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Jan 19, 2021

What areas of publishing are oversaturated more recently?

It's hard to chase publishing trends but knowing what areas of the market are over-saturated could be helpful for writers pitching their stories to agents and editors.

We asked the question "What areas of publishing are over-saturated more recently?" to 6 literary agents in the fall of 2020. Here's how they responded: 

Mary C. Moore, Kimberly Cameron & Associates:  Publishing tends to be cyclical, so what I say may be oversaturated now, will change quickly. However, we are on the tail end of a YA royal fantasy glut, and I would guess that we will see an oversaturation of witch fantasies and horror in the near future, as a lot are being bought up right now. MG in general enjoyed a big surge these past two years, so it may be harder to sell in soon, like YA is, but hopefully not. Personally, I think WWII and superhero stories are overdone, but they are still regularly hitting the shelves. The “Girl” titled thrillers have calmed down a bit, but are still a hard pitch. The reality is, if you have a fresh take on any genre/story you can break through, no matter the state of the market. But you need to know the market to understand what a fresh take would be, so read, read, read. And be reading current books!

Jackie Williams, The Knight Agency:  Interesting question! I think it's more challenging to stand out in the YA market, particularly YA fantasy nowadays. The concept needs to be super strong and fresh. I've seen a lot of great YA books not get the coverage they deserve, and more recently, editors who have the option of acquiring both YA and adult books shift more towards adult fiction.

Felicia Eth, Felicia Eth Literary Representation: Recently we’ve seen a plethora of dystopian novels, dependency memoirs, and lots of historical novels attempting to redress racial and multicultural issues.

Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency: Mysteries have become oversaturated in the last couple of years. I feel there are still plenty of readers, but editors have become much more selective in acquiring mysteries due to the market.

Malaga Baldi, Baldi Agency: Trump! Enough Memoir.

Linda Glaz, Hartline Literary: I know most editors have recently been very full of historic and historic romance, and were leaning toward contemporary and suspense, but my guess is, we will see suspense getting full very soon here. Hopefully, that will be good news for historic authors. Contemporary romance never seems to see dark days.

Check out more literary agent interviews with our Agent Spotlight Series!

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