What I’ve learned so far…

Although it is technically more pleasant to read blogs in prose, I’m (1) a trained journalist, facts facts facts! No flowery writing!, and (2) tired out of my MIND. So bullet points it is.

1. Dystopian and post-apocalyptic are the new trends. Although, in post-apocalyptic try to avoid zombies. As with everything else I will say in the rest of these bullet points…editors want NEW and FRESH twists.

2. Steampunk may or may not work as a genre in general. It is too early to tell. We are still waiting… So be cautious.

3. While there are definitely still (a select few) editors who will do vampires and werewolves, there are a lot of editors who want fun, quirky, real life, average girl, “she doesn’t know her potential” type of books.

4. Editors want writing that does not talk down to the reader. They want intelligent writing that will challenge the reader. And just to make it clear: 7-10 is considered “middle grade”…10-12 is considered “tween”…12 and up is “teen/YA.” 14 and up is for naughty material (cursing, steamier scenes, suicide, drug use, etc).

5. Just about every editor I have spoken to is looking for that perfect middle grade (7-10) boy book that steps away from high fantasy. Fun, quirky, scary, humorous. They want it. But it can’t talk down to the reader, which is the main problem they find.

6. The picture book market is incredibly soft. If you want to have success with your picture book it needs to be very unique and fun with an attitude. Verse is not too big right now. Think Tori Spelling’s new book Tallulah or Fancy Nancy.

7. I had one editor tell me she would love a teen Veronica Mars type book… Another editor said she would love a book set in New Orleans. One Editor said she is craving a book about a big, fun, crazy latino family. She said like a “Latino Cheaper By The Dozen.”

8. Historical fiction is not huge right now, but there are definitely editors that are interested in it. But it needs to be character driven, not time period driven.

9. One editor said to me, “A book needs to be so well written that you forget what genre you are reading.” Which I thought was a perfect way to sum it up.

Okay. Tomorrow…we talk my passion. Graphic Novels. They deserve their own post.

**Please note that I have pages and pages and pages of notes. Very specific notes. If you have any questions, never hesitate to email me (right hand corner of my blog) and ask me any specific questions.

9 thoughts on “What I’ve learned so far…

  1. I’m glad you mentioned the age ranges and the genre. I’m reading so many books in the 8-12 range (as listed on the book) and they are so different in tone. I think the tween rating makes a lot of sense now with the 10-12 range. Some of these MG books seemed too young for the 12yr old reader. Frannie K. Stein is listed at 9-12 yr on Amazon. I think a 12yr old might find it a bit too young for their taste. It is more of a MG book (7-10) for sure. This is very helpful! Thanks!!

  2. Wonderful post, bullet points and all! I’ve been tinkering with an idea for a “fun, quirky, real life, average girl, who doesn’t know her potential,” so your information has been particularly inspiring. :D

  3. Hey Bree – Just wanted to thank you for recommending “Writing Great Books for Young Adults” by Regina Brooks. I ordered a copy from Barnes and Noble (they were sold out at the store). Hope you are having the best of times in New York City.

  4. Pingback: Friday Five: Favorite Writing Blogs « The First Novel Project

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