Pub Rants

What Editors Are Looking For

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STATUS: It’s almost 8 pm and I haven’t left the office yet. That pretty much sums up the day.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD by Tears For Fears

I have to say that all your comments on my last blog entry about the Best Query Ever made me laugh and laugh. Much needed when 160 emails in my inbox mysteriously disappeared during an email migration to the cloud.

Talk about cleaning up your TO DO list in one fell swoop. Luckily the emails were finally recovered. My tech person was much relieved too!

A children’s editor reconnected with me today. In her email, she outlined what she was dying to see. I LOVE when editors do that. Sometimes as agents, it’s easy to get tunnel vision just based on what we are seeing. So if you are an editor and you’re reading this, don’t hesitate to email me your current wish list. I love hearing from you and since I’ll be heading to NY for BEA and doing my monthly stay, now’s the time to ping me.

But back to what editors might want. From this email, it was nice to see that she was not looking for apocalyptic YA (she might be an exception there) but she’d love to see the following:

Southern-set novels

Novels with authentic characters that transform

Psychological thrillers

Mg horror (oh heck yes is what I say!)

SF (sweet!)

I have to say I’m on board with that. I’d be open to any and all of the above.

And as always, this editor would love a “stunningly-written book with a great hook.”

Rather goes without saying… *grin *

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28 Responses

  1. Jen Daiker said:

    How neat! It’s nice when they spell out what they’re look for. No hidden meanins just a great email with all the goods! I hope they find what they’re looking for! I always love to support my fellow writer!

  2. Christine Tyler said:

    Interesting to see that “novels with characters that transform” and “stunningly written with a great hook” aren’t genres at all, but a reminder that really, any genre, written excellently, stands a chance.
    Nicely played.

  3. lac582 said:

    I was also raising a brow at MG Horror, until FourDoorHeathan kicked my brain. How could I forget those summer camp nights with R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike!

  4. Ted Cross said:

    I’ve got the novel with ‘authentic characters who transform’, but you already politely said no (though you said it was close).

  5. Melissa said:

    ‘Authentic characters who transform’…

    …(see the little cartoon bubble with question marks appear over my head) …

    I am not quite sure what this means. As in, they transform into … they change …? They … evolve? Hungh?

  6. Christina said:

    Love the fact that SF is on there. I find the transformation comment interesting. That really works for all genres and can be worked into both a stand-alone book and a series. I’m curious how editors and agents are feeling about single books versus series books at this point. Thoughts?

  7. Manon Eileen said:

    When I read Mg horror, I thought “what the F is Midget horror”! Rofl. Don’t blame me, I only just woke up!

    I used to be a big fan of Goosebumps and Fear Street… What can I say, lol. Cool to see people are still interested in that kind of books 🙂

    Woohoo for SF!

  8. Elizabeth Poole said:

    How cool that editors send you wish lists! That’s really neat!

    And I third or fourth love to MG Horror, and I will throw Bruce Coville’s name into the ring. We ate up “My Teacher is an Alien” and the other books like they were candy.

    Also, if you have a chance, Coville has a book of short stories called “The Book of Magic” (he also has the Book of Ghosts and Book of Monsters) and man, did some of those stories blow me away.

  9. mbeougher said:

    Okay, I didn’t know what Mg Horror meant, but now that everyone’s thrown up examples, I feel like a big ‘ol dummy 🙂

    I read all of those when I was a kid!

  10. Kristin Laughtin said:

    Darn! I write science fiction, but not for children. 😉 Still, I’ll be glad if more is acquired for young readers.

    Like everyone else, I am having Goosebumps flashbacks right now. Kids need to scare themselves once in a while.

    And I’ll second Kristin’s request, editors: send her lists of what you want! Us writers will appreciate it too, especially if we coincidentally happen to have something up your alley.

  11. Susan Flett Swiderski said:

    Great insight into what kind of YA material one particular editor is seeking. Thank you for sharing it with us. Now, it sure would be nice if another editor or two would let us know what kind of adult material is lacking.

  12. Peace, Lena and Happiness said:

    I’m not sure if I misunderstood or if a bunch of other people did, but I don’t see where the editor said these categories were NOT for adult books. The only age category I see is MG horror. So adult writers, submit & good luck!

  13. Dustin said:

    Oh my! I am so working on your MG horror novel right now. I can’t write it with the lights off 🙂

    What great news.

  14. Landman said:

    I love that editors tell literary agents exactly what they want in a book. It makes it so much easier for the agents. Agents are able to send editors manuscripts they know the editors want, instead of guessing.

  15. M.E. said:

    I know the feeling of losing all those e-mails – almost a bit exhilarating. Then, I realized that I lost a letter from a long-lost friend…