What I’m looking for now

It’s been a long time since I talked about what I’m looking for so I thought I’d share a few words about projects I’m working on, projects I recently sold, and projects I wish I’d sold.

If you check me out on Publisher’s Marketplace, sales categories over the last year include cookbooks, memoir, narrative nonfiction, commercial fiction, children’s fiction, and a business book (full disclosure: the author is one of my oldest friends who came to me to help him after being approached by a publisher). The last few weeks have brought several nice sales and new projects in categories that include narrative nonfiction, cookbooks, commercial fiction, and young adult fiction.

My list has always been eclectic and continues to be comprised of a mix of projects that excite and inspire me. I’ll admit the formula is unpredictable and timing and instinct have a lot to do with it. I think most of my colleagues would agree that they know a Stacey project when they see it (public thanks to Jim for the recent referral), even if that might seem hard to define.

Given the market, the size of my list, and raising 4 kids, I’ll admit I am very selective about signing up new authors, but I am doing it and I’m eager to see new submissions.

In particular I’d love to see more science-based or medical nonfiction, like the upcoming book by pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert H. Lustig about his groundbreaking research about sugar’s effect on our health. Or Dr. Dale Archer’s Better Than Normal, which talks about how key traits of human behavior can be seen as strengths rather than weaknesses.

I’d like to see more smart, original parenting – I just sold a soon-to-be announced book about a particular component of our dysfunctional parenting culture, and my most recent staff recommendation is Mind in the Making, a research-based parenting title that was widely praises as one of the best recent books in the category.

I’d also like to see more food and nutrition narrative. The latest book by Marion Nestle just out, Why Calories Count, is a great example of that, and I’d love to find a book to rival Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter.

For cookbooks, I’m always interested in smart, savvy food bloggers who bring a new twist to an existing topic, and can open up conversations about family and food that draw readers in. And I’m open to hearing from chefs and food writers who are doing something original and different.

As for memoir, I continue to be drawn to deep, dark psychological stories (and as previously mentioned, I seem to have found a successful niche of powerful mother/daughter stories that began long before I had my 4 daughters!) that showcase real people overcoming crushing adversity. Jennie Perillo’s in-the-works memoir about the sudden loss of her husband is an example. Soon-to-be published titles include Perfect Chaos, a mother/daughter bipolar memoir; I Am Intelligent, a mother/daughter memoir about a nonverbal autistic girl who learns to communicate; and Have Mother Will Travel, Claire and Mia Fontaine’s second memoir following the remarkable Come Back.

And for children’s, as well as adult fiction, I am drawn to strong, believable protagonists who find themselves in difficult situations that require an emotional epiphany to survive and thrive.

Thanks for listening and hope this gives you some more insight into my interests and that I’ll hear from you with new projects soon.

8 Responses to What I’m looking for now

  1. Catherine Whitney says:

    Stacey–
    Great piece! Thanks.

  2. Heather says:

    I love posts like this and I wish there were more of them. Any little things that can help us struggling writers are top of my list. Especially when it comes to actual sales.

  3. Stacey says:

    Thanks, Catherine and Heather. Glad it was helpful. Look for another one in about a year! :-)

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