Last week, Elaine Spencer and I from The Knight Agency attended the London Book Fair to meet with editors from around the globe and the agents who work with our lists in various countries. As always, it was enlightening to hear about the economics, business model changes, genre trends, etc. from other perspectives and very productive to pitch in person the books and series we’re excited about. Traditionally, mysteries and thrillers have been more challenging than other genres to sell in translation, partly because of settings or set ups that might be considered “too American” and partly because the publishers are focussed on their homegrown authors. However, “crime” and “thriller” were hands down the two big buzz words at this year’s conference…with the caveat that with so many household names for publishers to choose from, they’re still mostly drawn to big books. Fantasy, romance (from sweet small town to the racier-the-better), young adult and other fiction are still doing well also. (How well depends on the particular market.) But even in those genres, the more thriller-esque and realistic fiction seems most in demand.
Elaine and I were also able to get in a bit of sightseeing, as you can tell from this second picture taken at the Tower of London with the Tower Bridge in the background. The day we arrived, we did our best to stay up until evening to acclimate as soon as possible (for the fair the next day). To that end, we visited the Tower and also took a hop on/hop off bus tour to view the sights. The day after the fair ended, we also took a tour out to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath. As soon as I catch up a bit, I promise to post pictures.
In the meantime, I wanted to shout from the rooftops that The Knight Agency’s Nephele Tempest is doing a Writers Digest webinar tomorrow on conquering the dreaded synopsis and is offering a critique along with the class. Nephele, for those of you who don’t know, represents Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Shannon K. Butcher and many other wonderful authors. Details of the webinar are here.
In other news, I’m pleased to congratulate Karen Whiddon for hitting the Bookscan Romance Bestseller list for the third week in a row with THE WOLF PRINCE! For you mystery readers out there, I walso want to let you know about a great deal RIGHT NOW that Tammy Kaehler’s publisher Poisoned Pen Press is offering on her first Kate Reilly racing mystery novel, DEAD MAN’S SWITCH. Currently, it’s only 99¢ on Kindle and Nook. Or you can win a signed copy of the print edition by commenting here (ends tomorrow).