Well, you have the opportunity to consider what agents and publishers want before you become attached to a new story idea. Think of it as fishing with bait as opposed to tossing out a net and hoping for the best.
Knowing what the people who are buying the stories want will definitely be to your advantage! Here are 8 stories you can use to hook an agent or publisher right now.
#1: Diverse Protagonists
There’s a huge need for diverse books, and publishers and agent are eager to get their hands on some. YA is flooded with way too many protagonists who are white American females–we need to see some representation of other cultures!
#2: Strong Male Protagonists
I honestly can’t even remember the last time I read a book with a male lead. I can’t even name five…the only ones I can think of off my head are Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.
There’s no denying it–YA is inundated with female protagonists. This is probably because the majority of YA authors are women. It may be challenging to write from a male’s perspective, but this is definitely something publishers are looking for.
#3: Stand-alone Novels
Believe it or not, we writers don’t have to make every story a trilogy. Publishers are actually getting worn out on trilogies and are looking for stand-alones, especially dystopians. The thinking behind this is it’s less investment on the reader’s part and frees up more time for them to read other books rather than commit to a whole trilogy or series.
#4: Fairy tale Retellings
Fairy tale retellings are really popular right now, and not just in books. There’s the t.v. series Once Upon a Time, and Disney is taking advantage of the trend with it’s recent film remakes: Snow White and the Huntsman, Malificent, the upcoming Cinderella, and the recently announced Beauty and the Beast.
If you can come up with a fresh twist on a classic tale you will definitely catch an agent’s attention.
There’s not a whole lot of steampunk in YA, and I think that’s part of the reason why agents are looking for it. They’re getting tired of all the paranormal and even (dare I say it) dystopian stuff. It’s time to explore new territory.
#6: New Adult
This is a newly emerging genre, featuring characters aged 18-25 either entering or already in college. There’s not much NA out there right now because it’s so new, so agents and publishers are eager to find some captivating stories in this fledgling genre.
#7: Crime and Con Artists
#8: Historical Fiction
With the avalanche of fantasy and dystopians out there right now, there’s not a whole lot of historical fiction. It’s definitely something agents are looking for, however. Especially historical events that haven’t been done a lot or bring a fresh, interesting take.
But What If…
So, what if none of these ideas are what you want to write? Don’t stress. Always write what you are passionate about, no matter what the trends of the market are or what agents and publishers are looking for. You have to love what you write above all else. And someone’s gotta start the next trend, right? 😉