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Writing Books/commercial fiction?


An agency says that it handles "commercial fiction" How would you define that? I see that they have represented a mystery story, but it doesn't seem close enough to my amateur detective story. I have emailed the agent asking if they are interested in such. I have learned that the term is too broad and unless they can come right out and say that they handle detective fiction or amateur detective fiction, I am wasting my time by querying them. Is this correct?

Once again, ALL genre fiction is commercial fiction. If they've represented a mystery, they might well be able to sell yours. It all depends on whether they like it and whether the agent feels they're comfortable with the market. Naturally, it's always better to first approach those agents who specialize in just your genre, but it doesn't always work that way.

But no, you're not wasting your time querying them. You never know---it might be the perfect fit. :)


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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