I often receive submissions from authors who say something along the lines of, “I have a devotional book, a romance, a fantasy, a collection of poems, a novella, a marriage book, and a screenplay available for representation.”
This sounds great, right? The agent can choose from a variety of projects, perhaps marketing them all! Sheer volume will lead to success!
As a creative, I get that writers want to explore, have fun, and stretch their creative wings. I maintain that writers never waste time when writing. Writers learn with every project. Trying different art forms can help writers decide what type of work they want to pursue.
However, that exploration should happen before you approach an agent or editor. By the time you’re writing a query to us, understand who you want to be as a writer. Know which publishers will be interested in your book and why. Otherwise, you may end up on a merry-go-round of rejections you don’t understand. Don’t waste everyone’s time, especially yours.
Here is one exercise I recommend. Pretend you’re up for an award. What do you want to see listed on the finalists’ page, and what do you want to hear called during the awards ceremony? For instance:
Dystopian: Jane Abernathy: The Edge of the Cliff
Romantic Suspense: Jane Abernathy: The Edge of the Cliff
Romance: Jane Abernathy: The Edge of the Cliff
Fantasy: Jane Abernathy: The Edge of the Cliff
Self-Help: Jane Abernathy: The Edge of the Cliff: Rescue Your Marriage Before It Falls
Children’s: Jane Abernathy: The Edge of the Cliff! Stay Safe with Snuggle Sloth
Nonfiction: Jane Abernathy: The Edge of the Cliff: Avant-Garde Christianity
As you approach the year 2021, discern the dreams of your heart so we can help you make them come true.
What other suggestions can you offer writers to help them decide what to write?
Are you torn between two or more genres or forms? Why?