At the Winter SCBWI Conference in New York, I attended a panel where four agents (Ginger Knowlton, Regina Brooks, Chris Richman, and Ken Wright) shared their views on the current market.
Here are some of the main points I took away from that panel:
- Agents want bestselling material. Editors looking for bestsellers. Which means the market has more of a bestseller mentality.
- The storytelling is key. Books must engage the reader from the start.
- Agents want books that can have a global reach, traveling well outside the U.S.
- Middle Grade is the new YA.
- It’s important to keep up with the industry by checking out such places as Media Bistro and PW Daily.
- Editors still publishing debut novelists. New voices are wanted.
- Authors need to promote their books.But choose what suits your personality.
- The agent-author relationship is similar to finding your soulmate. There is one person out there meant to represent your book, but it may take a while to find him/her.
Thanks again to all the agents, editors, writers, and volunteers who made this Winter SCBWI Conference an event to remember!