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On Trends... Part II

So, last week I blogged about trends. About what you should make of them, and what some of them are.

Now, I have this handy graph to show you:
funny graphs and charts

It feels that way sometimes, doesn't it? But I swear, that's not the case. 

I wanted to further drill it home that there is ROOM FOR EVERYTHING. I thought it might be interesting for you guys to see some of the things editors have told me to send them..... their "gimme gimme" list, if you will. I think you'll find it englihtening, and hopefully encouraging.

Because bottom line? I'll say it again: There's ROOM FOR EVERYTHING. 

Also, when I say "pub" I  mean an imprint within a publisher, and I am combining the needs of multiple editors under one imprint umbrella.

So here goes:

Pub A: More middle grade! and Chapter books! and boy books! Very open to debut authors.

Pub B: Loves retellings  or grittier realistic YA, books with an easily identifiable hook, would also love a really great coming of age tale
 Also: Illustrated middle grade, science fiction, fantasy beyond faeries/elves/aliens.

Pub C: Bring on the tween girl fiction, literary YA, action/adventure! Also: High concept YA, sweet or funny MG.

Pub D: realistic YA like John Green or Jay Asher, a great mystery

Pub E: Dark fantasy or paranormal YA, humor, girly YA, old fashioned fairy tale type stories, realistic/contemporary romance,

Pub F: Would love a dystopian, wants sci fi, fantasy, parnormal, realistic (esp with a hook), boy books. All contemporary at this imprint, no historicals

Pub G: Eclectic mix of fantasy/magical realism, often with multicultural themes. Goes for award winner type stories over blockbuster style

Pub H: MG, boy books, adventure, sci-fi & fantasy, paranormal, realistic, tween, fun and high concept.

Pub I: Quirky books with unusual characters and themes. Loves paranormals and historicals.

Pub J: Older, grittier YA with crossover for adults, whether realistic or paranormal / UF

Pub K: Contemporary and fun YA!

pub L: Wide range, but It's all about characters and voice over hook!

Pub M: likes humor and voice, not so much fantasy/paranormal

Pub N: Commercial all the way at this imprint! Girly and fun or dark and edgy, as long as it has a huge hook.

Pub O: HUGE range of tastes with these editors. One, though, said she'd prefer a starred review to a bestseller list (although in a perfect world, it would be both.....), which I think is VERY heartening for writers. Other needs at this pub: multicultural characters, religious themes or elements, underrepresented characters in general (whether because of sexuality, religion, culture, etc) as well as teh blockbuster paranormal, fantasy, sci fi, contemporary etc type.

Pub P: Some editors want realistic, romantic, etc, others want paranormal, fantasy, etc.

Pub Q: Commercial but with a very literary bent, a la IF I STAY or 13 reasons why. Also: Bring on the verse novels!

Pub S: magical realism, YA that isn't depressing, fun voices and characters

Umm.... yeah, so I have several more pubs than that on my spreadsheet, but I think you get the picture.

The amazing thing about publishing is that there are hundreds of editors, dozens and dozens of imprints..... there is ROOM FOR EVERYTHING. Yeah, do you see a theme yet? That ROOM FOR EVERYTHING theme that I keep capitalizing?

Writers drive themselves crazy. Paranormal is hot, so the paranormal writer freaks out that they'll be lost in the sea of parnormal, while the realistic writer thinks they have no shot because its not "hot". PW does a big article about the rise of dystopics, so the dystopic writers Cheer and groan, depending on their perspective.

Y'all drive yourselves crazy. And I do it to. I have a paranormal coming out next year, and you bet I've wondered if its coming too late, if I've missed the boat, if I should have stuck with the fun/flirty YA brand.

If you're trying to break in and getting discouraged by rejections,  just remember-- everyone has different tastes. Sometimes I would be talking to an editor and think, "Wow, I am SO sending this person something" because their interests and tastes meshed SO WELL with mine. And at other times, all I could think was, "Huh, I will probably never have a project for them." Because everything they described sounded about as intriguing to me as eating a piece of chalk, so I couldn't imagine signing a project that would fit their interests.

That is why you query widely-- for every book out there, there is someone who could love it. And just becuase you get a rejection, doesn't mean its the quality of the writing-- it means your book didn't fit their interests.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the time it took to make this article; it certainly does make me feel better.
May. 13th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
I've noticed almost every agent and editor is eagerly looking for boy books. Is this because so few people are writing them? I've always wondered if agents receive more girl books over boy books.
May. 13th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, less people write boy books. I dont see that many in the slush.

My average request rate is 8%, so I need to see a lot of boy book queries to request one...
May. 13th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I've been preaching this for months everywhere I post...especially for YA fantasies with epic flavors! ;-)
May. 13th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
This is greatly helpful, of course. Most of what you write here is. Though I do wonder -- is there a market at all for historical YA? Not Regency (though believe me, that might be my next project).
May. 13th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Sure! I have a fairy-tale-ish mideval one on my list, as well as a 1920s.

Historicals are a little tougher, becuase they can be harder to break out big with (certain teens just dont read historicals, and certain chain stores (target/walmart) are a bit more reluctant to pick up those titles.

But editos ARE out there who love them.
May. 13th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
That's great to hear, and thank you so much for replying. I'm currently working on a WWII era London piece -- far from being done, of course, but just wanted to see how that might fare in the bigger picture of things.
May. 13th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
OK, this is just an awesome post. Thanks Mandy! Now I'm sort of dying to know who's who on your list....
May. 13th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this. I'm happy to hear about PUB A, because I've had feedback that some places are stepping back from chapter books. And mine's for boys, too! This gives me hope. :)

You're awesome!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse
May. 13th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
There's more than just Pub A, too.... but I dont do chapter books so I tend to gloss over that. But many of them are venturing into chapter books for the first time or looking to ramp up their chapter book program. You're in good shape! :-)
May. 13th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Great and useful post!
May. 13th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a hopeful post! THANKS! Go boy books! ;--)
May. 13th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this, Mandy! It's awesomely inspiring!
May. 13th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Awesome, Mandy! This post has made me very happy :-))
May. 13th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
This was extremely helpful as I'm about to head into query land, thanks.
May. 13th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
again, THANK. YOU!
Ok, now you're at the top of the "to query first" list.

And I'm not "sorry" anymore, so there! ;-)

Thanks so much - this is an elixir, an absolute (as opposed to "Absolut", which the rejections drive us to drink) tonic to the writing soul.
May. 13th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Great follow up post to the first one about trends! Thanks Mandy!
May. 13th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Terrific post, Mandy! I have to admit, I was one of those in-the-middle-of-a-manuscript authors who groaned when I saw PW's dystopia article. I was like, "Geez, how many people is that going to attract to the genre I'm wanting to break into?"


May. 13th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Pub E and Pub K sound like my kind of peeps.

Is it lame if I query you and state the reason as "you are fun to go to lunch with?"
May. 13th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
I think it would be lame NOT to do that. ;-)
May. 14th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
Just... wow
This is why I adore you, Mandy. I hear writers begging for this information on a regular basis. You can best believe I retweeted it!


May. 14th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
I'm SURE someone pointed this part out already, but that is not a graph. It's a Venn diagram!!! :D #geeklove

Jess Tudor
May. 14th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
Glass half full!
Thank you! Seeing as I am a glass-half-full kind of gal myself, I would love to work with someone like you. Thank you for being real with us aspiring writers. I will be querying you as soon as my MG boy book (admittedly superhero) is finished and revised.
May. 14th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
Your diagram reminds me of these logic equation things we had to draw in college. Your diagram says, "All vampire books are romances, but not all romances are vampire books." Or something like that. My brain is getting old and fuzzy.

Love the list. It's kind of cruel, b/c I have that sick, cat-killing curiosity in me, but the helpfulness far outweighs all of that. :)
May. 14th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this great info, Mandy! Sometimes it's a bit disheartening to be a contemporary romance writer in a world so full of paranormal, fantasy and dystopian. It's encouraging to see that there really is a niche for all genres out there!
May. 23rd, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
questions, and doubts?
Thank you so much for this information, all I ever seem to be doing is stressing. I get completely worried about writing a vampire novel, especially one about a vampire school novel seeing as how the House of Night is hot at this moment, sometimes I want to give up, but friends have encouraged me, and now I need to encourage myself, so thank you so much. Just one question: Is writing about a vampire boarding school novel the way to go? I mean sometimes I truly wonder :)
May. 24th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Re: questions, and doubts?
If by "the way to go" you mean the easiest way to go, no. It's not. There's also Vampire Academy in the "vampire boarding school" genre.

It's been done. A lot.

Does that means yours CANT make it? No. It just means it has to be that much more amazing, blow-you-out-of-the-water kind of book.

If it were me and I had options, I'd consider something else. But if that was teh book in my heart of hearts and I really, really wanted to write it, I'd just write it.

So yeah, muddy the waters enough for you? I'm just saying that yes, you are creating a bigger challenge by choosing the vampire boardding school book, but that doesn't mean its impossible. Just really hard. :-\
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
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