Monday, November 16, 2009

Yes, yes, I know you mean Twilight

Also, I am deeply sorry, I feel as though I am pestering you, yet, since you are an agent...what do you see in this paranormal trend for young adult novels? That is the manuscript I have been sending out since April.

I would think it would be easier now, considering the fame of a certain book. Yet, almost all the rejections are automatic. I know, certain agents have their areas, but even to agents who have represented young adult/paranormal, I received form rejections. (And I am not even writing about vampires, werewolves, ghosts, or faeries!)

Do you think that agents automatically reject these queries because they hate the trend?

Just to clear things up, I'm an agent's assistant, not an agent. I don't represent any clients or make any deals.

As to the paranormal YA trend, it's still going strong. I'm sure there's people who are sick of it, but I wouldn't reject a good query because of a trend being overdone. A good book is a good book. What we do know is that publishers are still buying paranormal YA and adult, which is what we really care about, because it's the job of an agent to sell a book to a publisher. It's the job of a good agent to know which editors are particularly interested and/or don't have too many vampire/zombie books on their list already to justify another buy and then to get cozy with those editors. But that's on our end; your job is to write a great book.

I was at an AAR meeting last week to discuss the convention at Frankfurt, which for financial reasons a lot of people who normally attend didn't attend this year. In discussing what people were buying, two things were agreed upon as being hot:
- paranormal romance
- Scandinavian literature

I don't know the reason for the second one.

17 comments:

Amalia T. said...

...Scandinavian Literature?

The Rejecter said...

Frankfurt is a gathering of European publishers. There's usually one country that has a particularly hot market that everyone wants a piece of, or so I'm told, and this year it was Scandinavia.

chriskepner said...

Probably everyone looking for the next Stieg Larsson, right?

The Rejecter said...

Yeah, his name came up a lot.

Readymade said...

"Let The Right One In" came to mind too...

Anonymous said...

Ah...see...I got rejected because an agent said, "The writing is good, but there are too many angel books out there. Sorry."

Sort of nice that they said my writing was good, but apparently, I need to write something else.

GhostFolk.com said...

Scandinavian literature.

I don't know the reason for the second one.


Got me beat. I don't even know where Scandinavia is.

John said...

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was one of the best books I've read all year.

Scandinavian literature? Yeah, I can see it.

suzie townsend said...

Advice to writer's who are getting fast form rejections: Revise your query. Something in it probably isn't working.

Andrew Wheeler said...

Anonymous: That's possible, but it's also possible that this particular agent meant it precisely the opposite -- this is a strong category, but the agent didn't connect with your particular book (for whatever reason).

If you're getting the same kind of rejections for that book over a six-month period, you may want to concentrate more energy on the next book, the one you're writing now. (You are writing another, unrelated book now, right?) But buying has been slow for the past year on the editorial side, because buying has been so slow on the consumer side, so you could also keep going for a while if you really believe in the appeal of this book.

Form rejections do tend to imply that these agents aren't finding what they're hoping for in your writing, so my instinct would be to nudge you towards the first option (focusing on the next book). But good luck with it, however you move forward!

Thomas said...

I'm kind of pleased at the resurgence of Zombie material in all media over the last several years.

Vampires seem to have been a pretty constant presence for twenty five years or more but Zombies are relatively novel. I wrote my senior thesis in film school on Zombie movies so I'm partial.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Wheeler: yes, I am currently writing another novel! If anything, all those rejections inspired me write something that is different, so hopefully it will work out. =)

the eyes have it said...

I think Robert Pattinson was spotted reading a book by a Scandinavian author a few months ago...

The moral of the story is that you can relate everything back to Twilight if you try hard enough.

Anonymous said...

If I write a novel about Scandinavian vampires, does my chance of getting published increase.

Donna Hosie said...

"Scandinavian literature" may well be because of the enormous popularity of the Millenium series: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

An outstanding series.

Jim Carroll, CRNA said...

> "As to the paranormal YA trend, it's still going strong. I'm sure there's people who are sick of it..."

Yes, yes, I know you meant that there ARE people who are sick of it.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm glad the vampire trend isn't over because I have one more to add to the slush pile. Because of the success of Twilight, I was hesitant to write it when the idea took hold of me, but I thought the story was compelling. I'm going to send out more queries, hoping that at least one agent isn't sick of these types of stories and gives my manuscript a chance.