A Conversation with the YA Marketplace

Hi Veronica! I’m The Publishing Marketplace. I heard you wanted to talk about what I want!  Well, let me tell you.

First things first: if you're thinking YA, you can’t have too much emphasis on boys because boys don’t read books. So if you’re representing too much XY Chromosome? Get rid of it. I know, I know. You have two sons who you want to grow to be fine men, with good morals, good hearts, who treat people with respect and who see women as equals. You want them to have a good work ethic and all that stuff, but they're just going to have to find these things in Call of Duty, okay? Because boys. don't. read.

No angels either, because angels are done. Way done. Demons are even tough, because they’re so close to angels. They’re like dark angels. Scary angels. Anyway, no angels. Even though it would be so awesome to fly! Can you imagine? I digress.

Dystopian is waning – can’t have that either. I mean, really. How many times does a sixteen-year--old girl need to save the world? When I was sixteen, I was thinking about boys. Not that you can’t have that in dystopians. As you know, you can write dystopians where girls think about boys, so maybe do that again. If you want to repeat yourself. But if you do, just make it a little different. No one wants to read the same exact thing twice. I mean if they did, they'd just reread the first thing instead of buying a new thing that's the same.

Oh, Barnes and Noble is downsizing its paranormal section, so definitely no vamps or wolves. I know. Lots of new, successful books and movies are still doing vamps and wolves, but leave that to those people.

Amazon likes the new adult books, but it’s dominated by self-published titles right now, and honestly, I don’t think that’s your thing, between us. I don't think you're cool enough. Forget historical, too. You just don't seem smart enough to do all that research.

Middle-grade is great, but really hard to gain traction. Also, Riordan and Kinney have that whole thing cornered. And let's not forget Rowling. We should probably get rid of the MG market altogether and just keep re-jacketing the Harry Potter books every few years. That's all the people want, anyway. More Harry, Hermione, Ron and the gang.

You do not want to write adult. Whole different market. Quite hostile. Really tough, so just put that out of your mind. And erotica? Well, maybe. That genre is peaking.... Pardon my speech.

Kick-butt girls are good. Strong girls. Girls who aren’t afraid to be physical. Violence isn't just for boys anymore, you know. Girls kick serious ass now. Write a girl who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to take some crap in order to get it. Make her stand her ground in the face of overwhelming odds. Make her sure of mind, when the rest of the world is telling her who to be and what to do. Give us more of that. We can sell the kittens out of that. There. That's my best advice. Kick ass girl, over to you.

Okay. Got it. Thanks. Let me tell you, Marketplace, what I think. Instead of writing about strong girls—who aren’t afraid to stand their ground, who are sure of mind when the rest of the world is telling her what to do--I’m going to BE that girl. No offense, Marketplace, but get out of my face and let me do what I love. 

One other thing: There is a great story in all of us. Leave the writing to the writers, Marketplace. We know what we're doing. 


Loving this. There are always going to be "don't dos" and "be this ways", and if we were all to ALWAYS go by that, bookstores and libraries would be very boring places (and I think authors would be very bored writers!).

Write from your soul. The market be damned. If it's true, and powerful, people will read it.

Lori A. Goldstein (@_lagold) February 22, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Thanks for making me laugh this morning!

This post was so fun! On our blog, we recently reviewed _Daughter of Smoke and Bone_ and - though it has all the "overdone" stuff the "marketplace" mentioned, Hel and I still loved it!

Readers will read what they love!


I review books here: http://ohsocleverreads.blogspot.com/
and here: http://alross2012.wordpress.com/

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