I’m a writer. I write about a lot of things, but my primary genre’ is middle-grade. I recently finished the first novel in what will be a series of three. It’s been proofed, edited, and it’s all shined up and ready to go. So how do I know if the time is right, if the current publishing trends are in my favor?
As part of my process, I religiously search the sites listed in my Guide to Literary Agents. They list what a particular agent is, and is not, seeking. Some of their decisions may be based on what their publishers like to produce, or what they’re pretty sure will be a successful venture (because it all comes down to money in the end).
So, who are the trendsetters? Who decides what will be the next hot topic in a particular genre’? Some forms of fantasy have run their course (for now) it seems. Some agent comments say they’re no longer seeking those kinds of stories. What will be the next wave of popularity and how is that decided? Is there some secret committee somewhere, seated around a secret table in a secret location, deciding what the world wants to read next? Is there a crystal ball in the center of that table, showing them the way to the next wave of successful books?
Does my middle-grade mystery have a ghost of a chance? Who can tell? I have no idea. What I am sure of is that I need to write what I know and what is my heart and soul. I need to tell my story, and I need to do it well. I’ll press on with the remaining two that will make up the series. If I’m lucky, that crystal ball will reveal that the time is right for middle-grade mysteries.