Friday, March 15, 2013

Upmarket Fiction

Okay, so maybe I posted too soon. Maybe yesterday's post was naive, or at the very least, the list was too flippant. Writing query letters is tough stuff.

A word I continue to come upon as I search for agents is "upmarket fiction." It sounds so pretentious, but I'll roll with it (there's that "roll v. role" again).

What is upmarket fiction? I am admitting my ignorance here, but this whole blog probably communicates that, so, as a an old friend used to say, whatevs.

Upmarket fiction is basically book club fiction. The top lit agents want fiction they can sell, but they want it to be damn good fiction. Literary fiction is damn good, but it's hard to sell, thus the new "genre." We want books that people will talk about, but we want to be able to fit them into a category, and we can't quite do that with literary fiction, which is damn good but...you get the point.

Lucky for me, my client's books might just fit into this category. At least I can pitch them as fitting in. Why? Because he's a freakin' doctor who writes heady novels. But they're also fit very clearly into the category of suspense. They ARE the kind of books you can sit around and talk about. But they move at a fairly fast pace.

Huzzah! Now if I can just communicate this brilliantly in a query letter.

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