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Matthew Warner
10-18-2014, 08:54 PM
If I described my novel as "adult contemporary fantasy" in a query letter, do I risk it being perceived as porn? Maybe I should say it's "contemporary fantasy, adult audience."

Siri Kirpal
10-18-2014, 09:16 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Adult is default, therefore you leave the word out.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

meowzbark
10-18-2014, 09:28 PM
Erotica = porn

Don't mention the word erotica in your query.

Jamesaritchie
10-18-2014, 11:57 PM
If I described my novel as "adult contemporary fantasy" in a query letter, do I risk it being perceived as porn? Maybe I should say it's "contemporary fantasy, adult audience."

No, I wouldn't think so. Agents and editors know that "adult" means it isn't an MG or a YA. They do not think of porn when they hear the word "adult".

Jamesaritchie
10-18-2014, 11:58 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Adult is default, therefore you leave the word out.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

No, there is no default. If it's MG, you say it's MG. If it's YA, you say it's YA. If it's adult, you says it's adult. Doing so simplifies everything, and there is no confusion.

Siri Kirpal
10-19-2014, 01:50 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Okay. I stand corrected.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Matthew Warner
10-19-2014, 05:43 AM
Thanks!

Laer Carroll
10-19-2014, 06:19 AM
I don't specify the genre of my work at all. Most agents understand them (likely better than we do) and will know which your MS is from your query.

I save my words for trying to make the story as interesting and salable as possible. In the flood of queries that come in each day I want mine to waste the agent's time as little as possible, and to stand above all the others.

quicklime
10-19-2014, 08:49 AM
Erotica = porn

Don't mention the word erotica in your query.


er....what, and where, did you get that???

To the OP, don't oversell your book. Yeah, it theoretically broadens your market, but also, by definition, through dilution. You're better selling a strong literary thriller than a kinda-sorta literary-thriller "with strong judeo-christian symbolism and an emphasis on the technology of the future as well as the horror of the presence, all told through the perspective of a woman...."

Old Hack
10-19-2014, 11:50 AM
1) "Erotica" does not mean "porn". Let's not do that, thanks.

2) If you don't mention your book's genre in your query you might be doing yourself a disservice. I know agents who will auto-reject for this. If your query is brilliant then you might get away with this, but still. Think carefully.

Debbie V
10-21-2014, 04:30 AM
Naming the age level is absolutely expected for those agents who rep work for children and young adults. If an agent takes only work geared toward adults, there would be no need to mention it. You'd still want to specify genre though.

Matthew Warner
10-23-2014, 11:51 PM
I'm now thinking my novel is more accurately described as parallel world fantasy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_universe_%28fiction%29#Fantasy). Does that exist as as marketing term outside of genre theory? In other words, can I put "parallel world fantasy" onto my query letter?

My pitch is currently getting tenderized in query letter hell (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=298000&page=2), if anyone wants to take a swing at it.