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MothAnkles
01-10-2015, 11:55 PM
I am actively querying my MS which I *think* is literary fiction.

It has hints of transgressive fiction and touches of magical realism and flirts with philosophy through allegory.

The problem is that the unsuccessful feedback I've gotten is that I seem to have a niche project and need to hone in on the right agents. However, I'm unsure how to define that niche and where to look.

When I query literary fiction agencies feedback is such:

" Your query is interesting, but I'm overwhelmed with material at the moment and not really taking on new clients."

and

"The material is very interesting but not quite what we are looking for in terms of literary fiction."

etc., et al.

They all sound to me like "I'm not too familiar/comfortable with what you are throwing down."

Understanding that my project does not fit in the fat part of the literary fiction bell curve, how do I go about better trying to define so that I can find the right agent/agency?

Perks
01-10-2015, 11:59 PM
Those types of lines are pretty standard in form rejections and don't mean anything more than "no". You'll drive yourself absolutely crazy trying to guess what else the "no" sentences might mean. (Don't ask me how I know that.)

Your best bet is to keep refining your query and keep submitting to agents. Don't exert much concern over form rejections.

MothAnkles
01-11-2015, 12:13 AM
Those types of lines are pretty standard in form rejections and don't mean anything more than "no". You'll drive yourself absolutely crazy trying to guess what else the "no" sentences might mean. (Don't ask me how I know that.)

Your best bet is to keep refining your query and keep submitting to agents. Don't exert much concern over form rejections.

I think like you as well.

I have two very close published writing friends who have expressed pretty much the same sentiment as my rejections when compared to the more traditional and genre connections they have and have connected me with.

I think my frustration is not that my work is not an easier "fit" for the majority of agents listed, but that I don't know how to best define my work and give a focused and targeted effort in querying.

Upon reading the forum more, I'm thinking Fabulism might be a good genre definition.

Perks
01-11-2015, 12:23 AM
I'm not familiar with that category of fiction, but it's true that high-concept story-telling will shrink the pool of prospective agents. One piece of advice that I found helpful was to figure out where on the shelf I thought my book might fit and to query agents who represented works also found there.

Hang in there! Don't give up and best of luck in your search. Stick around and keep us posted.

MothAnkles
01-11-2015, 12:32 AM
Thanks for the encouragement, Perks!

Perks
01-11-2015, 12:34 AM
Of course!

(And I looked up fabulism and I'll bet there are people here on AW who'll have lines on where you should be looking. Sounds fun!)

Once!
01-11-2015, 03:46 PM
I read somewhere that there are two ways to find an agent or a publisher:

1. You do a lot of research to find the absolutely most perfect agent or publisher for you. You send just one pitch to this one perfect agent. They love it. Fame and fortune quickly follows.

2. You send your manuscript or proposals to many agents &/or publishers. Most reject it with a fairly standard reply which is a gazillion different ways of saying "not for me". Repeat until successful or you give up.

We all fancy we are going to hit gold with option #1. If only we can find that perfect agent/ publisher whose niche matches ours.

The reality is nearly always closer to option #2.

MothAnkles
01-12-2015, 08:15 AM
I read somewhere that there are two ways to find an agent or a publisher:

1. You do a lot of research to find the absolutely most perfect agent or publisher for you. You send just one pitch to this one perfect agent. They love it. Fame and fortune quickly follows.

2. You send your manuscript or proposals to many agents &/or publishers. Most reject it with a fairly standard reply which is a gazillion different ways of saying "not for me". Repeat until successful or you give up.

We all fancy we are going to hit gold with option #1. If only we can find that perfect agent/ publisher whose niche matches ours.

The reality is nearly always closer to option #2.

Good stuff, thanks for the note!

Filigree
01-12-2015, 09:06 AM
OP, have you queried Diana Fox of Fox Literary? She likes magic realism and more-literary fantasy.

MothAnkles
01-12-2015, 09:24 AM
OP, have you queried Diana Fox of Fox Literary? She likes magic realism and more-literary fantasy.

I haven't, but I'm on it now. Thanks!

Filigree
01-12-2015, 04:11 PM
She can be really slow at responding. She passed on a partial of mine several years ago, but gave me a multi-page response with invaluable and kind criticism. Check out some of the books she's repped, to get a feel for her style.

Roxxsmom
01-19-2015, 03:50 AM
Re Fox literary agency, a google search isn't tossing up a web site for the agency, and the link on publisher's marketplace http://www.foxliterary.com just takes you back to the entry on publishers marketplace.

I looked on preditors and editors, and their link for this agency goes to the publisher's marketplace listing again. They do have a $ for a verified sale, though there are several deals listed in the past 12 months.

So it looks like she's still in business, and has sold some books to big fantasy imprints (Tor, Orbit) too.

Anyone have a web site for this agent with submission instructions and all that (I ask, because I've also been researching agents who rep fantasy, and I hadn't run across her before)?

Silenia
01-22-2015, 01:02 AM
Re Fox literary agency, a google search isn't tossing up a web site for the agency, and the link on publisher's marketplace http://www.foxliterary.com just takes you back to the entry on publishers marketplace.

I looked on preditors and editors, and their link for this agency goes to the publisher's marketplace listing again. They do have a $ for a verified sale, though there are several deals listed in the past 12 months.

So it looks like she's still in business, and has sold some books to big fantasy imprints (Tor, Orbit) too.

Anyone have a web site for this agent with submission instructions and all that (I ask, because I've also been researching agents who rep fantasy, and I hadn't run across her before)?
Submission instructions seem to be on the publisher's marketplace listing, all the way down.