One of the main roles of an editor is to, well, get books to publish. Most often editors acquire these books through literary agents (who represent authors). Every editor has a ‘wish’ list for potential books, and even though I’m not at the stage to acquire (yet!), whenever I’m at an agent-editor happy hour, it’s always the first question asked. So here is my list of the type of books I want to see more of:
FANTASY (YA): Straight and true fantasy full of princes, dragons, magic, new creative worlds, etc. Not paranormal (no vampires, werewolves, etc.)! Examples: The Tortall series by Tamora Pierce, His Dark Materials, Chronicles of Narnia, Graceling and Fire, books by Megan Whalen Turner, the upcoming The Grisha.
HISTORICAL WITH MAGICAL ELEMENTS (YA): I LOVE historical fiction, but right now that isn’t working the marketplace. Luckily, throw some paranormal or fantastical elements into a historical setting, and readers love it. So do I! Examples: The Gemma Doyle trilogy, the upcoming Something Strange and Deadly.
RETELLINGS (YA and MG): Creative reimaginings of fairytales, myths, and legends wow me. This relates to the two types of books above, too, especially because my favorite retellings are set in a quasi-medieval fantastical setting. Examples: Ella Enchanted, several books by Jessica Day George, Entwined, the upcoming The Princess Curse.
MAGICAL REALISM (MG): A contemporary-set story with magical elements thrown in, plus the traditional middle grade coming-of-age story that balances sweet and funny. Examples: Roald Dahl (Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Savvy, the upcoming Bliss.
ADVENTURE/MYSTERY (MG): This type of book is hard to classify, but easy to enjoy with a loveable ensemble of characters including the boy and girl orphaned main characters, mysteries to solve, and laugh-out-loud moments. These books are smart, without a doubt. Examples: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.
Of course, there are plenty of books that I love which don’t fall under these genres. Sometimes straight historical is successful (The Evolution of Calpuria Tate and The Book Thief) or mixes contemporary settings with historical (Revolution) to gain readership. Some dystopian definitely makes my ‘favorites’ list (The Hunger Games, Divergent) while other times contemporary moves me (Thirteen Reasons Why). But this is my general dream list…whether to read, write, or (eventually) acquire and edit!