Gobbling Market

There’s big excitement about this entry on
Kristin Nelson’s blog where she claims editors are gagging for historicals.

She’s too discreet to say which editors, though, which is a pity.

Apart from the argument that historicals have never been dead/dying, this raises another point:

Who determines the market?

Is it the editors, who make the decisions about what they want to buy? The marketing department, who decide how the books should be packaged? Is there a special bucket, way up in the penthouse suite of every publisher, where an executive dips his hand in, pulls out a slip of paper, and solemnly announces (for instance) that eighteenth-century men in kilts are in?

Or is it the readers? Or the writers?

How can anyone write to the market when the high concept of 2007 may be the stale bagel of 2009 (which is probably when a book submitted now would be published)?

We’ve been talking here recently about cliched plots vs. tried and true story lines, and I think the truth is that a good writer can subvert and polish something that’s been done to death. But what are we missing?

What would you like to read and/or write? It’s time to roleplay the character of Ms. or Mr. Big NY Publishing House Executive. Is there a time period you feel is neglected? A type of character you don’t often see? A setting? You’re going to choose what we’ll be reading next…and it’s….

Janet

Writing as Jane Lockwood, Forbidden Shores, September 2007, Heat/NAL
One Last Scandalous Exchange, October 2007 HarperCollins Historical
www.janetmullany.com

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