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Why do so many debut literary novels sell for big money?

There is a website called Publisher’s Marketplace, where agents report the book deals they make on behalf of their authors. And if you pay $25 a month (which you should never do, unless you’re doing research on agents), you can browse those deals. And in browsing those deals, you will sometimes see novels selling for huge […]

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Did lots of thinking today

Just been thinking about the kind of books that I want to write, and why I’m having so much trouble writing. Realized that part of the problem is with my skillset. Because of my background in genre fiction, I’m most used to books that have both an internal arc and an external arc. For instance, Dune‘s […]

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How to get your novels marketed as ‘literary fiction’ rather than ‘young adult / fantasy / romance / women’s / science fiction / etc’

Because I write young adult books, I sometimes field inquiries from people who’ve written books with age 13-19 protagonists and want to make it clear to potential agents and publishers that their book is not a young adult novel. This is a problem that particularly affects women writers, because there are entire genres whose purpose is, […]

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I feel like it shouldn’t be controversial to say this, but…plenty of literary fiction is pretty good.

Every time I write anything about the world of academic creative writing, people will post comments that are all like, “Yeah, right on, Rahul! Those guys only write awful books about old white male professors who want to fuck their students!* You need to stick it to all that boringness!” Whereas, I’m like…ehh…that’s not really […]

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Thinking about moving away from writing novel-length adult science fiction and fantasy

So, the thing that I didn’t mention in my post about getting an agent is that Greenhouse Literary specializes in children’s lit. At one point, that would’ve given me pause. During my initial rounds of querying, I only considered authors that repped adult science fiction as well as YA. However, my next adult SF novel […]

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Lessons from AWP: There’s really no pot of gold on the other side of the wall

AWP was very revelatory. I went to a bunch of the popular fiction themed panels, just because that’s a place where I have a hand in. And at a few of them, I heard genre-affiliated people rail about how they don’t get any respect and how the literary establishment should let them in. That’s not […]

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