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cswayden
05-12-2009, 05:27 AM
I've got a question about submitting to agents. I've written a young adult, science fiction novel. It's for young adults but it's a science fiction setting with space ships and weird creatures, blasters and strange worlds. There are quite a few agents that accept young adult but a lot of them say they don't want to see any genre fiction, i.e. sci-fi, fantasy, horror and such. Do I sent it to them anyway? Do I try to find only the few that accept YA and Sci-Fi? Who do I send the blasted thing to?

Red.Ink.Rain
05-12-2009, 06:12 AM
I'd try to find agents looking for both YA and sci-fi, but a lot of times agents who just specify "young adult" are seeking every kind of YA sub-genre imaginable. I've had the most luck with agents who are simply seeking YA and middle grade, personally. (I have a dystopian YA - kind of a light sci-fi.)

MissKris
05-12-2009, 08:19 AM
Send to all YA agents. If they also happen to like Sci-Fi, BONUS! Best I have been able to figure, if an agent doesn't want genre fiction, they are talking about adult fiction.

Danthia
05-12-2009, 04:34 PM
If they say specifically they don't do sci fi, I'd skip those. If you had a light sci fi element you might be able to squeak by, but it sounds pretty classic sci fi with space ships and aliens.

Reason being, if they don't like sci fi, they won't read it, understand the market for it, and be able to offer suggestions on improving yours. They also probably won't know which editor likes it and which house has been successful at it. It's not something they track since they don't rep it. My agent is awesome, but she doesn't do non-fiction. So she'd have no clue which editor would be a good fit for a non-fiction project despite her skill in placing a genre she does represent.

Team 2012
05-12-2009, 08:59 PM
Worry less about genres and more about specific works. If there is stuff like yours out there, find out who agented it.

This also allows you to address query letters with "I'm approaching you to represent "Mallrats From Mars" because of your success with "Skate Dweebs From Dimension X"..."

victoriastrauss
05-12-2009, 09:27 PM
YA is a specialized market--be sure to target agents who are experienced in selling to it (as opposed to agents with experience selling adult science fiction, which is quite a different market).

Just as a side note: Don't call it "sci fi." Among SF/fantasy enthusiasts, "sci fi" is regarded as pejorative.

- Victoria

C.T. Richmond
05-12-2009, 09:40 PM
I'm in the same boat that you are in, except I've written a middle grade science fiction novel.

One thing I've learned---definitely check out an agent's client list. I noticed on one agent's site that she isn't interested in genre fiction like fantasy, science fiction, and romance. But when I looked through her client list, I saw that she represents writers who write YA high fantasy and MG science fiction. So, some agents may not represent adult science fiction or fantasy, but may be open to YA and MG in these genres.

Good luck in queryland!

victoriastrauss
05-12-2009, 11:07 PM
One reason for this is that much children's and YA SF/fantasy/horror is published alongside mainstream books--unlike in the adult market, where those genres are generally confined to specialized imprints.

- Victoria

cswayden
05-14-2009, 08:36 AM
Thanks guys for your help. Sorry about the sci-fi mistake, Victoria. I will forever be calling it SF from now on:) Oh and Danthia, your agent wouldn't be interested in looking at new clients? Hmmmm? I know this is shameful but I'm beginning to understand that a lot of it, not all of it but quite a bit is who you know. How some stuff gets published is beyond me. Thanks for you input guys!

MelancholyMan
05-15-2009, 09:46 PM
I'd try to find agents looking for both YA and sci-fi, but a lot of times agents who just specify "young adult" are seeking every kind of YA sub-genre imaginable. I've had the most luck with agents who are simply seeking YA and middle grade, personally. (I have a dystopian YA - kind of a light sci-fi.)

I have one of these also. Have you secured representation? Seems tougher than it once was.

cswayden
05-16-2009, 04:30 AM
No I haven't secured representation but as I'm currently going through query hell for another novel in the share your work section here, I'm beginning to think my query has serious problems. And yes, it is tougher than it once was. Maybe when the ecomony turns around, the housing market rebounds and people have money again - in twenty years or so - the publishing industry will soften their publishing wallets. Maybe.

Red.Ink.Rain
05-16-2009, 04:31 AM
I have one of these also. Have you secured representation? Seems tougher than it once was.

Not quite yet, but close. (It's complicated, lol. They're co-agents - one read my book and loved it, the other's still trying to find time.)