View Full Version : Querying your novel to multiple agents but each a different genre? Bad form?

12-02-2011, 12:29 PM
Okay, I couldn't exactly find the right words for the thread title, so sorry if it sounds weird.

Basically, is it bad form to query an agent who may specialize in one genre, then query another spinning it from a different angle? Say your work straddles the boundaries of certain genres, say, horror/sci-fi (random example). Could I send different types of queries out lighting my novel differently depending on the agent's genre?

12-02-2011, 02:50 PM
It's always better to personalize queries, and that's what you're doing, in a way. Go for it!

12-03-2011, 04:56 AM
Like Inkblot, I think this is just smart personalization. Yes; go for it! :)

12-03-2011, 05:34 AM
Ditto. If it's truly on the line, or if one agent categorizes slightly differently than another, go for it.

12-03-2011, 06:15 AM
Although there's nothing wrong with what you want to do, you should be using this more as a criteria for choosing agents.

Let's say you have a book that could be literary or fantasy. I'd look for an agent that covers both genres. First they'd be better able to figure out which way it swings, but they also know editors in both genres who might be interested in it, potentially doubling your potential pool of editors.

When I was querying THE PICTURE, which has a YA age protagonist but wasn't written as YA, I aimed for agents who did both contemporary fiction and YA. The fact that it didn't fit into either genre unfortunately killed it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

12-03-2011, 07:27 AM
I agree with the above posts, but I will point out that you want to be careful not to mislead an agent in the query. You don't want them to read it expecting one thing and be disappointing to find its not quiet what they expected. It depends, I think, on which genres you are straddling.