Yesterday I posed this question on my Publishers Marketplace profile page: Can I get an agent if I don't write chick-lit? Evidently, the answer is no.
Agents believe mostly women read and buy fiction. Publishers believe mostly women read and buy fiction. Agents and publishers therefore only represent and publish women writers. OK, this may be a blanket statement—a stereotype. Or maybe not. Prove me wrong.
I go into Borders and look at the titles. Everything has become the same. One book is indistinguishable from the next. Chick-lit on the fiction tables, non-fiction about the Iraq war on the other table. As a reader, I want more of a choice. As a writer, I want the chance for other readers to have the opportunity to read my novel.
So, I now pose this question and challenge to agents and publishers: Is there no agent or publisher willing to take a chance on a comedy written by a male author that features a young 30-year old man as the lead character? Get off the bandwagon and break from the pack. Be a visionary. Believe that men will read fiction if given something they can relate to. Trust that women will read something different. Be a trendsetter, not a follower.