Dear Miss Snark,
I'm a new but admiring snarkling who is hoping to get a crapometer critique for a Christmas present. I know you mainly answer questions about query letters and why agents act or respond a certain way, but I was wondering if you wouldn't mind answering a broader question about the agenting biz.
Why aren't there more agents representing inspirational fiction? The inspirational fiction market is a sizeable one that's growing, but agentquery.com lists only 3 pages of agents for the Christian fiction market, as compared to 20 for the romance markets, and 32 for the women's fiction markets. I didn't think twice about the imbalance until reading Kristen Nelson's blog a few weeks ago. She complained about getting queries for Christian romance when she doesn't represent the genre. Until her post, I thought any agent that represent romance or women's fiction would also accept inspirational submissions in those categories but I guess that's wrong (or is it?).
Remember of course that I do not do romance (other than one on one submissions with Mr. Clooney in Lake Como) so I watch this market with half an eye.
Inspirational fiction isn't a moneymaker for us.
Not a lot of subrights interest to exploit and not a big market to sell into.
Agents are mercenary beasts. We work the money categories.
Publishers who do these books make money cause a lot of small books do sort of well, without a single title doing really well: 30 books that sell 1000 copies not one book that sells 30,000 copies. That means low advances, and small royalty checks. I'm not inspired to make those deals no matter how much I love God.
This might be changing so I'm keeping the previously mentioned half-eye on this category.
CHECK BONNIE CALHOUN'S COMMENT FOR GOOD INFO ON THIS.