In the world of children’s book writing, one topic that frequently comes up is the strength of the market for a certain genre—in other words, how many publishers handle books of that type and how well they sell. Naturally, I’m interested to see how the market looks for history and historical fiction. It’s a genre that doesn’t always get a lot of press, although there are many people who enjoy it.
I know from my work at Wonders and Marvels that there are plenty of great historical titles, but I was curious to see exactly how many publishers handle them. According to my 2010 edition of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, there are a total of 180 publishers for children’s and young adult books. Of these, 68 publish historical fiction, and 63 publish history-related nonfiction. The number isn’t quite as big as it might seem; since many publishers handle both fiction and nonfiction, there’s some overlap. In addition, many of these are small presses that may publish only one title a year, and there are some who handle only picture books. (We generally don’t look at those at Wonders and Marvels, focusing on books for ages 8-18.)
Still, the number of publishers for historical fiction is much higher than I had expected. I find it great news, both for writers who are trying to sell their latest historical book and for readers who are looking for the next fascinating title.
Melissa L. is the YA Editorial Assistant for Wonders and Marvels. You can read more about her here: Editorial Staff.