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:
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.