Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Marketing News — March Recap

I’ve been remiss in keeping you all up-to-date on my lunches and meetings with editors and I apologize. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels over here lately. It’s conference season, which pretty much guarantees at least two missed office days a month. Add in lunches, client meetings, etc., and I wonder when I’m ever at my desk (and I imagine some of my clients do too).

So, since I’m so far behind I’m going to do a bit of a recap on what I learned in March and then I’m going to try to keep you updated more regularly. I don’t think you need to hear about every meeting, since not every meeting is worth reporting on, but here are some highlights.

When talking with an editor at Kensington I learned more details about what is working in their erotic Aphrodisia line. When it comes to erotica and erotic romance they are seeing the greatest success with paranormal and historical stories. Futuristic and fantasy is also starting to move ahead, while SF is not. Interestingly enough, contemporary seems to be working, but it’s on an author-by-author basis. In other words, they haven’t really pinpointed specifics, but it does seem to depend on the appeal of certain authors. Sadly, multicultural isn’t working as well for them as they would have hoped. They also find that fetish or fantasy books seem to work. In other words, you cowboy lovers are gravitating toward erotic cowboy collections, and the same holds true for firefighters, etc.

As all of you mystery writers probably know by now, NAL is planning to launch a new mystery imprint, Obsidian. They are looking for all types of commercial thrillers, cozies, and more traditional mysteries. Keep in mind, they have always published mysteries, so they are not building a list from scratch; they are, however, going to use this new line to highlight their mysteries in a different way.

One romance editor at St. Martin’s Press is actively looking for romantic suspense and paranormal romance. Interestingly enough, this desire to add more romantic suspense to a list seems to be universal (me too, me too). The key, I think, is to make sure your hook is there and your suspense is strong, and a little scary. Think Allison Brennan, one of the newest stars in this genre. If she’s the hottest new thing then that’s what everyone else is looking for. Okay, back to St. Martin’s . . . they have a lot of werewolves and vampires and this editor would rather see something fresh. She’s not a fan of futuristic or fantasy titles, but likes beasts and creatures and especially demons. She wants a new twist on vampires and werewolves. She would also like to see (like everyone else) heartwarming women’s fiction that could cross over into romance. Think Debbie Macomber.

Lunch with an editor at HQN was actually very enlightening for me. I had no idea that they were only looking for contemporary romance. No paranormal, no historical. Of course, they have exceptions on their list, which is why I had assumed they were also open to more. See, even I can learn something shockingly new from these lunches.

So, this is today’s wish list from editors. Trust me when I say it will all change tomorrow. I promise to keep marketing news coming at a faster clip.



Dara Edmondson said...

Wow! Great info to know. Thanks for keeping us informed on the latest market trends. That certainly helps.

Maria said...

Thanks Jessica. Helpful report!

Laura K. Curtis said...

Thanks so much for this, Jessica! (Gee, makes me wish I wrote erotica. But since I'm too embarrassed even to *read* erotica, I guess I am out of luck on that one!)

Jolie Mathis said...

I love posts like these! Thanks for sharing all that!

Anonymous said...

I agree that these sorts of posts are extremely helpful and interesting...even if the information changes weekly, LOL. It just helps to feel like we have even a fleeting hint of the market.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update!

I have a question I'm hoping you can address in your blog. I recently had a positive phone conference with an agent. She was very enthusiastic about the potential my work had and though she rejected it then, had great suggestions on how to make it better and said she would love to read revisions if I chose to do them. Ultimately I did, and I sent them back to her. She emailed me to say that she received them, she'd get to right to them, and would get back to me soon.

That's been a couple of weeks now. This agent let me know up front that she wanted a 4-week exclusive with the project, and since it was small and definitive, I granted it. The trouble is, it runs out next week. I understand how busy agencies get, and that she could just be backed up, but if her interest has waned, I want to move on too. So after the time limit is up, should I email her and tell her the exclusive time limit is up and that I can no longer grant it, or offer to extend it a week if she's still interested, or do I just go ahead and start submitting to other agents, assuming she realizes the time limit's up?

Thanks for any insight you can give me. I am such a fan of this blog!

MsSnarkyPants said...

Thanks for the update! It's always good to know what they're looking for.