Posted by: anitanolan | March 5, 2011

How Do Agents Feel About Writing in More than One Genre?

Edna asked this question on one of my past blog posts. I thought I’d post my opinion here, since it is probably of interest to lots of folks.

I think many children’s writers want to write different types of books, whether it’s fiction and nonfiction, contemporary and historical (I write tween humorous contemporaries and MG historicals,) picture books and YA, or even picture books and adult fiction.

Here’s my opinion about it: Agents will have varying opinions. Some want you to focus on whatever they took you on with, whether YA or MG, for at least a few books–perhaps longer (editors will probably want you to do the same) but some, perhaps more than some, are happy if you try different things. After all, this year’s hot YA is next year’s oversold type of books (vampires, for instance.) It’s good insurance to be writing different things, I think.

However, an editor typically wants you for a career, rather than just one book, and they will want a few books from you. That’s a good way to build a readership. So that will be a consideration for your agent and you.

If you write more than one type of book, that’s something to discuss with the agent after they’ve shown interest, probably during a phone call.

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