What are some upcoming trends?
My prediction is that we will see a big boom in sales for adult science-fiction and fantasy novels because there have been so many delicious audiobook, translation, and Hollywood deals in this genre recently.
Within sci-fi and fantasy, I see these things trending: stand-alone, own-voices fantasy novels (like Rebecca Roanhorse’s debut, Trail of Lightning, from Saga/Simon & Schuster, summer 2018); science-fiction novels for the younger reader (especially in middle-grade) that are heavy in science, engineering, technology, and math; epic space opera filled with themes of rebellion and resistance (like Spencer Ellsworth’s debut, A Red Peace,from Tor, August 2017).
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
I’d love to see that middle-grade novel filled with STEM details that the Scholastic Book Fair, teachers, and librarians could enthusiastically promote. The ideal submission is filled with personality and humor, an authentic middle-grade voice, and characters we adore!
I’d also like to see an 85,000-to-95,000–word contemporary romance novel from a debut writer. I’m looking for fun, flirty, hilarious, dirty, sexy, hot, LGBTQ+, and the first in a proposed trilogy.
What do you want to change about publishing?
I love being a part of the vibrant “support local” movement. Rather than say “change,” I will say “grow.” To this question, I’d love to see continued growth in consumers’ support of their local bookstores and libraries.
My hugest thanks goes out to our booksellers and librarians for curating, reading, recommending and sharing their love of books every day. Let’s continue to support these vital allies!
Are you an ebook reader? Remember that libraries lend print, audiobooks, and ebooks (and yes, our authors make money when you borrow from the library!). Do you prefer print books but don’t have a bookstore nearby? Remember that our wonderful indie bookstores mail books, and they frequently waive shipping fees.
Shop local and support libraries!
What is unique about your corner of the industry?
At KT Literary, we nourish a boundless optimism in publishing. That’s not necessarily unique—I’ve worked with hundreds of optimistic people in my 11-plus years in this business. Still, I want to point it out—our agency is optimistic, and that’s inspiring to me. Our fearless leader, Kate Testerman (the K and T of KT Literary), is an amazing role model with the highest level of professionalism combined with decades of experience.
Our goal is to help clients make the most money possible writing books they love. We expect victory! And we do it with a smile on our face.
Anything else you’d like to add?
A note about queries….My slush pile is filled with very good submissions. The competition, however, is fierce. I receive 25,000 queries per year and will sign four or five clients from those. I’m looking for a query that reads like the back cover of a novel and a manuscript that demonstrates mastery of craft, aka “superior writing.” Upon reading this submission, I want to fall in love with the book and have a solid strategy in mind for making the author money. In good news, the majority of my clients arrived via query slush pile, so keep at it! Write, edit, polish and submit—bring it on!
Sara Megibow of KT Literary is a literary agent with 11 years of experience in publishing. She specializes in working with authors of middle-grade and young-adult fiction, romance and erotica, science-fiction, and fantasy and represents New York Times bestselling authors including Roni Loren, Jason Hough, and Jaleigh Johnson and international bestselling authors including Tiffany Reisz, Stefan Bachmann, and Gerald Brandt. Sara is LGBTQ+–friendly and presents regularly at Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Romance Writers of America events around the country.