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agents/controversial subjecti really need some help


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#1 kellie

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 08:38 PM

I am very new to this site and to the business of aquiring an agent. I am working for my mother and she is the author of the book. My mother is a forensic psychologist and works with sexual offenders. She conducts sex offender treatment programs required as a stipulation of the sex offenders' probation. She has written a fiction book in order to educate and introduce the benefits of court mandated sexual offender treatment for both the offender and the victim.

I have sent so many queries and have had no luck. I am following the submission guidelines of each individual agent/agency. Does anyone have any suggestion as to an agent or agency that would be interested in this issue? I am willing to share the synopsis and anything else someone may need to help me with this.

#2 Lori Sjoberg

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:49 PM

Is your query the best it can possibly be?

#3 MzBuzz

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 04:01 PM

I agree with Lori--the query may need tweaking. But...

It's also a game of numbers. 50 rejections may still be low for a specialized project like this. I would suggest targeting agents who represent true crime also. This is fictionalized, so it would take an agent who could think outside the box a bit.

Another idea would be to research agents of non-fiction books or textbooks about sex crimes and run it by them.

If you get no glory from them, consider going straight to the publishers of such works.

If all else fails, self-pub and create demand/market through professional organizations first.

#4 ravage

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:46 AM

It could just be the subject material. It sounds like a hard sell. Persevere and make sure that the final product is as polished as it can be, and you will succeed.
The aim of any fiction writer is the same as the satirist. Without satire, we are stuck with the bland truth.

#5 Glede Browne Kabongo

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 04:30 PM

It sounds like the book could be non-fiction which many agents represent. Your mom sounds like she has the credentials that would need to accompany the writing of a book on this subject matter. What genre are you saying the book falls into? It's a tough issue and I think it comes down to whether or not an agent thinks he/she can sell it. My novel depicts the prosecution of a wealthy philanthropist accused of raping his own daughter and I've gotten a few rejections saying the work is not a fit for them (the agents I queried). I don't know if agents are squeamish about this topic. But it sounds like your mom's book would land an agent faster if it were non-fiction. If she believes the work should be fiction and is already complete, then just keep plugging away. Try various versions of your query letter and see which ones are getting requsets for partials or the full manuscript.

#6 Lanette Kauten

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 03:29 PM

While novels should have some sort of thematic element, novels written for the purpose of an agenda don't sell well. If the query emphasizes the thematic agenda, you can be sure most, if not all, agents will not want to take a look at it. If your mom has written something that can stand out as a great novel without calling attention to her agenda, she needs to focus on the plot and MC in her query.

#7 mwsinclair

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 04:20 PM

It's hard to get a sense of what the book is about. Have you posted your query? I'm assuming that the manuscript is complete if you're out querying with it, so I'm not sure I'd recommend the nonfiction route yet unless you've determined for sure that the fiction approach isn't working.

From what's posted here, I don't understand what the story or conflict is. I'd need to have a well written sentence that gives me a sense of character. Whose perspective are we hearing in this manuscript? The victim of sexual offenses, the offender, a forensic psychologist? All of the above and more?

Lanette has a point about stories in which the agenda is overt. If the manuscript comes across as having an agenda, it will feel like a lecture. Even if the message is a strong one, no one buys books to be lectured at.

#8 mwsinclair

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 04:26 PM

I went back and found the query you posted in March. Have you changed it at all since then?

#9 Pete Morin

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 04:53 PM

I went back and found the query you posted in March. Have you changed it at all since then?


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#10 mwsinclair

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 05:07 PM

Perhaps she was querying. :blush:

#11 Carrie M

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 02:29 PM

Are you telling agents that you're querying on behalf of your mother? Some agents will automatically reject when they see the person querying is not the author. Also, it's possible that the subject matter would be better off as a non-fiction book. If the novel feels like the reader is being lectured, not many people will want to read it.




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