In a publishing climate that seems to be moving at light-speed, sometimes it’s incredibly useful to take a step back and broadly assess where things are relative to the past. So I was really struck by Sue Corbett’s excellent article in this week’s Publishers Weekly on the current state of YA. For anyone looking for a good, simple picture of both the recent history of YA and where we are today, it’s well worth a look, especially since Corbett quotes agents and publishers for views from both sides of the desk. Plus, it’s heartening to see that many of our colleagues still honor two of the well-worn adages of our industry:
1) Publishing is built on optimism (paranormal fatigue—what paranormal fatigue?); and
2) Nobody knows nuthin’ about nuthin’, especially when trying to predict the Next Big Thing (and that’s a good thing).
For me, Corbett nails what I saw as an editor during the “YA decade,” particularly the seismic shifts in YA shelving and marketing, as well as the evolution in packaging. And I think she’s right, too, on the current scene, that Dystopian isn’t quite played out yet, though it does seem to be getting tougher to sell.
But here’s the missing piece—what do the writers think? How does Corbett’s picture of the current YA scene square with your impressions/experience? Please, let’s discuss and complete the picture!