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AQ's Official "KNOW THY GENRE" Resource Cheat Sheet


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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 01:22 AM

There's a trade secret to getting published. And it's not writing a stellar query letter or snagging the best agent on the planet. It's even easier than that. And yet, we're finding more and more AQ users are zooming right over this essential trick, and consequently, heading straight into query hell.

Since we assume you'd like to avoid query hell as much as you'd like to get published, here's our trade secret revealed:

KNOW THY GENRE.

Genre is everything. Whether you're hunting for an agent or just trying to wrap your brain around the Crazytown called "the publishing industry," one of your best strategies to getting published is to first identify your book's specific genre.


Your friend's "awesome agent" isn't going to help you much if she's only awesome at selling literary fiction and you've got a paranormal romance. And ignoring e-pubbing trends because you still prefer a traditional print book deal for your space opera novel isn't very smart when the sci-fi/fantasy market is clearly shifting farther and farther into the digital distribution sphere.

KNOW THY GENRE doesn't mean guessing on the best way to describe your book in a query letter. It means networking within that genre and staying atop of the news and opportunities specific to that market. And schmoozing with other aspiring writers, published authors, agents, editors, and industry-insiders who specialize in your book's genre is one of the smartest strategies for getting published.

For this reason, we've put together our essential AQ's "KNOW THY GENRE" Resource Cheat Sheet.

Consider it a simple pop-quiz to test your publishing prowess. If you glance at our genre-specific resources, and blow through each one with a *pencil lick* check,baby,mark -- consider yourself on your way towards publication.

Otherwise, remember that there's more to getting published than just "getting an agent," and that secret strategy starts with KNOW THY GENRE.




Literary Fiction

Poets & Writers Magazine
http://www.pw.org
If you're too cheap to pay the $20 bucks for s subscription (shame on you, it's easily worth $100) then at least visit the website or check out their Tools for Writers

Duotrope's Digest
http://www.duotrope.com/
An award-winning, free writers' resource listing over 3375 current Fiction and Poetry publications with a kickass searchable database

TheReviewReview
http://www.thereviewreview.net
This fantastic website is dedicated to exploring the elite and esoteric world of literary journals. They offer an extensive review database, in which they provide in-depth reviews of almost all well-known 150 journals as well as interviews with their editors. If you're seeking publication in lit mags, this resource is indispensable.

NewPages.com
http://www.newpages.com/

News, information and guides to independent bookstores, independent publishers, literary magazines, alternative periodicals, independent record labels, alternative newsweeklies and more.

Residencies & Colonies
http://agentquery.com/resource_rg.aspx
Whether you use our list or the ResArtist list -- just pick one, apply, and find a way to get there. We've personally attended three residencies on our AQ list, and they were all beyond amazing. Nothing compares to a solid month of literary immersion and solitary solidarity.



Historical Fiction

Historical Novel Society
http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org/
Yearly membership fees (currently $50) include two magazines, one of which -- The Historical Novels Review -- reviews EVERY work of historical fiction traditionally published in the USA and UK (every). Members also get discounts to the annual HNS Conference.


Historical Novels website and blog
http://www.historica...al-Fiction.html
A book release/review blog and comprehensive website dedicated to the art and craft of writing the historical fiction novel, including a detailed profile of every era of history and examples of how masterful novels have captured its timelessness.

Historical Fiction Online
http://www.historica...orums/index.php
An online community forum for writers, authors, readers, and fans of the genre

Historical Naval Fiction website
http://www.historicnavalfiction.com/
This website is truly the Master and Commander of naval fiction resources.



Children's Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult

Society of Children's Book Writers & illustrators
http://www.scbwi.org/
The SCBWI Annual National Conference is a networking goldmine, but membership also gains you access to their online community as well as their local chapter events & seminars. And you'll likely be surprised to find experienced published children's book authors willing to meet for coffee and sophisticated industry events taking place within driving distance.

Jacketflap.com
http://www.jacketflap.com/
JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators and other creators of books for children and young adults as well as provides an extensive database of publihsers, agents, editors, and other industry contacts.

Children's Writer Newsletter
http://childrenswriter.com/
This monthly newsletter is distributed by The Institute of Children's Literature. They cost is $19 bucks, but they offer two free newsletters for your perusal. It's a wealth of info on the market, the biz and the art.

Young Adult Books Central
http://yabookscentral.com/
We highly recommend this little website, especially if you're a YA author with a book being released soon or want to follow new YA releases. The site provides reviews on a number of YA and children's books. It looks like it might be turning into quite a little gem for getting the word out about your book as well as reading about the rest of the YA marketplace.

Verla Kay's Online Community for Children's Writers & Illustrators
http://www.verlakay....oards/index.php
Verla Kay, a published children's book author, provides a helpful, supportive website for aspiring children's book writers and illustrators. Her site offers useful links galore and her forum is populated by curious writers who are research addicts when it comes to sniffing out the newest publishing leads.



Science Fiction, Fantasy , and Horror

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
http://www.sfwa.org/
SFWA is a professional organization for authors of science fiction, fantasy and related genres that informs, supports, promotes, defends and advocates for its members. Novice authors benefit from their Information Center and the well-known Writer Beware site.

LOCUS Online and Magazine
http://www.locusmag.com/
Like the magazine, Locus Online focuses on news of the Science Fiction publishing field and coverage of new science fiction books and magazines.

Tor.com
http://www.tor.com/
While Tor Books remains one of the most respected publishers of science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and horror, its website, Tor.com has become an informative resource for writers of speculative fiction. Be sure to frequent their online community and forums for the most current publishing news and tips affecting this market.

BookCountry

http://bookcountry.com/
Major NYC Publisher Penguin's newest online writing and critqiue community dedicated to genre writers, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror and ALL its subgenres. And we mean ALL subgenres -- their genre map proves it.

Critters Writers Workshop

http://critters.org/
Critters is a member of the Critique.org family of on-line workshops/critique groups, and is for serious writers of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. You get your work critiqued in exchange for critiquing the work of others, both of which are invaluable ways to improve your writing. It's run by Andrew Burt, former vice-president of SFWA and his army of software minions.



Romance

Romance Writers of America
http://www.rwa.org/
RWA is premier writing association for romance authors. More than 10,000 romance writers and related industry professionals are members of Romance Writers of America, and one of the best ways to get involved is to attend their annual national conference or to participate in one of its 145 local, online, and special-interest chapters.

eHarlequin
http://www.eharlequin.com/
It's hard not to admire Harlequin's trail-blazing transition into the e-publishing and digital distribution marketplace. And many of their digital imprints continually accept and review submissions from unagented writers; thus, it's one of the best opportunities for new romance writers to break into professional publishing.

Romantic Times Book Reviews
http://www.rtbookreviews.com/
RT BOOK REVIEWS Magazine reviews every romance published. They also profile published authors, alerts readers and booksellers to forthcoming titles, and provides news and gossip columns designed to guide aspiring authors in the honing of their craft.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
http://www.smartbitc...rashybooks.com/
Divas of the romance book review blogosphere

CherryForums.com
http://www.cherryforums.com/
A friendly, open exchange on reading, writing, and publishing sponsored by best-selling romance author, Jenny Cruise

Kensington Publishing Corp.
http://www.kensingto...fm?itemid=14298
One of the best kept secrets within the romance industry is that you can actually get a book deal without an agent. And Kensington continues to be one of the independent mid-tier publishing houses that accepts queries from unagented writers.



Thriller & Suspense/ Mystery/ Crime

Mystery Writers of America

http://www.mysterywriters.org/
Mystery Writers of America, Inc. is the premier organization for mystery writers and other professionals in the mystery field. Be sure to check out their regional chapters -- and its one of the best ways to network locally within the genre.

International Thrillers Writers
http://thrillerwriters.org/
Thriller authors created ITW to celebrate the thriller, to enhance the prestige and raise the profile of thrillers, and to create opportunities for collegiality within the thriller community. ITW offers a three-in-one resources, including their annual ThrillFest conference and their online magazine The Big Thrill in addition to their official ITW website and members-only section.

Sisters in Crime
http://www.sistersincrime.org/
Sisters in Crime is an international organization of readers and writers dedicated to raising awareness of women's contributions to the mystery genre. Sisters in Crime also offers the helpful online forum SinC Guppies, a cyber fishtank for aspiring writers working in the genres of mystery/crime/thrillers/suspense.

The Criminal Element
http://www.criminalelement.com/
Major publisher Macmillan has created a new online community for crime fiction and nonfiction readers, and it looks like a great resource for online networking and tracking industry news as well as submitting your crime fiction short stories for publication.

CrimeSpree Magazine and Blog
http://crimespree.blogspot.com/
After 7+ years, this print-only magazine is still a formidable indie rag dedicated to the ins-and-outs of the mystery and crime publishing market. It may have a garage band feel, but their coverage is topically current, and their industry connections provide them with the insider scoop. Look for it in your local bookstore. You'll probably be surprised when you actually find it on the magazine shelves.



#2 C. Taylor

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:11 AM

Fantastic!! Thanks for this. : )

Cali MacKay

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#3 Cat Woods

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 07:05 AM

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it's easy to gloss over the simple things!

Great rundown in the juvie lit section. I live by all of them.

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#4 Lori Sjoberg

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 07:43 AM

This is absolutely wonderful. Thanks!

#5 Lora Palmer

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 07:48 AM

Fantastic resource! Thank you :)

THE MIRRORMASTERS is now available from Clean Reads!

Leah must  stop a galaxy-ending cataclysm—if her birth sister, who unleashed it as a power grab, doesn’t kill her first. 
My Author Website: http://www.lorapalmer.weebly.com

 

 


#6 Tom Bradley

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:54 AM

AQ Crew, as usual, rocks my world, even before I've had my second cup of coffee.
Thanks for the resources.

#7 M_Simkins

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:16 AM

Ohhh, this is awesome. Thanks! :wub:

#8 Dave Clark

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:27 AM

? Am I missing a link? I can't find the link, the cheat sheet. Then again, I used to read The New Yorker and could never find the Nina.

--D.C.

#9 mwsinclair

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 12:39 PM

The things up top in blue and/or purple.

#10 LarryB

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:52 PM

The things up top in blue and/or purple.



I don't see it either. What does it say?

#11 Paul Dillon

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:38 PM

DevlinDLC posted also posted a good genre guide on May 6 (Topic was My genre?)

Here's my checklist to start querying and AQC is REALLY helping me.

1. Finish test reader stage
2. Partner critiques - I have several crit partners now - ALL THANKS TO PEOPLE I MET HERE
3. Figure out what my genre is - I am struggling so bad with this but it's important as this posts points out
4. Develop a killer query with the help of my firends on AQC

#12 misfitdevil99

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

I'm really struggling with this as well. I've looked over the chart at bookcountry.com but i'm still confused beyond belief. I can't seem to find a proper fit there. This is definitely a stumbling block for me. From what i can tell through Writer's Digest University http://www.writerson...ies-and-genres/ my book is Mainstream Fiction to a T. But the chart at AgentQuery.com makes me think it's Commercial Fiction to a double T http://www.agentquer...scriptions.aspx

 

Ugh.. Think i'll retreat back to noobeland and plea for help. More coffee in the meantime please.


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#13 RavenRum

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:17 AM

Cheers for this list.



#14 Normadavis101

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    The last four years I wrote "Scorched Family", a Christian Suspense novel. AQ taught me a lot about writing a query and publishing angles. Last week I self-published with Create Space and let Amazon send my manuscript to Kindle. As an unknown author, I decided to offer my e-book free for five days. I've had 300 downloads. I figure if I get ten good reviews from this experiment I might sell some.

    I realize there are no guarantees and a bad review changes everything. So far my friends said they couldn't put the book down.

    Whatever happens, I had fun writing it, and I'm thinking about the next novel. When I get rights back to my first book (next year) I will self-publish it also.

Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:04 PM

oh how I needed this. Thanks.

#15 D. E. Jackson

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:11 AM

I see where the blue cheat sheet is to click on and go to it, but it's not working. :sad:


519euspeCaL._AA160_.jpg

Goodreadshttps://www.goodread...768.D_E_Jackson

T​WITTER
https://twitter.com/DEJacksonWolf

YOUTUBE
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http://www.adamhallart.com/#intro[color=rgb(0,0,255)]

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#16 D. E. Jackson

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    My prequel ERASED will hopefully be published soon.

Posted 02 December 2013 - 03:57 PM

Critters, is anyone else having an issue. I don't see an official Login and I have to go to the members only tap and when I click and type in the user and password I get nothing. :sad:

Is it undergoing maintenance?


519euspeCaL._AA160_.jpg

Goodreadshttps://www.goodread...768.D_E_Jackson

T​WITTER
https://twitter.com/DEJacksonWolf

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube....emhvA_CyRqAJq7w

Favorite Artist - Adam Hall (my favorite thus far is the tornado)
http://www.adamhallart.com/#intro[color=rgb(0,0,255)]

There is no trick beyond sitting your arse in a chair everyday -Shawn Speakman, Unfettered.

#17 D. E. Jackson

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    My prequel ERASED will hopefully be published soon.

Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:41 PM

Solved the critters problem! :)
519euspeCaL._AA160_.jpg

Goodreadshttps://www.goodread...768.D_E_Jackson

T​WITTER
https://twitter.com/DEJacksonWolf

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube....emhvA_CyRqAJq7w

Favorite Artist - Adam Hall (my favorite thus far is the tornado)
http://www.adamhallart.com/#intro[color=rgb(0,0,255)]

There is no trick beyond sitting your arse in a chair everyday -Shawn Speakman, Unfettered.

#18 Dave Clark

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:24 PM

Okay, then, what's "upmarket", and what is "high-concept"?



#19 larathelark

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:26 PM

Okay, then, what's "upmarket", and what is "high-concept"?

A high-concept book is something that makes people say, "Wow! What a great idea! Can't wait to read about it!" It's success is more about the concept than the writing style or character development. Any of the "X versus Y" movies are high-concept movies. Monsters vs. Aliens. Cowboys and Aliens.

An upmarket book is one that blurs the lines between commercial (easy to sell) and literary (award-winning prose). Writer's Digest has a breakdown about it here.



#20 Wordflow

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:49 PM

Great! Thank you for this.






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