Not Right for My List

Book, Books, Bookshelf, Read, Literature, Heart, Hobby
“Not right for my list.” That’s one of those phrases that writers hate to see on a rejection letter.  It just seems to subjective.  What does it really mean? This week I read an interesting blog post on this by agent Janet Reid.  She pointed out that we all have a list.  Most of us just call it our reading list.

That made a lot of sense to me.  I’m not a huge fan of adult contemporary fiction.  Except for the Don Tillman series by Graeme Simsion.  I love those books!

And I love, love, love action books especially if they’re espionage.  Except for the one that I tried to listen to today.  I’m not going to pan an author by name but I wasn’t thrilled with the book but decided to give it one more try.  Ugh.  Not a rape scene!  And the rape of a teen yet.  Back in the library bag it went.  Maybe I should be more specific — I really like Suzanne Brockmann.

Urban fantasy?  Love it!   As long as it’s something like Jim Butcher’s Dresden files.  Unless it starts with sex.  Puh-lease.  Give me story and characters.  Not porn.  (And, yes, this would be another book that went back into the library bag.)

No matter what broad categories we love — I’m all for mysteries, sf, fantasy, adventure, spies and historical fiction — there are things we just don’t want to see.  You have to work really hard to hook me with anything about World War II because I’ve already read so much.  I love fantasy but I’m not a huge fan of faeries.  Never have been.  Snark, dark humor and sass are all good.  I don’t care what brand of shoes your character wears or where they play golf/yacht/summer.  I just don’t care.  Horse books — love ’em.  Dog stories?  Not as much.

I’m just a reader but if I was an editor or agent, this would be the literary baggage that I brought to my list.  Thanks to Janet Reid for helping me get a handle on “Not Right for My List.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s