January 2010 meeting
Report published 22 January 2010
Industry panel Sue Moorcroft, Georgina Hawtry-Woore and Lizzie Kremer
January’s London meeting was an industry panel, held at the New Cavendish club. The room was pretty crowded, as members took advantage of the chance to talk with a fellow writer, an agent and an editor about the state of publishing, what’s hot and what’s not, and how romance is faring as a genre in these troubled economic times.
Victoria Connelly writes:
The feeling was that during difficult times, people reach for romantic fiction just as they do chocolate!
Agent Lizzy Kremer from David Higham, who represents a number of RNA members, said that romance as a genre is doing well but retailers seem to be getting behind fewer titles. This can make it difficult for new authors to break through, although a new author might have the advantage of being fresh and they might also be writing about the subjects of the moment.
RNA member and writer, Sue Moorcroft, talked about how the recession had actually been kind to her. At the precise moment she decided to give up novel writing, things started to happen for her with a deal from new publisher, Choc Lit, and a ‘How to’ book Love Writing out with Accent Press. Choc Lit placed Sue’s novel, Starting Over into WH Smith Travel and it’s now going into their high street branches.
Editor, Georgina Hawtry-Woore admitted that what publishers spend on advances and marketing has been reviewed during the recession, and generally spending was lower.
Lizzy pointed out that the children’s market is more buoyant and teen imprints are going from strength to strength due to the Stephenie Meyer effect. She feels paranormal romance is here to stay for the foreseeable future so we shouldn’t write-off the vampire hero just yet. Sue said “It’s a bandwagon not a hearse,” and Lizzy said that the theme of forbidden love running through the Twilight books was very powerful.
Lizzy’s advice was to write what you love and Georgina said that novels have to have “an emotionally engaging heart”.