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Finding a Literary Agent: Know Your Genre

Literary agents are extremely specialized in what they represent. Most represent only a few genres or subgenres, and they only represent stories they themselves love and are interested in. Just because you found a literary agent you like doesn’t mean that they represent the type of story you write.

If you want to be successful in signing a literary agent, you need to make sure that they fit the story you wrote. Many rejections are simply because the literary agent doesn’t represent your genre—not because there is anything wrong with your story!

So the first step to finding the right literary agent is to know what your specific genre is.

First, you need to know what you wrote. Did you write a novel? Memoir? Textbook? Etc.

Next, what is your overall genre (fantasy, historical fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction, etc.)?

Then you need to identify your subgenre. For fantasy, these include high, epic, urban, steampunk, and many others, but you will need to do research for your book’s specific genre.

Next is the age of your target audience (young adult, new adult, adult, children, middle grade, etc.) and any other relevant information about that targeted audience (male, female, LGTBQ+, Christian, New Age, etc.).

Put all that information together, and you have your genre.

For example, this is my genre:

Once you know your genre, you can match it with the right literary agents. Many literary agents list the genres they represent (and the ones they don’t!) on their website or blog. This is probably the easiest way to match your story to an agent. Another good way is to look up the books that they have represented and see if they are in the same genre as your book.

Using these techniques, you should be able to find the right literary agent for you and your book, and over the next few weeks, I’ll go over how to get in touch with that agent and how to give your book the best chance of being picked up by them.

So what genre are you writing? Let me know in the comments!

Peace of Christ,

Gabrielle

2 thoughts on “Finding a Literary Agent: Know Your Genre”

  1. Hello, what a clear, straightforward post! It really helped me understand how to actually find a proper literary agent (once I actually finish my novel, which is YA science fiction written from a Christian perspective). Thank you so much! I look forward to your posts each time I visit—your advice is much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. for my book i am currently editing, fantasy. either high or sword and sorcery. it is for middle grade – adventurers? not sure what else to put in target audience besides children, but it isn’t per-say a ‘kids’ book with a simple little kids plot.

    Like

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