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Chat with agent Evan Marshall

ABB blog Traci Hall Feb 6th

Publishing Industry News from agent Evan Marshall

I belong to a local writer’s group called South Florida Fiction Writers—we used to be a romance-only organization, but broke away from Romance Writers of America in 2022, to be more inclusive of our writing community. We meet in person monthly, or on Zoom. https://sffictionwriters.org/

In January, we were pleased to have Evan Marshall as our guest speaker to discuss industry news. I’ve shared my notes, in case you’re interested. He is no longer accepting clients—and that is the state of the industry.

How to get an agent?

Evan suggested looking for a younger agent actively searching for clients. Do your research on Publisher’s Marketplace. They have a free version, or one for 200.00 per year. Look for who acquired, what genre, and what publisher.

It is harder than ever to sell, so do your research by tracking deals.

Digital Publishers are still acquiring stories and they are used to working with authors who are not yet agented.

Check out the Editor’s Wishlist on Twitter

HQN will sometimes send out a wish list, so check their website of social media pages.

Someone had asked how polished a manuscript should be, and if it is worth the money to hire an editor before sending the book in.

Evan replied that the manuscript should be very polished. He suggested looking for NY editors who are now freelance if you decide to spend money on an editor.

Evan’s predictions for 2023:

Rise of medium-sized digital publishers

Big publishers are afraid to take risks on books

Trends are diversity!

Big demand for sexy romantic comedy—readers 20 and up!

Domestic thrillers—but the market is saturated with talented authors so hard to break into

WWII is still very hot for historical fiction

Amish romance is out.

Historical romance, dead at big publishers but doing okay at medium-sized digital.

Mainstream fiction would need to be a super big idea.

Important to fit a genre—no more mash ups.

Question was asked about older heroines?

Yes—an older heroine with a younger hero is considered diverse

Publishers are looking for series rather than standalone—they want to know that you can do more than one book if they invest in you.

Romantic suspense, mysteries, and cozy mysteries are all still doing well.

Mental health, if handled right, is an okay topic. People read to escape.

Social media is very, very important. If you are not on social media, it could be a reason for a publisher to say no. If you are not published yet, start a blog or following on the subject you’re writing about.

Someone asked the shelf life of a book?

HQN—one month.

Someone asked about a nonfiction book being easier to sell than a fiction, the subject being mental health.

Evan said that yes, it would be, so long as the writer had the correct credentials, a following already, and was a certified professional in that particular field.

Memoirs are still of interest.

I hope this gives insight if you are looking to expand your horizons from indie publishing—good luck in your journey! Being part of a community is the golden ticket, in my opinion, and the ladies here at ABB are amazing.

From cozy mysteries to seaside romance, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall writes stories that captivate her readers. As a hybrid author with over sixty published works, Ms. Hall has a favorite tale for everyone.

Mystery lovers, check out her Scottish Shire series, set in the seaside town of Nairn, or the Salem B&B Mystery series, co-written as Traci Wilton. Her latest project is an Irish Castle cozy as Ellie Brannigan. Whether it’s her ever-popular By the Sea romances, an Appletree Cove sweet romance, or a fun who-done-it, Traci finds her inspiration in sunny South Florida, living right near the ocean.

Traci wants to hear from you!



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