Friday, May 30, 2008

Ask The Agent

Hi All! Welcome to Ask The Agent for this week with the fab Elaine Spencer from The Knight Agency. Thanks again for the great questions. Don't be shy now. Keep them coming. Please post your questions in the comments section. Elaine can't answer what she doesn't have. Keep this party going!

How would you feel about taking on a first-time author with a romance in one genre, who wants to write in additional genres of romance? Do you prefer/advise that she stick to one until established?

This is a VERY common question these days. There are a lot of authors out there that are finding great success in writing novels in multiple genres. The fact of the matter is this is the essence of how many of today’s successful authors are breaking out. They are contracting themselves out to different publishers and hooking readers from a variety of audiences.

As an agent we never want to restrain an author’s creative process by telling them they can only write in genre A or genre B. However, it is our job to help them realize and manage the many complications that come with such a decision.

Taking on this type of obligation opens the door for many new obstacles including juggling multiple deadlines, budgeting promotion to different markets, and having to devote equal energy to creating multiple top-notch projects, no small feat. I can tell you that I don’t discourage authors from traveling this path, but I do make sure that they can handle the pressures associated within any one genre before tossing them into another as well.

So, in short, yes, I do prefer to wait until they are some what established in one before advising them to spread their wings to another. However, if you talk to my clients, or any of those at TKA for that matter, I can pretty much guarantee that none of them will claim we haven’t encouraged them to write what they love. Passion for a genre definitely translates onto the page and it definitely helps in the sale of books


I was wondering, are agents today only interested in representing authors with full length novels? I have written a novella, and I'm wondering what my chances of getting representation are.

I hate to be harsh, but as an unpublished author the chances of getting a novella, or even an anthology of novella’s, published is slim to none. There also isn’t a whole lot of money involved in the process and so when determining how I’m going to budget my man hours, this type of opportunity holds little appeal to me.

This is of course, as always, just my opinion. I can tell you I don’t want to see queries for novellas, no ifs ands or buts.

Thanks so much. I hope that was helpful. Come on back for next week's post. Also click on the Ask The Agent label to the right to read past posts.

Oh, and Scroll down for a little more TOP CHEF talk!

best,
Kwana


2 comments:

Edward said...

Will a literary agent be more likely to gain a movie option for me than my small publisher?

Background: I won publisher's annual contest and SAY GOODBYE, first in my Reluctant Sleuth Mystery series (romantic suspense), was published in February. Second novel in series is due out in December. I've completed (and gotten edited) a third, and I'm 63,700 words into a fourth. But because I won the contest, I have no literary agent.

FYI, book just named a 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist, and info on me and samples from three novels are up on www/.reluctantsleuth.com.

Lise said...

The reply to the question on multiple genre-writing authors was very helpful and pointed out the "aftermath" of the actual writing process, the editing deadlines and particularly the promotional work that would be, to a certain extent, different in that different readers would be targeted, different venues used by an author to advertise and promote in. For me, it gives a good idea of the exhaustive amount of investigation that I will have to do even before publishing, to make the post-publication process as streamlined as possible and maximize my efforts when I put on the "marketing" hat. And given the essentially positive response, I'm energized to forge ahead.

Thanks!

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