Here's a thought:
I've written to a lot of publishers and a lot of agents. They all seem to have battoned down the hatches these days.
Rejection is the norm as far as I can see. But when you think about it they are all worried about commercial viablility not the quality of a story. So how should a writer respond?
Well, for a start, the publishing world moves so slowly that if you try to write your book to fit what's popular at the time, unless you write a book every month, you don't stand any chance of attracting a publisher or agent. The book gets edited, you re-write, then it's edited again and by the time the book's in print you've missed the chink in the curtain.
I really believe you should write your story from the heart. If you have a great piece of fiction, don't look at its commercial viability, look at the pleasure it gives you to tell your story. Writing can be adjusted by editors, story can't. Story is the crystsalisation of your imagination; it can't be copied; it can't be emulated.
So, you send your work to an agant and he tells you your work won't survive because the market is too competetive. So what?
Who made agents the last bastion of literary discrimination? If they had their way, only those books whch sell will ever see the light of day. There are plenty of danmed good reads out there but they can't get published because some agent says it doesn't fit his list or it's not commercial enough or the writing isn't strong enough. Since when was the writing a problem? It can be edited.
No. What they are saying is 'We will decide what is good British literature, not you'.
If they really knew the secret, they would have written the book themselves. They haven't. So what do they know really? Answer? Nothing.
If they had talent. If they had real ability they would reconise good stories which they usually don't. They concentrate on their top list authors and even when they write badly, they get published.
But hey! it's a crazy world and any way you can skin it is OK with me!