View Full Version : agents for cross-genre book

08-28-2010, 10:52 PM
Perhaps I am very thick headed, and I am only beginning to compile my agent list for sending queries (going out in a few weeks), so maybe I'm just not finding them. Is there a good way to find agents who are actually interested in cross-genre books?

For the record, my book is written to target a specific niche market, and it can't really be edited to "fit" into one genre or another. It would ruin the book.

Let me state that my current method of looking for agents is akin to stumbling around blindfolded in the dark looking for pins scattered in the shag carpet.

Should I just look for agents who like books in all the genres it seems to cover?

08-28-2010, 11:59 PM
That's what I would do -- find an agent that is interested in all of the multiple genres. Check out agentquery.com, you can search agents by the genres they are interested in, and use that to narrow down your search.

08-29-2010, 04:49 PM
Ditto. You could also take a step back and look at your book in a more broad sense and see what other books are like it in some way. See what agents rep those books. For example, if an agent has a lot of cross genre books on their client list you know they like and are good at selling, those types of books.

08-29-2010, 10:06 PM
Thank you very much to both of you. There are no other books that cover similar genres, although I feel the market is very much ripe for it.

I've been perusing agents using agentquery and am having much better luck than simply randomly looking at bogs and agent sites. There seem to be many who are interested in cross genre books as well as what I have.

My book is a comical chick-lit, urban fantasy combination with a dose of mystery. It is primarily aimed at moms, but will appeal to many others due to the humor. I've never even heard of anything like this

Corinne Duyvis
08-30-2010, 03:34 AM
I think you can take out the 'mystery' part of the genre - it's a pretty common aspect of urban fantasy. That narrows it down to urban fantasy with a chick-litty voice/chick-lit with paranormal elements. Sometimes describing it like that works better than trying to slot it into all possible genres.

In your query, I suggest not mentioning that there are no books in your genre; it's usually a sign of writers actually not knowing their genre all that well. UF/chick-lit combinations definitely exist. Off the top of my head there's MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series and Shanna Swendson's Katie Chandler series, but undoubtedly there's more. Even if your book *is* completely unique, saying that it is in your query will just make an agent raise their eyebrows and go, "Wanna bet?"

If you're looking for agents, I'd also suggest www.querytracker.com; from what I've found, it's usually more up-to-date than www.agentquery.com, and you get to keep track of your queries/responses. It's wonderful.

Good luck querying!

08-30-2010, 05:40 AM
Cool, I will leave the mystery part out. I wasn't planning on mentioning it was "unique" or the only thing, because that just sounds lame and naive. It's 2010, are there really any 100% new ideas anymore?

I'm not aware of anything urban fantasy that has a mommy (as in has 3 kids) character and an extreme comic bent, but I'm not saying it isn't out there.

There are a TON of female protagonists on the urban fantasy shelves right now, but most seem very single, and few are older. I'm excited about the book because I think there is a big market for it. My test readers have been enjoying it.

Giant Baby
08-30-2010, 08:03 AM
... My book is a comical chick-lit, urban fantasy combination with a dose of mystery...

Describe it as women's fiction, not chick lit, for the love of all you hold dear. Chick lit is dead done gone (at the moment, anyway, and the forseeable future), but women's fiction is eternal.

Actually, I'd go another way altogether in describing your genre. Obviously, I don't know your book, but I'd probably try something more along the lines of "an urban fantasy for ass-kicking soccer moms" (not that of course, but something that is actually true to your story) for agents who rep UF, and then flip it on its ear "women's fiction that will appeal to readers who have long suspected the existance of a portal between the back alleys of Heaven and Wrentham Village's Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store" for agents who rep women's fiction.

This can be done much more subtly if you've really captured your story in your query, but a little hint that you understand there's something more going on than just "UF" or "women's fic" will clarify for the agent that you do understand your genre. What they don't want to see is "comical chick-lit, urban fantasy combination with a dose of mystery." But you already know that- it's why you asked.

Try to decide where your book would fit best on the shelves of a bookstore, and start with agents who rep that genre. But, if your story is truly crossing genres, query agents who rep any/all of the genres you think might be appropriate, but tailor your query to appeal to each of them individually.

(Don't mention that your book is comical, BTW- make your query humorous and the agents will get it. Show, don't tell, and all that.)

Good luck!

08-30-2010, 09:03 AM
That was extremely helpful as well. I will do that! It's easy to incorporate into the query, and I can adjust by agent. I think it will fit best on the urban fantasy shelf, but it is one of those books that will appeal to non-standard readers. That's marketing though and waaaaay down the road, LOL.

THANK YOU for letting me in on the chick-lit/women's literature tip! This is my first book, and I am very new to this. I'm catching on quickly and researching as much as I can, but I had not caught that little fishy detail anywhere. That will help a ton!