This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Caroline Hogg has worked in publishing for almost ten years, at Little, Brown Book Group and more recently at Avon, HarperCollins. She's currently at Pan Macmillan as Senior Commissioning Editor for Commercial Women's Fiction. She knows her stuff!
Today's question comes from a Novelicious reader who asks:
Caroline, do you think books get turned down by agents more often
because of poor writing or because the timing is not right?
Caroline says: That’s tricky for me to answer, as I’m not an agent. But my best guess is that for something to be taken on by an agent it has to be brilliantly written AND timely in terms of what’s happening in the bestseller charts or where gaps in the market are. That’s not to say every book written should jump on a bandwagon, far from it. If you’re writing something that would fit into a genre that’s doing very well (like erotica or psychological suspense) then your book has to be a cut above to stand out amongst so many established authors. And if you’re writing something in an emerging genre, your writing has to be just as brilliant to convince people to try something new.Basically, you can’t get far unless your book is absolutely up to scratch. So if it came to rushing something out to agents because it feels timely over spending time rewriting and editing it, I would always go with the latter.