Saturday, August 20, 2011

A sobering question answered.

Write On Con's Event ended this week, and I tried to attend some of the live chats. Some of the presenters represented publishers for children's books and picture books, which I don't write, but there were also presentations from those representing YA publishers. One of the questions asked during a "chat" (Meaning a heavily monitored chat room where very few if any comments from the guests ever make it into the chat, one of the most FRUSTRATING things about Write On Con and one of the reasons I eventually give up and find something better to do. Not even greetings are allowed through, except from a few chat guests) asked if YA books written from a male point of view were becoming more popular, and would any of the literary agents in attendance be willing to represent a writer with such a book. All three adamantly said no, because those books don't sell. Period.

I couldn't believe the answer from these agents, especially with my knowledge from being a teacher and have first-hand knowledge by observing what boys read. I've seen boys reading many books from popular YA lists, which I know are geared to a female reading audience because there just isn't much out there for them. Boys do read, and my thinking would be that these boys would enjoy books in the YA genre that had a male point of view. I asked this question, mentioning that I am a teacher and the monitor let that one squeak through (probably because I mentioned I was a teacher). One of the agents responded to my question with, "Look the market just isn't there for YA books with a male point of view."

That answer completely deflated me, because my WIP Pierian Spring has two teenage boys for main characters. Even while I work on my new WIP I, Benandante I continue to research and work on Pierian Spring. Now I wonder if there is even a point to continue on with it. If the market for YA books really is ignoring half of the population of readers because they believe there is no market for it, putting the time and effort into writing this book might be a huge waste of time.

I know I will keep on working on it, because my main reason for writing is to write the stories I want to read. Perhaps self-publishing will be the best way to go in the future, when Pierian Spring is a polished work.