Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

RWA—Orlando, Florida (Day 2 After)

STATUS: Hum… I thought August was the slow month for publishing. Couldn’t tell by all the action we are seeing this week at the agency.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? WILDFIRE by Michael Martin Murphey
(Holy cow does this song bring back memories from the 70s! If you can handle the sap, click on the title. *grin*)

Today I promised you my notes from the tidbits and insights gleaned from editors at RWA.

Here’s the consensus:

1. Although editors and agents are a little tired of seeing paranormal proposals, demand from readers remain unabated. So, if you’ve got a great novel with a fresh take on it, well, bring it on I guess.

2. The latest catch word from editors is “heartfelt.” Seems like regardless of whether it is contemporary, historical, paranormal, women’s fiction, editors want that heartfelt emotion. What that really means—you’re guess is as good as mine. I don’t tend to lean toward the small-town Debbie Macomber-like sweetness and light in the romances and women’s fic so if it means that, probably not right for me. I gravitate more toward emotional complexity, sexy, and a little edge.

Probably it’s a term that’s just as nebulous as editors want fresh stories with a great voice. Still, it probably wouldn’t hurt to read some up-and-coming new romance authors such as Sarah MacLean.

3. Whispers of Westerns and Medievals. Haven’t heard that in a long, long time! Two different editors mentioned they had bought new authors they just loved—even though they are in this tough category. Bring that on!

3. Huge uptick in eSales for romance. Stats are running close to 20% of 100% of the sales pie. That’s a big increase in a short period of time. No surprise though. Romance readers tend to be early adaptors simply because they read so much.

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13 Responses

  1. Keira Soleore said:

    Hooray on the news about medievals!! Were they by chance talking about the usual medievals (Scotland High Middle Ages) or are the Early Middle Ages also acceptable? Thanks for the great news.

  2. Tessa Quin said:

    Love the news on the paranormal, and absolutely adore the news of the medievals. The two together would be just perfect.

    Thanks for the notes, Kristin.

  3. Kay Richardson said:

    Yes! I’m writing a Western set in Medieval England and it’s got not one ghost in it. It’s going to be wicked and obviously sell loads after what you’ve said, Agent Kristin.

  4. Dara said:

    Yay for Westerns and Medieval! 🙂 Though I don’t write either, I like reading those genres and I know some friends of mine who write them.

  5. dining table said:

    I have been waiting for this news. I am so happy that it is going to so well. I can’t wait to read the next post I am sure it is going to be better.

  6. Jessica Peter said:

    I’m glad to hear you mention Sarah MacLean – I got 9 Rules from the RT Convention, and it’s rekindled my love affair with Regency romance. I actually read it twice in 3 days because I felt like I read it too quickly the first time. . .

  7. MCPlanck said:

    Wait, wait… editors want fresh stories with great voice? Darn it, I thought they wanted great stories with fresh voices.

    I’ve been doing it all wrong!

    😀

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