The short answer is narrative non-fiction, with some room for commercial/genre fiction. Eight editors polled by the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency break down the kinds of books they want to acquire in 2013. I’ve posted a snippet from Harper Collins Editor-at-Large Bill Strachan’s explanation below.
The pat response is “good books that sell,” but since you never know what a book will sell until after publication, I’ll shorten that to “good books.” I acquire non-fiction, so I’m on the lookout for works by authors who are expert in their fields–this past year I was proud to publish Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, et al.– and those writers who can make nearly any subject interesting. In the latter group I tend to like narrative histories and works that bring a new perspective to a subject that may have been considered previously–no books on Lincoln, though. I also have a soft spot for works of natural history and place. Harper Collins is very invested in digital publishing, so I also need to acquire books in the genres that readers on electronic devices find attractive. For me, that’s strong narratives (again) and works on pop culture, especially music.
Click here for the full break down.