May 19, 2011

On Trends per Mandy Hubbard

Author/Agent, Mandy Hubbard, posted a comprehensive list on trends. She complied feedback from editors via 37 meetings and broke it down for us.

I'm not going to lie: I skipped straight to the MG section to see what editors want in that area.  I was freaking out over what I read. I thought, am I reading this correctly? Only 10% of one agent's submissions are MG?! They want "Magical realism, humor, big hooks, distinctive voices."?!?! Hubbard goes onto use the words inventive and standout. 

You see, what I am doing is comparing the premise Kelly and I developed for our collaboration project and I am so confident in our project that it keeps me awake at night. Magical realism: Sasquatch. Humor: summer camp. Big hooks: our MC is compassionate, but full of original foibles. Distinctive voices: she dreams in Harry Potter and talks to snails.

Three nights ago, I asked myself, "How does it work when a coauthored book wins a Newbery? Do they conference call or will one of us know before the other? They should call me first, I'm in the eastern time zone."

My brain goes all irrational!

Back to Hubbard's post, did you read it? I went back and finished the whole post. What are your thoughts on trends? Think outside of the easy targets (vampires, zombies) and tell me some trends you dig and others you avoid. I know most writers say they don't write in line with trends - I have said so myself - but it's impossible to have an online presence and not notice which trends are up and coming and which are declining.


  1. Thanks for the link Jon. It's always good to stay informed, whether or not any of it really has value to what you are doing.

  2. LOL, I won't lie, I went straight to the YA section. ;)

    I like to write paranormal romance, so I was interested to see that editors will probably be very picky with the pr they acquire from now on, which I'm hoping will be good for the genre.

    I do have a ghost story on the shelf, but I'm not sure it's ever going to see the light of day, so I'm just going to stick to my paranormal romances, which is what I do best.

  3. I won't lie...I went straight to making sure nobody said Anita Laydon Miller has a big butt. :) I want to pre-edit the sasquatch book.

  4. That was an awesome post. I don't write to trends. I write what I'd love to read. And love to read. But I do read new releases to get a feel for the writing that is prevalent today. Face it, we can't write like they did 30 years ago and get published today.

    That's awesome you are excited about your writing. That is a wonderful place to be. Best of luck with it! Sounds awesome.

  5. I also thought it was interesting to see what editors are reading. Not because I write to trends. Because I can't. Write to trends, that is. I'm so excited that you and Kelly are working on something together--so much fun to have a partner in crime!
    Can I beta for you? :)

  6. Thank you for the link. I went straight to YA.

    I'm aware of trends, but whether they're waning or waxing I have the belief (naive maybe) that a book will find a home if it's unique, has a great voice, and the plot's unpredictable.

  7. Best of luck with your MG! I'm excited for you!! And for me - I'm working on an MG now...and trying to sell my YA, so we'll see how that goes.

  8. I'll let you get the Newbery call first.
    I loooooove our story! Love it!
    And I went to the MG section first too.

  9. I read about half the link and bookmarked it to finish tomorrow. I never would have guessed that about MG, that they only get 10%? That's mind boggling, but is great to know. I write MG, too. And the trends about YAs and recent historical is just the shot in the arm I needed. My very edgy YA is set in the summer of '71, so I need to get crackin' on it again.

    Thanks for sharing this link. I'm going to send it to my writer friends.
    I love that you're so excited about your collaboration that you're thinking Newbery. That's wonderful to be so excited. I agree that your story premise sounds like a winner that kids will love. And it's great fun collaborating. Best of luck to you and Kelly.

    I love sci-fi, and I'm a sucker for time travel stories, so I hope we see more of those coming out.

  10. I am old. Was very cynical about the vampire/zombie/paranormal trend. Then got this flash of a story that I had to write, and started thinking back to my school days, remembered that I DEVOURED books about ghosties and other creepy things, especially 5th grade and post high school. This was back in the 80s and I really had to search to find what I liked to read. Other than Stephen King the choices were slim. And no, at 5th grade, I wasn't reading Carrie, that came later.

  11. Thanks for the link. That's great you think yours with Kelly will fit the trends. I did read the MG & YA trends. For me, by the time I could write something to meet the trend, it would have passed. But I am considering it a bit as I think of new ideas. I do think there are less debut MG authors. Maybe because like Mandy said, the voice is hard to nail.

  12. That's really interesting to see how that panned out. I would have never guessed of what editors and publishers were looking for. How long, though, do they predict this is trending for?

  13. My favorite line in this post is "They should call me first, I'm in the eastern time zone."
    Classic. I snorted.

  14. Dude, you are all shades of awesome. Better straighten out the whole Newbery thing with Kelly NOW before it throws a wrench in your relationship. :)

    And trends, yeah. I'm aware of them and they make me feel slightly stressed and pressured so I try to forget I know anything about them.

  15. I can't say who told me this, but it was mentioned to me that MG editors are getting tons of dystopian submittals. As in way too many. I found that really interesting.