Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's Selling

Writers always want to know what editors are buying, and I'm happy to report that editors seem to be buying again, although very slowly.

I want to underline that fact - they're buying but at a slower pace, and, often, for less than you might have gotten a year ago.

OK, so what's selling is paranormal romance and young adult fiction. And, as I've said countless times, you can never have too many vampire novels, with zombies following close behind. And don't forget to set those paranormal YA romances during the vampire/zombie apocalypse (seriously).

However, it's become increasingly difficult to sell any genre fiction from a male protagonist's perspective, unless he's really hot. But even if he's a really hot teen vampire, it's better to tell the story from a female point of view. If you have a male character, I'd almost suggest that you change the gender of your main character to sell a novel in this climate.

And as far as erotica goes, it is nearly impossible to sell any sexually explicit material from the male point of view, unless it's gay or M/M.

I have never seen a time in publishing where women's tastes have driven the market. I'm hoping that it produces a whole new crop of books that are unique (and profitable for all).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Can NaNoWriMo Novels be Any Good?

If you go to the site, you'll find that we are supporting NaNoWriMo. We are encourging writers to write erotic romance novels during this month and send them to us.

We expect to be deluged. We expect most of what we see to need so much work we will be unable to do anything with it except tell you where you need a lot of work. But we also expect to find some writers who we can work with and who will grow into RR authors. That's what editors used to do many years ago.

So I was a little shocked when one of our writers told me that many editors and agents have flat out refused to read any NaNoWriMo books.

And I was equally shocked that a reader of the RR blog said it would take years to get a novel to the point where it could be submitted, so any NaNoWriMo novel sent in after only a month of editing would probably suck.

Writing is a learned skill. And the more you do it, the better you become at it.

I was a journalist before I became an agent and an editor. You learn to write, and then you learn to write quickly. You learn to edit yourself. I've been writing (and pubbing) for three decades (since I was 17) and it took me forever to write anything when I was a young adult, and now I can write good, well-crafted prose at a speed I never imagined.

NanNoWriMo is about learning and mastering style and craft and pacing of information. The first thing you learn about writing is that writers write. That's what NaNoWriMo is really about - getting that book out of your head and onto the page. A writer's group, a good editor and even your reader will tell you what works, how to make it better and where to improve. NaNoWriMo (and RR ) is not about the Great American novel. It's about finishing your first novel. My advice to first time authors has always been to write the novel you can finish. It will teach you how to write the next one.

So, yes, I think there are going to be some pretty good novels sent to us from this NaNoWriMo excercise, especially since now there's a real market and place for your 50,000 word novels.