Archive | April, 2012

Literary Erotica. How soon is now?

24 Apr

Speaking of trends within the publishing industry, the latest is erotica. Thanks to the overwhelming success of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, editors and agents are scrambling to obtain the next big erotica title. Whether this results in a long standing trend or not, erotica is hot right now and therefore it is in hot demand.

Being an agent, part of my job is being sensitive to the markets’ trends. Although, I am not opposed to acquiring erotica for my list, my literary tastes are definitely not in sync with the Fifty Shades of Grey particular form of erotic fiction. Writers such as Anais Nin and Anne Desclos are more my cup of tea.

So without further ado, it would appear as though I am jumping on the erotica bandwagon. Erotica writers, please send me your queries! Keep in mind, besides the work containing the necessary level of smuttiness and accessibility, I do require the writing to be of the literary style. On another note: I would love to see an erotica novel that strays from the standard format of the male dominant + female submissive. Surprise me.

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LBF

24 Apr

As a first timer, the London book fair delivered all that I expected and much more. Going into the fair, I had a fairly good idea of what my function would be. For three days, I would have back to back meetings with editors, publishers, other agents, and scouts. To be honest, the three days were a whirlwind affair. My first day consisted of 15+ meetings. For the most part I was meeting with editors, with the intention of promoting specific titles to them. Depending on what the editors were seeking, I would then pitch to them the titles on my list that would appeal to their tastes. It was a thrilling experience, and I now fully understand the important role these fairs play within the industry. They offer a pivotal service to people working within publishing, by offering an environment conducive to book sales, and the forging of new connections.

The industry has undergone a metamorphosis (and will surely continue to do so). Digital presses are popping up all over the place.  New trends within the traditional houses are being brought about by self published titles that have gone viral. More and more first time authors are going the route of self publishing, and through dedicated marketing and self promotion are reaching their intended audience. It is no lie that the industry is not what it used to be. The market is definitely under duress for traditional houses, and yet the atmosphere at the fair was anything but ‘doom and gloom’. Where there is innovation, there is hope. It’s hard to say what the future of publishing will hold, and as nerve wracking as the unknown is, it is also a really exciting time to be working as an agent. As popular as e-books have become, there is  definitely still a demand for traditional paper backs. Even with the current state of things, there was no shortage of  passionate devotion among the editors and agents at the fair. It was simply amazing to witness all these industry types coming together to promote books.

Final thoughts: The fair was an experience I will not soon forget. It was brilliant to connect with so many editors in such a short period of time. I made some wonderful and meaningful connections at the fair, and my time spent there was a great success. Some of my titles sparked major interest with the editors, and over the next few months I will be very busy with submissions. I also branched out, and am looking to take on a few co-agented projects and look forward to promoting these select titles to North America. Although I was exhausted by the end of the three days, I loved every moment and am already looking forward to the Book Expo America in June, and the Frankfurt book fair in October.