Agents, at least in the States, are saying they’ve had enough. The market has had enough. It’s all reached saturation point. Now agents are looking for something else. The problem is, they’re not entirely sure what that is.
The genres they now say they’re interested in are crime, psychological thrillers, gritty realism and contemporary dramas. The one-off, stand alone book looks to be making a comeback. If that’s true then hooray!
It is too often I hear people saying that boys are reluctant readers, and asking what we can do about it? Well, given the choice they’ve faced over the last decade, I’m not entirely surprised. I was in a bookshop the other week and a teen, a boy, was asking for recommendations. The shop assistant had very little to offer him – he’d read the small number of general action/adventure series that were on display there, and he wasn’t interested in paranormal or dystopian. Well maybe, finally, the kind of books boys like him might like to read will get a look in now. Of course many other factors will play a part, but this is a beginning, a small kernel, which needs to be nurtured and developed.
To read the full report from the Publishers Weekly about the changing focus of agents and publishers in the US follow this link:
Here’s another link to an interesting US blog post with literary agents there about what they’d like to see landing on their desks:
Of course the most important thing in teen/YA writing, and actually in any writing, is the voice and the story, no matter what the genre. But it is good to hear that, at least across the Pond, agents and publishers are showing an interest in manuscripts across many different genres, which means that the contemporary stand-alone novel has more of a chance to get its voice heard and to find some shelf space in a bookshop or library.
Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman’s work has been diverse, covering different genres, themes and age groups. She has initiated a YA convention to be held in London next year where she will be promoting Young Adult literature. It’s going to be held at the London Film and Comic Con at Earls Court in June 2014. The convention will include publishers and writers, workshops, signings, and talks. It sounds exciting and I’m looking forward to it. I hope it makes a difference.
So what are publishers and agents saying here in the UK where UKYA is on the up and up? I think it’s time to find out...