Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What the market wants -- or not, as the case may be

Val Landi has an interesting post on his blog about whether the current US mainstream publishers can or cannot bring themselves to publish a book with a terrorist theme.

It's a matter on which he has pondered before, and it is, of course, all related to his own ms in search of a publisher (A Woman from Cairo). Nevertheless, this post should certainly give pause for thought to anyone who, filled with enthusiasm, is about to devote the next year or two to writing a novel.

Who knows what will happen in that time? And who can say how it will affect the way in which editors will view your masterpiece? And might there not, in all seriousness, be less risky and more productive ways to spend your time?

Proceed if you must. But it is, as always, a pretty desperate gamble.


Anonymous said...

For all the talk about the "Thriller Market" being one of the most read and hyped there are scads of us the "unpublished" that find it a frustrating genre to be accepted in. Val is a prime example, a subject on which we have corresponded before.

Anonymous said...

My novel THE FLAME TREE (S&S, August, 2004) is set against the background of 9/11 and explores in part this issue of terrorism. My agent marketed it as adult, but it was S&S Children's that bought it as YA, because the main protagonist is an American boy living in Java. I remember one of the main house editors rejecting the novel because she felt it callously referred to 9/11. The novel hasn't done particularly well despite strong reviews and wonderful comments from readers, most of them adults who felt it was better suited for an adult market. --Richard Lewis