Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday!

So I'm at 30,000 words in Desert Nomad and I need your help! When you submit a query to an agent you have to put the genre in the subject line. Such as: Query: Science Fiction. Now, my book isn't hard core science fiction, it's more space opera, adventure, romance spun out in a women's lit kind of way. But I can't put all three of those genres up there in the subject line.

What genres fit it best? Which genres will get the agent's attention?
I'm thinking of the following ones:

Query: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Query: Space Opera, Romance

Query: Space Opera, Women's Lit

Here's the blurb if you need more info to help me out:

Aries is a Lifer: a sixth generation colonist living aboard the Ark, a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet three hundred years away. Her purpose is to maintain the life support systems and marry Lieutenant Barliss, producing two genetically superior children to take their place at the helm.

Stifled by an existence predestined by computer calculations, Aries manipulates an escape months before her marriage ceremony to Barliss. Her flight pod crashes on a desert planet with minimal survival conditions and she is caught between the search and rescue teams of the Ark and the primitive hunters on the alien world. While struggling to survive, she is rescued by Striker, a space pirate exiled by his mutinous crew. Together they search for the last relic needed to revive an ancient alien craft, their only means of escape. With the search teams flying above and the hunters stalking them below, Aries is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice; her freedom for Striker’s life.

If you could help me in the comments section with what genre you'd pick for it, that would be great!


Nicole Zoltack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole Zoltack said...

Mentioning space opera already lets the agent know that it is science fiction so I wouldn't use option #1. So next, pick which describes your story better, women's fiction or romance. It sounds to me like Space Opera Woman's Fiction.

Good luck! Getting an agent is d*mn hard work! (I've been trying to find on for my fantasy YA. Just want to rework the beginning chapters before sending it out some more.)

Btw, I forgot to mention, I don't know if anyone at the Knight Agency takes space opera, but now is the time to query them. But Deidre Knight was one of the speakers at Epicon and she is seriously looking for clients, as well as two of their other agents. So you might want to look the agency up.

Conda Douglas said...

I've always liked what Donald Maass said, "If you're not sure how to describe your novel, call it your novel." That having been said, I'd go for romantic space opera.

Cherie Reich said...

I would go for Romantic Space Opera, as well. Space Opera would let the agent know that it is sci fi. And, I think most romance books are typically geared toward women, so if you say Romance, that should key in the woman's lit.

Angie said...

Great word count! I'd just call it space opera and leave it that, probably, but I have zero experience querying.

Roxy said...

Wow! I don't know which genre to pick, either, but I'm totally fascinated by your story!

Carol Kilgore said...

I would just call it space opera and query romance and science fiction agents.

Lindsey Duncan said...

I've ... never seen an agent who requires that the genre be in the subject line. Who does that?

But for an interior blurb I'd go with space opera / romance. "Women's Lit" really makes me expect more of a "Sex and the City" vibe.

Your talk about Desert Nomad really makes me want to go back to my cliff-hung story from Space Sirens and see if I can pick it up into a novella (or a novel. Augh).

Mary Gray said...

I wouldn't put romance in it either since most stories have it anyway. I love the space opera classification alone.

Lisa Rusczyk said...

I agree that Space Opera alone should be good. Romance comes across in the synopsis and your writing style indicates Women's Fiction.

Good job on the word count!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Romance needs a happy ending, and I don't know how your story ends. :) I think maybe Science Fiction, Women's Lit. Maybe. Sorry, I'm no help at all.

Natalie said...

Just say science fiction. They can figure out the particulars by reading the query.

And I always put Query: Title in the subject line. And after a request I'd use Manuscript: Title.

This was really helpful when I got offers because I could put Offer of Representation: Title in the subject of emails I sent to agents still reading partials or fulls and they could find the sample pages that matched easily.

L. D. Nash said...

I, personally, would call it Science Fiction. I haven't seen any genre catagories on or that list "Space Opera" as a genre.

Since you delve deeper in the genre pool in your synopsis, I would just query it as general Science Fiction and let your writing speak for itself.

It's the agent's job to determine which mini-genre to shelve it in.

Shelley Sly said...

I would just classify this as Sci Fi, though Space Opera does sound awesome (and is one of my favorite genres when it comes to movies.) I agree with those who have said that Query: Title is usually the standard in subject lines. Good luck with the book, though! Sounds like a fun story!

Aubrie said...

This is all so helpful! Thank you to everyone that had a comment!

Unknown said...

My vote is Space Opera Romance.
Good luck with querying! Keep us posted.

Jess of All Trades said...

I'm with just calling it space opera, or "romantic science fiction" <-- because that sounds new. It sounds like something Fresh that could pull more women readers into Sci-Fi.
I wouldn't call it Women's Lit at all. If they want to reclassify it..they will. Good luck!! :D

Anonymous said...

Genre division is sometimes hard to decide upon. I'm not even sure what space opera is.

I'd go with keeping it simple with Science Fiction. Let the publisher decide upon the subgenre.

Theresa Milstein said...

Sounds like science fiction to me. I'd find a way to add the others in the description. I recently read that many books are categorized as one, but fit other genres. If they like the premise, they'll decide how to promote it. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

If it's not too late to add my voice, I don't think you need the genre in the subject line. You will need it more in the query.

What you call it may depend where you are sending it too. If it is a romance publisher, then the fact of it being romance is a given, so you would want to qualify what kind of romance it is.

You can also go the 'Famous Movie/Book 1' meets 'Famous Movie/Book 2'


'Standard plot/theme' with an XYZ twist.

Does that help at all?