We’ve been talking a lot about #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) lately. Jessica Alvarez and I, in particular, have been hungry for fresh, new material and we’ve been Tweeting and writing blog posts about it. To our dismay, what we’ve discovered is that #MSWL seems to narrow the types of queries we are getting. I notice that after posting a #MSWL those are the only genres I get. Sadly, those aren’t necessarily the only types of books I like.
All agents have a wide variety of interests. Lately I’ve been hungry for dark thrillers and those are the types of books I’ve been posting about, but I also represent women’s fiction, light cozy mysteries, suspense, non-cozy, but not necessarily dark, mysteries, etc. A quick search of our website (by agent name) will give you an idea of the variety of books we all represent, and often look for.
I suppose in an ideal world we would only receive queries for books we really want to represent. The problem is that we don’t always know what we want to represent. You might have the perfect women’s fiction for me, but feel it’s too light for my tastes. Making that decision for me could mean I’m missing out on exactly what I was looking for because I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for until you sent it.
#MSWL and Twitter can be a bit of a catch-22 for agents. While we love promoting what we’re looking for, sometimes we want you to tell us what we’re looking for. Surprise us. If it’s within the realm of the genres you see we’ve sold or represented, give us a shot. I just took on a business book geared toward lawyers. One of the few business books I’ve received lately, and I’m super excited about it.