One Writer’s Journey

September 9, 2014

To Market, To Market

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:41 am

To marketHats off to everyone who attended the Missouri SCBWI Conference last Saturday (9/6/2014).  If you were there, you started out the day hearing all about the current state of the markets.  After that, a variety of sessions taught you about how to hone your craft to take advantage of these markets and also how to benefit from school visits.  Today, I’ll share a bit that I learned about the markets.  Tomorrow, writing nonfiction, Thursday, creating teaching guides.

Deborah Halverson, she who monitors the markets for the SCBWI guides, updated us on some of the latest news in what is selling and what editors and publishers want from us.  The markets are all published each year in The Book and she updates them every summer, publishing additional updates throughout the year in the SCBWI Bulletin.

Common core is helpful in post-publication marketing but does not drive the actual acquisitions.

The buzz word in picture book nonfiction seems to be marketability; either make it commercial or make sure that it has multiple hooks that a publicity department can use to sell it.  I have a book that I need to clean up and get out there.  Yes, I’ve been putting it off all summer, but since it is no longer summer, I can quit procrastinating, yes?

Chapter books are in high demand and acceptable formats range widely from straight text to highly illustrated.  Yes, I have one of these too.  And it has been at a particular publisher for long enough.  Time to send it off to our next lucky contestant.

Publishers are eagerly seeking middle grade novels both as stand-alones and series.  Make sure that your voice is spot on for whichever part of the middle grade spectrum you are targeting.  Part of the spectrum?  You bet.  There’s a huge difference between an 8 year old and and 11 year old.  Who is your audience?

Young adult novels are still going strong but this isn’t an easy sell because there are already so many great books out there.  Before you send your idea out, make sure that it can compete.

Tomorrow . . . narrative nonfiction ala Steve Sheinkin.




  1. Thanks for sharing. I wish I could be in two places at once. It sounds like a great weekend!

    Comment by stephaniebearce — September 9, 2014 @ 3:18 am | Reply

    • It was a great weekend but you sound like you’re having a blast in Australia. I’m sure it is going to appear in your writing as well!

      Comment by suebe — September 11, 2014 @ 3:20 am | Reply

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