly preachy or obviously trying to pitch one side over the other as the goal of the book (meaning the political side is a factor in the story and there because of the story, rather than the story existing for the sake of promoting a political ideal), then you should be fine. Then again, the latter kind certainly exist as well.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:09 AM   #10
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I know I'm bumping an old thread but this is how I found the site, by performing a search on "conservative literary agent." I have the same question.

So far I have self-published because I didn't want to go through the process of dealing with publisher s and agents before I had something successful to show. I have had some success with it. Readers seem to like it.

I'm looking for an agent that can help me land a traditional publishing arrangement, not subsidized publishing or vanity publishing. I believe the quality and content of my work is on par with any out there. But I want to find the right agent. I think I prefer on in the New York City area with experience with the big publishing houses. When such an agent sees my work, I think it will rise to the attention of such an agent.

Now, my early work is generally conservative, as I am. It is intended to capitalize on the current wave of political/economic/social punditry in our society: Cable news and talk radio. However, my characters and themes are very layered. Bail Out is not overtly political and does not discuss politics at all, but rather the shift in the economic environment in which the characters live is a back-story. The characters live in the inner-city and are not thinking of such grand concepts as GDP, net exports, or inflation and unemployment rates. The reader sees their lives change due in large part to a change in their economic situations, which they never talk or think about in any academic sense.

My second book, Bail Out's companion, is overtly political. It demonstrates the struggles that occurred in order to cause the economic changes in Bail Out. Bail Out is the story of the average person's life, and Stimulus is the story of how the macroeconomic shift took place that resulted in the Bail Out story. Stimulus is a story of big business and corporate executives and their struggle with government regulators, minority activists, union organizers, and a hostile media.

But, though I definitely use the dialogue in Stimulus to educate and generally promote a pro-capitalist philosophy, and I am not denying that, the story and characters are far more layered than that. In fact, the main decision of the company that turns prosperity into poverty in Bail Out comes from a mid-level executive who is a social liberal but a corporate capitalist at the same time. It is one of her socially liberal, outside-the-box suggestions in the board room that is at the core of the story.

In addition, both stories deal largely with the personal lives, struggles, triumphs and failures of the major characters away from their professional careers, so the novels don't read like economics textbooks.

The political and economic discussions come from the characters' dialogue, with each character representing his or her own viewpoints. And, I think I represent all viewpoints fairly . I demonstrate why each character believes the way they believe, and no character is a straw man to be easily taken down easily. If their political and economic ideas are fail, the causes and manner in which they fail is demonstrated and discussed.

So far, I have approached this with the attitude of becoming my own publisher, even willing to accept other authors once I get some big orders for Bail Out. Bail Out is in print and is going into Books-A-Millions stores this week in limited supply, but is in the BAM ordering system so any store can order copies. I have contacted Baker & Taylor and Anderson Merchandising to become a supplier for both. That can potentially put me in every book retailer in North America. Bail Out is also available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Stimulus is about 10 chapters from completion and will be finished by the end of this month. First draft, that is, and ready for the editing process. If I don’t have the budget for an initial printing, I will make Stimulus available for Kindle at Amazon at very low cost until it gains a market.

I have two other novels in progress, which I will return to when Stimulus is in major part complete. Neither of those are political stories; both are slices of Americana. One is in the detective genre, except instead of a murder mystery, it is a large accounting scandal at a corporation. The other is a bittersweet comedy about retired seniors. Finally, I am ghost-writing an autobiography of a beloved retired high school educator. See the "Mr. Edge's Memoirs" page at FaceBook.

There are so many web sites for literary agents of various types, and I suppose my challenge is weeding through them to find the right few so I am not sending out hundreds of queries to those who are not interested. I am looking for suggestions.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #11
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My best advice would be to find conservative books, and try to figure out who represented them (they have a tool for that on publishers marketplace). Chances are, you'll find a few agents that accept fiction.

Also, you may consider somebody who represents political works and stuff for the christian market. Of course, it doesn't mean they'd be into the right wing stuff, but there would probably be a fair chance.

But really, any agent who reps anything political would probably say if they specifically wanted one ideology and not the other. If not, they could probably place either.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:36 PM   #12
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The Glenn Becks and the Ann Coulters and the Jonah Goldbergs seem to be able to sell plenty of books. So why would there not be a market for fiction directed at the same audience?
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #13
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You're very right. I'm just browsing and choosing a few general fiction agents in NYC and sending queries for both books. Thank you.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:32 PM   #14
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So far I have self-published because I didn't want to go through the process of dealing with publisher s and agents before I had something successful to show. I have had some success with it. Readers seem to like it.
Define 'some success'.
Unless you've sold somewhere in the region of 10k books an agent is unlikely to be impressed.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:50 PM   #15
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You're very right. I'm just browsing and choosing a few general fiction agents in NYC and sending queries for both books. Thank you.
It may be helpful to post your query letter in the Share Your Work QLH (Query Letter Hell) section. Please read the warnings/stickies if you decide to do this, and read through some of the current query letters.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:32 PM   #16
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Good agents, like good publishers, don't care one way or the other. An agent's job, like that of an editor, is finding books that will sell well to the reading public. Period.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:42 PM   #17
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by adam smith View Post
Are there Agents who specialize in fiction with a "right-wing" i.e. conservative/libertarian political slant? And how would I find one?

As a hypothetical (and somewhat facetious) example, let's say I have a novel in which the "good guys" are gun-toting, beer-swilling, SUV-driving, Sarah Palin-voting, fundamentalists from Kansas; and the 'bad guys" are sensitive, environmentally-conscious, latte-sipping Bryn Mawr graduates who majored in multicultural gender studies. I find a little hard to believe that the average Agent, who is herself a Bryn Mawr graduate (or similar) is going to be real thrilled about promoting a book that attacks her core values.

By the way: Before somebody comes back and says "it doesn't matter because there's no market for that kind of trash anyhow," my reply is going to be that there seems to be a very good market for "right-wing" NON-fiction. The Glenn Becks and the Ann Coulters and the Jonah Goldbergs seem to be able to sell plenty of books. So why would there not be a market for fiction directed at the same audience?

If a book is good, an agent will take it. From your post, and this is only specualtion, but I would be more concerned about the angles not going so heavy-handed as to become preachy or detractingly hsm-fisted. I only say that because you seem intent on creating a niche story based on buying demographic, rather than creating a story which resonates with you, and if it is your "focus-group creation" then it is a hard thing to create based on an alien audience, if it is your "manifesto-turned-fiction", it is hard not to let your own ego get into the way.....
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:17 PM   #19
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These are all excellent suggestions. Thank you!
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:54 AM   #20
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A common way to do this is find such novels and look up the publishers.
Okay, so anyone know who Ayn Rand's agent is? lol. Because I don't know any other good conservative fiction, or any that is not 50 years old. Hard to find a conservative agent when it is this hard to find a conservative novel!
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:07 AM   #21
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That is true, but I feel as though the market is ready for a surge in conservative fiction. I did find one agent in NYC who mentions an interest in conservative fiction at its web site. Other than the two novels I wrote earlier this year, I know of only one other recent novel with conservative themes, and that is Universal Coverage by Daniel Putkovski. It does not appear to have representation. I found an article from 2005 which mentioned a trend toward conservative fiction, and named two authors, but both were well-known names retired from government, and both represented by large agencies that are not accepting new clients at this time. In addition, I went to the Regnery Publishing site. Regnery publishes several conservative nonfiction titles, but states that it only accepts proposals from agents, not from unrepresented authors.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:08 AM   #22
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I don't think any agent that handles political fiction would have a problem representing a book whose main characters have different values/views of the world than he/she does. However, I think a lot of agents would have a problem with representing a book that they feel is preachy, makes the bad guy liberals out to be caricatures, etc. In other words, if you've written a book to tell a damn good story with great characters all around, and your protagonists just happen to be Sarah Palin voting, gun toting etc etc, I think you're fine. If, on the other hand, you've written a book to espouse the rightness/advocate for a certain viewpoint, with the story/characters coming second, then I think you might have some difficulties.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:12 AM   #23
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Right. It's important to take care not to make it an editorial, or a textbook on conservative economics and political science. My main character in Stimulus is actually a social liberal and corporate capitalist at the same time, and it is her "progressive" views on corporate responsibility that form the basis for the story. All the characters in Bail Out are entirely non-political and don't think or talk about politics or economics. They simply pursue the needs and desires in their own individual lives. The conservative story happens in the background, and only the reader notices that.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:21 AM   #24
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Okay, so anyone know who Ayn Rand's agent is? lol. Because I don't know any other good conservative fiction, or any that is not 50 years old. Hard to find a conservative agent when it is this hard to find a conservative novel!
Rand was originally represented by Ann Watkins, who also represented Sinclair Lewis.

Watkins didn't sell The Fountainhead, they fell out, Rand shopped it around and eventually sold it to a small publisher. After that, she never had an agent in the US.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:39 AM   #25
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benbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbenbradley is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrina, Corrina View Post
Okay, so anyone know who Ayn Rand's agent is? lol. Because I don't know any other good conservative fiction, or any that is not 50 years old. Hard to find a conservative agent when it is this hard to find a conservative novel!
I don't think it's THAT hard. Newt Gingrich has had two or three novels published, and while I know very little about them (mainly that they historical novels set in America), I have no doubt they have a strong conservative leaning.

Michael Crichton wrote "State of Fear" which is arguably a conserviative novel, but he had such a strong record of selling books there's probably not much he couldn't get published under his name.

Also, there was "Primary Colors" by (then) "Anonymous," about the Clinton Administration. I'm not even sure which political side it takes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Anonymous View Post
I don't think any agent that handles political fiction would have a problem representing a book whose main characters have different values/views of the world than he/she does. However, I think a lot of agents would have a problem with representing a book that they feel is preachy, makes the bad guy liberals out to be caricatures, etc. In other words, if you've written a book to tell a damn good story with great characters all around, and your protagonists just happen to be Sarah Palin voting, gun toting etc etc, I think you're fine. If, on the other hand, you've written a book to espouse the rightness/advocate for a certain viewpoint, with the story/characters coming second, then I think you might have some difficulties.
It's arguable that "State of Fear" had those very problems.
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