Query Queries: What if my book doesn’t easily fit into one specific genre?


So what happens when you’re writing a book and you’re ready to query, but the story doesn’t easily fall into one specific genre?

Let’s look at how you handle that problem in your query letter.

I’ll be blunt and let you know that you do have to bite the bullet and call it something.  Even if you end up calling it something like “a middle grade adventure with supernatural elements,” then you’re at least calling it something.  What gets writers into a pickle is when they start their pitch with something like, “It’s a sci-fi western humorous fantastical suspense romance, set in steampunk Britain … with erotic werewolf transvestite protagonists.”   No.  Just don’t do this.

Essentially, it must be something, so pick its core genre and just call it that — otherwise your query might not even get read.  Most agents aren’t fans of writers comparing their work to other projects (saying “It’s X meets Z” — that type of thing), but said strategy — comparing your book to others in the marketplace — is most useful for those authors who have a hard time describing the plot and tone of their tale.

What do you think?  Can you narrow your work-in-progress to a simple statement of genre?

Query QueriesWriting Life

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