Reviews, rants, and tidbits from an overpassionate novelist

Posts tagged ‘young adult fantasy’

BREAKING INTO THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

As my blog readers know, I attended the Southeastern Writer’s Conference last month and got a bit of a shock. Miss Stephanie and–godforbid–Edward flipping Cullen did far more for me than I ever could have dreamed.

The industry is in a sad condition right now. That is undeniable. Agent in Residence Mollie Glick gave a speech about her job as a literary agent and revealed that a large part of it is keeping up with editors. Not only are editors moving and shuffling around between publishers and houses these days, they’re dropping like flies. Entire branches and houses are getting cut off.

It’s dark.

Apparently, Borders booksellers has nearly gone bankrupt several times within the past year and have survived by a miracle. (I’m very interested in this situation and there may be a post about it soon.) Without a doubt, the disappearance of a major booksellers would be disastrous to the industry. E-books would probably take off, boosting the printed word toward an obsolete state.

How do you break in when things are this bad? Where is the hope?

  1. Okay. Competition is high. It’s always been high. Relatively, it’s not that much of a difference.
  2. One market is still booming. One genre is easier than ever to break into. Respect for it is growing, and its popularity is wonderful. This is the Young Adult market, especially Fantasy. My market.

Four people–Emily Sue Harvey, Cheryl Norman, Mollie Glick, and Holly McClure–all remarked on how well the YA market is doing at the conference last month. About a week after it ended, I was in a bookstore, and I asked an employee if she was familiar with the YA section and if she could tell me what was selling best. She pointed to a few titles, naming one I’d never heard of (which made it all the more beneficial to me). “Anything to do with vampires, witches, or fairies. Actually,” she said, pausing, “that’s most of what we get coming through here right now.”

I almost cried.

If you’re a young adult fantasy writer, now is the time to step up and shoot for it. Despite the economic downturn, we are the ones who have been empowered. And it’s probably all thanks to Miss Stephanie Meyer and Mr. Edward Cullen!

RESEARCHING AGENTS TIL I’M LITERALLY BREATHLESS

Status:  Out of breath. I’m not kidding.

What’s the anime freak listening to now? Megumeru, the Clannad theme.

Dream Diary:  Agents. I dreamed about agents.

Yes, I just added the dream diary. It’s an idea I came up with when I made my livejournal account yesterday. And yesterday night’s dreams were much more interesting. Crosses between tornadoes and dragons, and clowns in blue bodycasts. You think I could consciously make that up?

MORE GOOD NEWS:  A “certified individual” (no, he really is certified) informed me this week that I have “a genius level of verbal ability.”

Now I just wish I could be diagnosed with an “a helluva proportion of luck.”

Yeah, I’ve been researching til I’m blue though. Sitting in the bookstore with stacks of books, taking notes on voice and elements, growling at authors who don’t do acknowledgements (that’s where I find out what their agent is!)

Then I come home and look the agents up. If an author didn’t have acknowledgements, I look up their agent online. Publisher’s Marketplace is certainly a faster way to find agents, but a lot of agents aren’t listed there.

If I can think of something to say, I post on their blog, so hopefully they will say “Heys! I know that personn!!” when I query them. I’ve also been looking at writers’ blogs. Mostly Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, so far.

I take notes on all agents in the Agents Masterlist I’m compiling. I might post some of it when it’s more complete.

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