What Austin Teens Wish Publishers Knew

From Publishers Weekly:

Last week I blogged about what some of our local teens are reading, but I also like to check in with our teens toward the beginning of the year to see what they’re looking for, what they’re sick of, and what they wish they could tell publishers. So what’s on their minds? Well, as a group they definitely don’t love covers with real people on them these days, are tired of tropes and predictable plot lines, and (most of them) are enjoying the YA horror trend, as long as it doesn’t get too gory or steamy.

. . . .

CONSENSUS: Series, within reason:

  • “Shorter series. I often like duologies as long as the second book can hold its own up against the first. For series, more than six is definitely a NO.” –Aurora
  • “Trilogies work. They offer enough room for authors to resolve plot holes in their work, and it’s not so long that the writing gets stale.” –Gustavo
  • “I prefer trilogies, but there can be exceptions like Harry Potter. Duologies are fine, but they often feel like one big book.” –Ivy

. . . .

What 10 trends or tropes are you SO tired of?

  • Love triangles
  • Terminally ill main characters
  • Instant love or best friends
  • Emotionless guys
  • The mean girl / enemy at school
  • Popularity tropes (it honestly doesn’t exist in the same way anymore)
  • “Bad Boy” characters
  • Teens not stressing about college or never doing homework and still getting good grades. Also teens with no extracurricular commitments.
  • Not talking to adults about serious issues
  • Titles that are like: The __ __ of __ __

. . . .

What do you personally want to see less of this year?

  • “Dystopian novels because they are always too cliché, too similar to others, or scientifically impossible.” –Aurora
  • “The guy always falling for the girl. Guys in books get rejections all the time, but sometimes girls get their hearts broken too, rather than getting a perfect romantic resolution.”–Sofia
  • “Fewer chances for people who have been called out for doing sketchy stuff to get published.”–Xander
  • “Fewer retellings, more original stories.” –Ivy
  • “In high fantasies where the guy or girl is abusive, but they reveal those actions were because they liked the other person.” – Sumayyah

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

7 thoughts on “What Austin Teens Wish Publishers Knew”

  1. What Publishers Wish Austin Teens Knew

    We offer only what we think will sell the best. If you don’t like what we sell, vote with your money. If enough of you don’t buy it then we’ll try selling something else.

    ““Fewer chances for people who have been called out for doing sketchy stuff to get published.””

    Please define ‘sketchy stuff’ for me. If it’s just stuff you and your friends don’t like then go read something else and let those that like that type of ‘sketchy stuff’ get their fix.

    Oh, about the ‘call outs’ shaming the writers to not write. Don’t be surprised when your favorite writer gets called out in turn because there is no way to please everybody at the same time – well maybe there is – but that would have to be the dullest thing ever written …

    Oh, and why are you even looking at ‘publishers’? Plenty of indie stuff out there – much of it on pare with what those ‘publishers’ have been slinging. 😉

  2. A high school teacher I know said this; “People are fantastic observers and terrible interpreters.”

    In other words, they don’t know what the hell they want. If it’s good they’ll read it even if it violates all their “rules.”

    • They might be “good observers” but they generally make terrible witnesses. Short retention span, maybe? 🙂

      • They will always interpret what they ‘think’ they saw/heard/read.

        Sorta like the ones that can find something offensive in anything. (‘Baby it’s cold outside’ comes to mind …)

  3. I want to see less of whatever I don’t like. I am incapable of refraining from reading stuff I don’t like. I don’t care if anyone else likes what I don’t like. They are all wrong.

    In fact, if I’m not interested in reading it, it should never have been published. I am worldly, sophisticated, and nuanced, and I am so weary of stuff that doesn’t interest me.

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