PDA

View Full Version : Question: How are fantasy books doing these days?



efreysson
06-07-2009, 04:05 AM
I've written the first book of a planned fantasy series, in my native Icelandic, but due to the economic woes our nation is facing right now, none of the publishing houses are willing to take on a non-sure bet of a novel. So, now I'm wondering whether I should wait and hope for things to steady our here, or if I should translate the whole thing into English and try to gain the attention of publishers in English-speaking countries.

So, what I'm curious about is: What's the situation outside of my own country when it comes to this particular matter? How are fantasy books by first-time authors doing these days? Would I be wasting my time by even trying to get published abroad?

Parametric
06-07-2009, 04:10 AM
Depends on the subgenre. I hear epic fantasy is tanking right now (sigh), but urban fantasy is doing great (yay!) and steampunk is on the up (ooh).

Cyia
06-07-2009, 06:59 AM
There's no harm in trying a few queries outside your home country. From what you've posted here, your English seems perfect.

Good luck!

Epiphany
06-07-2009, 08:30 AM
*agrees with Cyia*

Epic fantasy isn't doing too hot unless it's related to some bigger franchise, like the new warcraft book that came out this year. But yes, urban fantasy is probably one of if not the hottest market right now, esp. young adult.

ChaosTitan
06-07-2009, 05:50 PM
If your first novel is standalone, you'll have a better chance of getting it picked up, than if it isn't. Also, mind your word count. Anything over 150k for fantasy, epic or not, is going to be a very hard sell.

Mr Flibble
06-07-2009, 06:11 PM
Anything over 150k for fantasy, epic or not, is going to be a very hard sell.

A lot depends on which country you sub to. In the UK 140k is considered optimal for fantasy ( maybe not urban, not so sure) because you're allowed a little extra for world building. Any less than 100k, unless it's YA, they might think you've skimped. Any more than 160 might be too much, though I've read a couple of debut novels lately that were at least that. ( These figures are according to one of the leading Fantasy agents here)


So check around for what is best for each country that you try and sub to. The UK is very hard to break into as there are so few fantasy agents. ( ie, about 12)

ChaosTitan
06-07-2009, 06:12 PM
Oops. Should have specified the US market in my post.

efreysson
06-07-2009, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the comments. I guess I should have included more information on my book:

It's a dark, low fantasy, 120K words, focused on characters and plot over hyper-detailed descriptions of clothing or cultural nuances, and it does stand pretty well on its own; The next one isn't a direct sequel as such, just a continuation of some of the characters.

Toothpaste
06-07-2009, 08:27 PM
Just because I don't know, what is low fantasy?

efreysson
06-07-2009, 09:31 PM
Just because I don't know, what is low fantasy?

It's an umbrella term, but usually it means: Less epic and fantastical, with more gritty realism, and lower emphasis on magic and Ultimate Good vs Ultimate Evil, than most High Fantasy.

waylander
06-07-2009, 10:21 PM
And less about the doing of kings and emperors, more focus on the lower level fighting people

Toothpaste
06-07-2009, 10:37 PM
It's an umbrella term, but usually it means: Less epic and fantastical, with more gritty realism, and lower emphasis on magic and Ultimate Good vs Ultimate Evil, than most High Fantasy.

So it is still set in a fantastical setting, but maybe more character driven, less about being the chosen one, and more about the personal issues of a fantastical character?

efreysson
06-07-2009, 10:46 PM
So it is still set in a fantastical setting, but maybe more character driven, less about being the chosen one, and more about the personal issues of a fantastical character?

For example.

Toothpaste
06-07-2009, 11:39 PM
lol, thanks! I learned something new today! :)

childeroland
06-08-2009, 06:59 PM
How about historical fantasy? (Ala Keith Roberts, Naomi Novak (sp?)), etc?

efreysson
06-09-2009, 01:45 AM
Sooo . . .

I'm still not entirely sure what my next step is going to be; Everyone who has read my manuscript, be they friends or professional literary figures has complimented it, but my experience with looking for representation abroad has left me rather jaded.
Still, could someone recommend a place or persons to start looking, anywhere in the English-speaking world? I'm pretty badly out of practice.

waylander
06-09-2009, 01:55 AM
Agentquery.com
And we have here on AW a little list of agents who handle fantasy
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42019