About a week or so ago, I was on the phone with an editor. We got talking about the market as we are wont to do.
She said, “The chick lit market is in the toilet.”
Perhaps melodramatic but in a lot of ways I have to agree.
Red Dress Ink is significantly cutting back on the number of titles they plan to publish in a year. Dorchester’s chick lit line (Making It) is only going to publish one book this spring and it happens to be from one of my authors (COUPON GIRL by Becky Motew). I chatted with another editor at Simon & Schuster and she said it pretty much had to be extraordinary for them to take on something new.
I’ve been shopping a chick lit work now for several months—something that two years ago probably would have sold in a couple of weeks.
So I have to agree. Maybe the market is in the toilet. A year ago, I was scheduled to do a Chick Lit workshop at an upcoming conference (they always schedule a year in advance and boy what can change in that time frame). It’s entitled The Hottest New Genre etc. I’m thinking of renaming that poor seminar. How about The Hottest New Genre that’s in the Toilet?
If you are new and want to break in, you pretty much have to reinvent the genre to impress the editors. I’ve been reading some chick lit sample chapters recently. The ones I’ve seen are well done and cute but that’s not going to cut it anymore.
So what happened?
Basically, the market got overcrowded and a lot of chick lit was published that was only average rather than outstanding. Readers got jaded, bored, I don’t know. You tell me. You folks out there, if you enjoyed the genre, ought to know. Why aren’t you buying new releases?
Is the chick lit trend now dead?
I’m not rushing out to perform CPR because it’s not really dying. Chick lit, as a genre, is probably here to stay, but it’s suffering much needed growing pains.