Secrets of a Children’s Bookseller: Hot YA and Holes in the Market

Continuing my review of popular children’s books this holiday season, today I’m gonna talk about YA. I’ll cover the individual titles that were really popular and mention a few common request that I had a hard time fulfilling (that’s right – holes in the market that need to be filled!!).

Hot YA Titles this Holiday Season:

  • Legend by Marie Lu (this is a debut novel and it’s doing really well!)
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  • The Hunger Games by Susan Collins
  • Apothecary by Maile Meloy
  • Inheretance by Christopher Paolini

Holes in the Market:

The following are common requests that I had a hard time fulfilling for customers (please write these books so we can sell them!!).

  • Sport books for girls. Usually this is for a customer who has a daughter who isn’t into romance themed books. This reader plays sports herself and wants to see strong female characters!
  • Dance books for girls. I did have Bunheads (Sophie Flack) and Audition (Stasia Ward Kehoe) on our shelves to recommend. However, some customers wanted dance books without too much romance, or dance books that were not about ballet.
  • Books with Latino protagonists (this goes for both girl and boy books). We need more!! Please write them!

6 thoughts on “Secrets of a Children’s Bookseller: Hot YA and Holes in the Market

  1. Thanks so much for this info, Ingrid. It’s great to know what’s popular and what there’s a lack of. (Unfortunately, I’m not writing anything that will fill the holes.)

  2. Nice blog, Ingrid.

    I HAVE written a YA book with a Latina protagonist. I self-published it after my agent couldn’t sell it. I’ve been told that literary YA is a hard sell, and I believe it.

    One of the reasons I wrote it is because I worked in a publishing house editing multicultural literature anthologies for the classroom and knew what a big gap there is in Latina/o teen lit. Another reason I wrote it is because I worked in the fields for several years earning school money and wanted to show what a tough livelihood that is.

    When I Am Singing to You is available at Amazon, etc. but I won’t leave a link because I don’t want to look spammy.

    Let me recommend a fabulous YA writer of Latino lit: Benjamin Saenz. Tough, beautifully written, often humorous, compelling characters and stories.

    Rebecca Burke

  3. Well it seems people want latina/o protagonist, but based on my experience so far agents are not looking for them. I say this because I have sent numerous queries but my project is not what they need at the moment. A contemporary latina protagonist, a borderland setting, and references to ancient mexican culture and I have an M F A…agents and publishers may say they want latino books but no one is too willing to grab them, but if I write about some wicked hot fairy with a non latino name then maybe I will get looked at….on a positive note I seem to be getting good vibes from cinco punto press who is sincerely looking for multicultural/latino YA

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