I know things suck in publishing right now. But I wouldn't be setting out on my own if I didn't think that there were ways of working with this. Let's not forget that editors still need to buy books and are in fact continuing to spend significant amounts of money on said books. So to survive as agents and authors we need to put ourselves in their shoes and think about what they will need to buy. Here's a list of what I'm thinking it will be, in no particular order. It's just kind of off the top of my head and I'm sure I'll forget lots of stuff, so please post with your own ideas. Or tell me I'm a moron. Or whatever.
1. Selected business and personal finance
The Bent on Books List of Topics To Write About In the New Economy
A. As subset of the above, books on saving money, sustainability, downsizing, surviving hard times
B. Also subset, books on job hunting, resumes
C. Books on starting your own business
2. Fiction by authors who have a good solid track record with numbers that are trending up. Even if the numbers are not huge, if there is solid improvement over time, editors will be interested.
3. First fiction, particularly with a commercial hook--more trade paperback and mass market than hardcover
4. Celebrity books, even by minor celebrities
5. heartwarming nonfiction--particularly heartwarming nonfiction which will get a lot of media attention
A. about pets
B. about surviving hard times
C. insert something else heartwarming here
6. faith-based fiction and nonfiction
That's all for now. Thanks for tuning in.
P.S. Coming soon: what to do if you're not writing any of the above.