Writers are writing them. Agents are selling them. Editors are buying them.
I subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, which is where agents and editors announce the deals they’ve closed. Each weekday at noon Eastern time, a new edition of Publishers Lunch shows up in my inbox. For $20 a month, I get the latest industry news and the opportunity to see who’s buying what from whom. (If you’re curious what a deal listing looks like, you can see my Publishers Marketplace announcement.)
Not surprisingly, romance is alive and well. Children’s books and YA are doing great, too. As an inspirational writer, I’m excited to see how many CBA books are being purchased these days. The ABA is thriving, too.
The Deals section in the March 17 issue of Publishers Lunch had this lead in, “The deals are coming in as if the London Book Fair was still in mid-March instead of mid-April….”
One of the many great features Publishers Marketplace offers is called Top Dealmakers. A subscriber can design just the list she wants to see. One can choose the Dealmaker type (editors, imprints, agents, or agencies) and the Dealmaker category (fiction, non-fiction, children’s, and so on). The resulting list can be viewed by Last 6 months, Last 12 months, Six-figure deals, and Overall, with the #1 spot on any list belonging to the Top Dealmaker.
While I struggled during my semester in stats class, I find this data fascinating as well as encouraging. The placements change whenever a deal is announced, so I never know what surprises await me.
I created a list at the end of the day March 17th at midnight PST. (Yes, I was up late preparing a post after spending the day on tax prep. I’m a bit of a night owl at times.)
Because I write for the CBA market, I’ve chosen to list only those agents who sell primarily to CBA houses. The other spots belong to agents selling primarily to the ABA market. CBA and ABA announcements aren’t separated on PM.
The list I created goes down to the 145th place, but I’m listing only those CBA agent in the top 30 spots. In those instances when there’s a tie in the number of deals announced, PM places the Dealmaker with the most recent deal higher on the list.
Publishers Marketplace Top Dealmakers by Agent for Last 12 Months
(list created 3/18/11 @ 12:01 am PST)
#2 Chip MacGregor with 46 deals
#3 Steve Laube with 41 deals
#4 Natasha Kern with 39 deals
#7 Rachelle Gardner with 34 deals
#8 Tamela Hancock Murray with 34 deals
#11 Terry Burns with 30 deals
#13 Sandra Bishop with 28 deals
#20 Mary Sue Seymour with 24 deals
#26 Janet Kobobel Grant with 22 deals
#28 Greg Johnson with 22 deals
I didn’t do well in that stats class, my excuse being I’m happier dealing with words than numbers, but I couldn’t resist gathering some information from the facts presented.
320 of the 893 deals listed by the top 30 agents were announced by those listed above.
1/2 of the top 10 agents who reported deals on PM last year sell primarily to the CBA.
1/3 of the top 30 agents who reported deals on PM last year sell primarily to the CBA.
Do you see why I’m a fan of PM? It’s one place I can go to learn heaps about what’s happening in the publishing world. Although not everyone can justify the expense, what’s nice about PM is that you can subscribe on a month by month basis. In fact, there’s no discount for those who opt for an annual subscription.
PM also serves as a huge source of encouragement. Not long after I began writing my historicals, I heard that no one was buying them. Once I had my PM subscription, I watched the deal announcements to see for myself what was selling. I noticed that historicals showed up regularly. There might not have been as many as in the past, but agents were selling them and publishers were buying them, so I didn’t let the purveyors of gloom and doom discourage me.
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What do you think? Is there reason to feel hopeful about the state of publishing today?
What do you do when you hear “everyone” saying that one genre or other is dead?
Where do you go to find accurate information about what books are selling?