Wednesday, March 09, 2016

My Publishers Marketplace Experience

Publishers Marketplace is a site filled with all kinds of publishing information, including listings on agents and new sales. The "Today's Deals" offering is useful for writers researching who is interested in what. I started subscribing to the Marketplace (which actually costs money) and getting the "Today's Deals" delivered to me back in December, 2014 and then didn't read any of them. For a year. I just stockpiled the things, thinking I'd get to looking at them someday.

Well, I was right. I did get to looking at them. I went through them in January, often reading up to a month's worth a day. It was a fascinating experience, sucking up information in chunks like that.

What I Noticed Going Through More Than A Year's Worth Of Deals:

Publishing relies on cliche for description. Many new books were described as being about a situation more deadly/dire/romantic than "s/he/they could ever have imagined."  There were also a lot of people with family or personal mysteries. In my experience, that's not all that common. Family mysteries are usually common knowledge.

Many debut books or general books were sold last year that appeared to be adult had teen characters. That's common, a book situation I'm interested in.

In children's lit, there was a resurgence of the problem book last year. Diversity was all over the place, sometimes treated as a problem.

A lot of ghost stories were sold last year, for adults as well as children. Maybe more for adults.

Many deals begin with something like "Best-selling blah blah blah and blah blah author's new book..." and I'd never heard of the best-selling book or its author. This happened so much that I should feel really bad about it.

Even well-known agents often are selling only ten or fewer books a year. (This is something subscribers can check on through Marketplace. Bang for my buck!)  That may be a lot. On the other hand, maybe there's no reason for writers to get all excited because they've landed an agent. What are the chances that your book will be one of the ten or fewer books s/he sells next year?

When I got back far enough, say, to early 2015, I was reading about books that, by now, are in print. Which was kind of neat. The League of Unexceptional Children, for instance. Revenge of the AngelsShe Came From BeyondThe Taming of the Drew

I'm also seeing a lot of books coming up that I hope I'll eventually stumble across, because they look good. A sci-fi Pride and Prejudice, for instance. (Adult) I hate dragon stories, but that could work. Then Nicole Conway has sold a children's book that's supposed to involve "gun-slinging fairies." I hate fairies, too, but as a reader, I could probably get behind that. Also the picture book that sold last summer called Even Fairies Fart. I'm looking forward to that. There's a book about an order of fighting nuns. (Appears to be adult.)  Donna Hosie's Devil's Intern has two follow-up books. Looking forward to Master Diplexito and Mr. Scant. There's a book coming out about Strongheart, who, believe it or not, I have actually heard of. An adult book coming out, Mr. Rochester, all about Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre.

I'm keeping up with the Daily Deals now. Reading them a day or two at a time just isn't as big an experience as reading twenty or thirty all at once.

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