What are some upcoming trends for 2014?
In the second half of 2012 and in 2013, we saw a lot of self-published books shoot to the top of best-seller lists, but the market is becoming increasingly crowded, and it’s becoming more difficult for a new author to break out in the self-published world. I think we’ll still see new stars in 2014, but the quality of their writing is going to hit a higher bar. I also predict that the acceptance of indie works among romance readers will spread to other genres—or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
When indie authors first started to take off, I loved how their books broke many of the romance “rules.” They didn’t care about how long a couple should wait before sleeping together or whether infidelity is permissible or if there was a proven audience for what they wanted to write. But sadly, this trend seems to be dying down. I want to see more works that break the mold of what’s already out there—particularly in new adult.
I’m also interested in taking on a really great political thriller writer—someone who can write a fast-paced, well-researched story that keeps me as hooked as [the Showtime TV series] Homeland.
What is unique about your corner of the industry?
Most of my authors were successfully self-published before I secured publishing deals for them. This means that they tend to be particularly savvy about the business of publishing, which I love. And having grown up in the “Wild West” of self-publishing, where nobody is telling them, “No, you can’t pull off this wild marketing idea,” they think much more outside the box when it comes to promoting their books. Thanks to indie authors, things like cover reveals and bonus deleted scenes are now a regular part of the publishing process. I’ve learned a lot from my authors, as have their new publishers.Anything else you’d like to add?
I feel extraordinarily lucky to work with authors every day. These are exciting times in the publishing world, and I look forward to experiencing what 2014 brings.
Amy Tannenbaum is an agent at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. She began her book publishing career with a brief stint at Harlequin before joining Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, where she edited a diverse list of best-selling nonfiction and fiction books, including several indie-published titles.