Cozying up to the numbers

A Snarkling is paying attention and comments on the post Nomenclature for Novels:

I was intrigued by your reference to "a limited number of editors looking for them." Based on this, would I be correct in thinking that one way you look at the market is by the sheer number of editors -- rather than the presumed number of readers --interested in a certain type of book?And what's a "cozy mystery"? Sort of like Miss Marple?

You're quite correct in noticing that I think of the number of places I can try to sell something. Using the cozy as an example, there are about six, maybe ten publishing houses I can sell a cozy to that will offer up enough dough to qualify a writer for membership in Mystery Writers of America.

Once I run through those 6-10 publishers I'm pretty much done.

On the other hand, there are 70 publishers at least looking for commercial fiction.

Commercial fiction has far more readers than do cozies, and as prima facie evidence, just look at any Best Seller list.

I can try to persuade editors that a book will be read by more than just "cozy readers" but it's a hard sell.

And a cozy is exactly like Miss Marple. Jill Churchill writes great cozies. There are others too but I've always really liked Jill's books. (and I'm not her agent).


Ira Rosofsky said...

M.C. Beaton, queen of the cozies. 'nuff said.

BorderMoon said...

Frances & Richard Lockridge -- authors of the Mr. & Mrs. North series, the Merton Heimrich series, the Nathan Shapiro series (among others) -- are, for me, the all-time rulers of the cozy mystery genre. THE NORTHS MEET MURDER is from 1940, and I still can't understand how Detective Bill Weigand (NYPD Homicide) can even stand up after those four-martini lunches, let alone solve crimes.