I have completed my first novel, a suspense thriller (written under guidance from a writing coach and fully edited), and am taking steps to reduce rejections as I seek a literary agent.
I am having a difficult time identifying my market demographics. I had an editor do an evaluation. Her comments: The fast pace, loads of action, and Doomsday plot lend themselves to the kind of action and events in a graphic novel or comic book. It’s to the 18-35 male set what a “beach read” is to the 18-35 female demographic. The overall tone has a comic-book quality that appeals to 18- to 35-year-old males. It would translate well to the movie screen ("A cross between a Clancy novel and The Pelican Brief).
Even with this, other than a three-page list of relevant niche markets, I still have no clear marketing plan, which I believe would increase chances for acceptance by an agent. Where do I find demographics without paying thousands to a research firm? Is there fill-in-the-blanks a book I can buy for marketing a thriller?
uh. hold on here bucko.
Why are you even thinking about marketing a novel you don't have representation for?
An agent doesn't expect marketing plans for novels.
An agent wants marketable writing.
Those are two very very different things.
What you have here is "commercial fiction". That's all you need to say. In fact that's all you should say. If you sent me a query letter saying your novel read like a comic book I'd think you were pulling my leg. I'd also lose any references to writing coaches and fully edited. That marks you as a novice even though you think it doesn't. Trust me on that.
Your writing has to rise and fall on its own. A cover letter saying it's commercial fiction, the first five pages of the work, an SASE and send it out. Trying to reduce your rejections is a waste of time and counter productive. Much like a butterfly MUST beat its way out of the cocoon to have wings strong enough to fly, a writer has to beat his/her way out of the rejection pile to improve his/her writing.