As the NBA Finalist List Shows
So do you agree? Has the NF this year been particularly good? Which ones? Why? — Why both in the sense of what is it about that book that you thought was exceptional, and if you agree that there has been an unusually run of good books, why do you think that is? Or lets reverse it, has the fiction been weaker this year? Why? (In both NF and fiction I am asking about books for younger readers).
I have not read widely enough this year to have a vote — either about the strength of the field in general or as an explanatoin. Now I did hear that people thought last year’s NF crop was weak. So it could just be a normal ebb and flow with now larger significance. But I wonder if hard times have helped us. For nearly a decade YA fiction and mid-grade/YA fantasy has been very popular, and thus publishers have rushed to buy and publish ever more. Perhaps those genres have become overpublished, glutted. In those same years selling a NF proposal to a publisher has gotten more difficult, for the good reason that it has been difficult for publishers to sell the books. But those years in the wildnerness made us work harder to hone our craft — not to coast, to find compelling stories, to illustrate them well, to create not just decent books but exceptional ones. So maybe this year is a kind of coming out party — as fiction clears away the backlog nf gets a moment in the sun.
That’s a theory, what do you think? (there is surely a design story in here, how publishers recognize they need to make NF stand out, look special.)