In an earlier post I talked about commercial fiction and literary fiction. When agents and editors talk about “upmarket” fiction, they are referring to books that appeal to both audiences. They are books that have excellent writing along with a story line that appeals to a mainstream market.
While many genre books are well-written, and might be thought of as commercial, they aren’t generally considered upmarket. However, you’ll see agents asking for upmarket thrillers, upmarket women’s fiction, upmarket crime, as well as other classifications that might be considered genre books. One agent’s submission guidelines asked for fiction that straddles the line between literary and commercial. I think that’s a good explanation of what upmarket really means.
Miss Snark’s blog has a helpful post distinguishing between genre, literary, and commercial writing, along with some excellent advice: “Just write something fabulous and it will all work out.”
What books can you think of that might be called upmarket fiction?