Pub Rants

City That Never Sleeps

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STATUS: Tired. It’s late here in New York City—after 11 p.m. and let me tell you, the city might never sleep but I’m more than ready.

What song is playing on the iPod right now? Well, the iPod is back in Denver (probably sleeping soundly). I do have the radio on to some smooth Jazz. After the hectic day, it’s about the right pace.

I spent the morning at the Random House building on Broadway at 56th Street. Can I just highlight here my moment of joy that RH has moved up Broadway out of Times Square? No more wading through hordes of Justin Timberlake fans to fight my way to the Bertelsmann door. (Those fans are rabid and dangerous I tell you.)

I had a perfectly safe trip up Broadway.

My favorite part of the day was meeting with Allison Dickens who is the editor for my author Shanna Swendson. The countdown has begun. Only 15 more days before you can scoop up your copy of ONCE UPON STILETTOS—the sequel to ENCHANTED, INC.

Our meeting was totally hijacked by a discussion of our favorite blogs to visit. (Hey, we can’t talk business every minute of the day). But don’t worry, the launch of STILETTOS is ready. Get your frog pins ready.

For all you writers out there, the word on the RH street is erotica and more erotica. Hot, hot, hot. In more ways than one.

If you write for Ellora’s Cave or some of the other erotica e-publishers, now is probably the time to concoct bigger stories, polish off that tightly written erotic novella, land an agent, and formally make the leap if that is of interest to you. You won’t find better market timing for this genre.

I spent the afternoon at the Penguin Group and it was the same word on Hudson street.

Outside of romance, urban fantasy is also something editors ain’t got enough of on their lists.

SF still open if it can hybrid with something else (Military SF, Romance SF, Paranormal SF etc.) Much harder for the straight SF work. Epic fantasy a tough go unless it has a really original voice and storyline (so no queries on a group of friends on a quest. Need to make it stand out more.) And just so you know, I only talked with two editors today for the SF&F genre so this isn’t the word for every house so no comments about “that’s not what I heard” etc.

Now tomorrow, Anna Genoese (TOR) and I should have some fun conversations whilst we drink our coffee.


24 Responses

  1. Lady M said:

    Oh Hey – Kristen – Tell Anna I said Hi!

    Have a grand time sipping the mocha yummies!

    Also thanks for the heads up on the erotica department and the urban fantasy.

    I’m writing something up for Anna – but not for publishing… just to make her smile. So – hope you both have a very good and profitable time together!

    Lady M

  2. Remodeling Repartee said:

    Oh, I can’t wait for Shanna’s new book. I enjoyed Enchanted Inc. so much,(and yes, I did write an Amazon review), I’m glad I stumbled on it only this year; so I didn’t have to wait long for the sequel. If anyone out there wants an entertaining, wholesome, feels like a huge cup of cocoa with a little kahlua zing-that book is it.

  3. DanStrohschein said:

    This is superb information Kristin, thank you! Getting the word from the houses on what they are looking for is always a good thing. In fact… I have a couple of urban fantasies I should go dust off now…. 🙂

  4. M.E Ellis said:


    I know an author that would be over the moon with the erotica information. Will tell her about it. Thanks!

    Shame psychological thrillers aren’t ‘in’. My e-book came out yesterday. Went the e-book route as agents weren’t happy they couldn’t ‘pigeon hole’ my book. Bit of a bummer when that’s what I write!

    Still, there’s always my humour.

    Come to think of it, I’m currently writing an erotica myself…hmmm…



  5. Jaye Wells said:

    Great info, thanks!

    Could you post a definition of urban fantasy? I think I have a good idea of what this is, but I’ve seen conflicting info. Thanks.

  6. Jackie said:

    Jaye, urban fantasy is set in a city, with “real people” from today running around, neck and neck with vampires, magicians, werewolves, ghosts…magic, today, in other words. The “urban” is important — no wood elves here, unless they’re taking time out from the woods and are downing a few pints at the local bar.

    So, urban fantasy = city magic, set in modern times

  7. Bernita said:

    My characters don’t fall into bed -though there’s some fondling and heavy breathing – until the sequel.
    They don’t have TIME to fall into bed until the sequel.

  8. Anonymous said:

    I hope you hear better news about epic fantasy from other houses soon! Of course, I DO think that mine is original, but it would be even better if it were what editors and therefore agents were looking for.

  9. Jules Jones said:

    One more thanks for the heads-up, and a request for some fine detail — is this just mainstream erotic romance? I write m/m romance. It’s doing quite nicely at my ebook publisher, but I don’t have a feel for whether m/m romance is doing well enough for an agent to take an interest.

  10. bruno said:

    Well, here’s hoping my epic fantasy is original enough. I got good responses on the queries for partials, so I must be doing something right. Right? (Wide eyed-nervous tapping.) For that matter I’m curious. How long do trends last? I’m working on an urban fantasy right now in between the first book and the sequel to the epic. (I like to alternate projects) I should have it polished by July (or August)-depends on other factors I like to call life (ie. child, work, travel, illness etc.) Anyway, given current trends, how long until the market is saturated? One year? Two?

    Gotta say though, I’ve had it with same old rehashes in fantasy, urban or otherwise. I suppose eventually I’ll write about an elf or dragon or vampire, werewolf etc myself. (it would seem inevitable) but right now if I see one on a book jacket or a synopsis I just put the book down. It’s too painful.

  11. Cindy Procter-King said:

    Bruno, trying to figure out how long a trend will last is just asking for a monster headache. Write what you love to write, and if you hit the crest of a trend or, better yet, CREATE a trend and sell as a result, bask in the glory.


  12. Bruno said:

    Ah, to create a trend. Couldn’t agree more Cindy. There, lies the brass ring. Sigh. However, I’m sure I’m not alone in my occasional ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I was just curious about trends since I’d read Miss Nelson’s previous laments about the current market malaise concerning certain literary areas that she represents. Regardless, thanks for the words of encouragement. In truth, I don’t think I could write a story I didn’t love.

  13. Vivienne King said:

    urban fantasy hot!! oh boy I hope so, because my urban fantasy erotica is making the rounds in NY as we speak. I sincerely hope to make a big sale soon. How exciting to hear that news from you. 😀

  14. NL Gassert said:

    I’m with Jules. What’s up with homoerotic fiction? A while ago I read about the new trend of women discovering the pleasure and fun of homoerotic novels. (I know most of my readers are female.)

    Agents, though, it seems aren’t interested in it yet. But RH or Penguin or Kensington, which is also searching for erotica, won’t do unagented material!?

    I’ve given up on finding an agent (interested in homoerotic fiction) and submitted to publishers directly, but the six months required waiting is killing me.

  15. Phantasmagician said:

    Thank you for the info Agent Kristin!
    I really appreciate your blog for the general insights into the industry, and I am happy to hear about the specific currently ‘sought after’ genres… mostly because I am working on something in one of them.

    Thanks again!

  16. Downward Spiral said:

    Rachel, that was an interesting article on urban fastasy. definitions of UF seem to be all over the place and I’m still trying to grasp it. I wonder if an urban fantasy can take place in a small town, or does it have to be set in a city?

  17. sexmuse said:

    Kristin: If you write for Ellora’s Cave [or other erotic epub]… now is probably the time to concoct bigger stories, polish off that tightly written erotic novella …

    Well, I do (Bloodstone, Saturn Unbound and Adonis 5000 for EC, Reluctant Muse and Sacred Heart Diaries for Samhain), so I’m wondering what you mean by “concoct bigger stories”, particularly when followed by a reference to “novella.” Are you referencing length with “bigger stories” or advocating more developed plotlines than what can be standard erotic romance fair?

    Thanks 🙂