Sunday, May 20, 2012

A koala with a pet unicorn - and some stuff about querying overseas

I'm feeling very Aussie today. I love being an Australian writer - I really think we bring something very different to the table, apart from our accent. But it can also be a draw back. Most of my stories ideas are set in Australia, cause hey, you write what you know. Here, there are a lot less agents to choose from and the market is smaller, adding it's on set of complications in the hunt for an Aussie author trying to land an agent. There's a couple of really good posts on the Call My Agent blog here and here about life as an Australian agent.

So this results in Aussie authors looking overseas as well. But the thing is, not all agents are willing to take on overseas clients and quite often you can't tell. I had feedback in a WriteOnCon session where the agent told me that my query pitch was great, but she doesn't take on Australian clients because she doesn't have connections in the territory. From her website, there was no way to tell this - and that's the case for a lot of agents. I've also been told that stories set outside of the US and the UK can be a tough sell to publishers internationally. I find that a bit sad as I know that the current generation of teenagers are thinking globally and want to look beyond borders and experience other cultures. But it doesn't mean that Aussie writers don't have reach as plenty of authors from Down Under end up with an international fanbase.

If you're querying and you're looking at overseas agents, you might need to do a little more homework. It's not as clear cut as finding out what genre an agent represents, but there are ways to find out agents who definitely do rep Aussies. Check out some of your favourite local authors and see who is their agent. Look at the local writers' conferences and see if there's any overseas agents attending.

But don't forget the home-based agents. They have great contacts in your local publishing industry. Just because they seem to take on fewer new clients, doesn't mean they aren't taking them on at all.

And now, for the fun of it, here's some Aussie LOLs.

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