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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Major Trends in MG and YA Books - What do Editors Want?

Hi There,

What do editors at the major NY publishing houses say they want? Translation: if you write these kinds of books and do it well, they'll probably be snatched up by publishers. If you want to read these kinds of books, you're in luck because they'll probably get published.

Bear in mind, this is one agent's survey. You can find responses from the editors in more depth over on Mandy Hubbard's livejournal.com blog.

Editors want graphic novels, humor, magical realism, big books for middle grade kids. Think Homeward Bound and any kind of animal stories. I belong to a critique group and just critiqued a dog story take off on Star Trek. Not my cup of tea, but I bet it'll get published.

For young adult books, for girls (most teen boys don't read, I'm told), ghost stories, especially creepy and gothic, psychological thrillers, blended genres (maybe urban fantasy and ghosts?) fantasy, but not epic fantasy, and contemporary stories like Anna and the French Kiss and Perfect Chemistry. Editors are still looking for paranormal romance, but only if it's kick-ass. History is a tough sell for either middle grade or young adult.

Boy young adult is tough unless it also appeals to girls. I guess that means throw in one chapter written by a boy and the next by a girl and alternate them. That might help get your book sold/read.

Here's a shocker, at least for me, ALL THE EDITORS like Chime by Frannie Billingsley. I think it starts out with something like "I should be hanged." and then goes on for pages to tell why she should be hanged.

Again, I don't get it, but then, my writing runs to the humorous.

Other titles All editors liked include Boyfriend List, White Car, and Jellicoe Road.

So that's your trends list for this year.

Let me know which of these you read or write and let's start our own trends list.

For Books...