I don't really feel like this latest novel is a true dystopian -- even though I suppose it is. The trilogy I'm working on is set in the future, and there's a rebellion against a totalitarian-type government in the first novel, and questions about the balance of freedom and control in a healthy society are prevalent throughout. So, yeah, if I had to put a label on them for an agent, I'd probably have to go with dystopian. And that's not a good thing right now.
According to many in the industry, dystopian is D.E.A.D., overdone because of hugely successful novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent. Which only means it will be that much harder to find an agent yet again. Nothing new there, but it only adds to an already strong headwind -- apparently one rife with the smell of genre roadkill.
Sigh. It bothers me because I don't/didn't write to chase a trend. It's just how the story came out this time. And now all I hear is how hard it is to sell dystopian because of market saturation. Now, if there really are sales numbers to back up the idea that readers are tired of the genre, I don't know. Could be agents and editors are simply sick of working on dystopian stories, while regular readers still want them. In that case, it may just be a matter of finding the right agent/editor who hasn't worked on one in awhile and is keen to find a new one. Who knows. No, really, who knows?!
And, yes, I know Independent publishing is an option, and I'm seriously considering that. But I've always intended to try traditional publishing first. That's just me. So as I prepare to roll out the query letters, I'm feeling a wee bit insecure about any chance of success.
Now, if you would be so kind as to tell me in the comments that none of this matters and story trumps all, I would be most appreciative.*
Anyone ever been caught in a genre dilemma where you had to set something aside until it came back in fashion? Do you think dead means dead or merely sleeping? And should I go broader and refer to the novels as speculative fiction instead? Or maybe I should just call them Fred and be done with it.
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*Someone needs a pep talk as she begins to mentally prepare for query battle. :)
Creative Commons photo by Loren Kerns/ mangled by me in iPhoto.