We are an industry in flux!
In late 2008/early 2009 there were many editors leaving due to layoffs. Many of these became agents, which means there are more agents. This is good for writers in terms of getting representation, but does create more competition.
Fewer books are being published.
However, it is always a mistake to write solely for the market.
Consider, when writing, who the consumer is for your book and who is selling it. (I.E. retailer)
Libraries don’t have access to the money they used to.
Publishers want to know they can bridge on a successful book. (Identifiable characters help as well as stories with an underlying truth)
When a book goes to acquisitions, it must be 90% done.
Find a critique group!
There has been an explosion in YA in the last ten years and this has made it the biggest growth area.
Paranormal is another area that isn’t going to disappear, but it is a little harder than it was.
Make yourself part of the writing community. Blog, be on the Blue boards, etc.
Fantastic quote from Linda: “I don’t know how you make good in this business without a critique group.”