Unbiased requests

I always wondered if an agent’s preferred reading genres bias the types of books they consider good enough to request.

I read fantasy (all stripes), soft sci-fi, LGBTQ, and bestselling YA. I read the occasional book outside this, like humor. But by and large, I narrow my reading to the otherworldly or queer (or both!). I wondered if that would affect what I request.

I’ve worked at the agency long enough now to have good data. The stats are in:

Romance: 31%

Thriller: 31%

Fantasy/SF: 31%

Horror: 8%

It’s rather…equal.

Without intending to, I requested the same number of romances, thrillers, and speculative novels for my boss. I should state I’ve only on purpose read two romances in my life, and zero thrillers. (Unless you count a couple of sci-fi thrillers.)

But it doesn’t matter. I see a dozen thriller queries daily, a dozen romance plots, etc. Telling good from bad isn’t hard. Every genre has unique rules, pacing, and archetypes, but compelling writing is compelling writing. If I can’t put it down, it’s worth requesting.


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