What’s Hot and What’s Not — Buzz From BEA

At this month’s writers coffeehouse Jonathan Maberry and other writers discussed the buzz making the rounds at BEA (BookExpo America) . Here’s what’s hot and what’s not in the book publishing industry:

Jonathan Maberry1. Paranormal Thrillers for Middle Grade Boys—wide open and red hot.

2. Vampire Novels for Teenage Girls—starting to reach critical mass but will continue to be published for years.

3. Children’s Picture Books—for the first time in six years, we’re starting to see some life being breathed into the market for new authors.

4. Chapter Books—selling again, particularly those with a historical slant.

5. Middle Grade Books—industry is looking for them, particularly those with a mythological slant.Writer's Coffeehouse

6. Ghosts—not so hot right now.

7. Westerns—the popularity of Steampunk is bringing back the Western.

It’s important to note that although the word on the street may be that a genre is dying, it can regenerate overnight if someone comes out with a book in that genre that is hot and the book takes off.

So what do you think is hot, or not? Do you have any buzz to add from BEA? Any buzz to add from other conferences, meetings, or encounters with those in publishing industry? I’d love to hear your comments.


  1. Janice,

    Thanks for posting this column. Looks like we had a great meeting; sorry I couldn’t make it.

    From our discussions, time travel novels are a no-sell, or at the very least, a hard-sell. Jack McDevitt just released his novel, Time Travelers Never Die. Would a novel such as this, written by a novelist of McDevitt’s stature, bolster the market for time travel stories? As I’ve mentioned a the meetings, I have such a story waiting in the wings. Jonathan has helped me with the query letter.

  2. Thanks for the reporting of the great tips for what’s hot and what’s not.

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