I've been busy as a cat chasing a fly on the ceiling lately. Research, research, and more research. I do all this boring crap so you people don't have to. You should send like, peanut M&M's as a sacrifice in thanks to me. Oh, you want to know what I've been researching?
Trends! So anyone who knows me knows that I'm not big on trends, especially fashion ones. I wore all black before goth and emo were even terms for "fashion." I still think blue jeans were the best invention ever (right next to instant tea.) Regardless, the trends I'm talking about have to do with writing. So here's what I've found, minions o' mine.
Rising Trends with Great Potential:
Contemporary Young Adult With Real Issues
Possibly Coming Back:
Survey Says: Overdone and Dying:
Boy Meets Girl (M/F)
Kink Without Cause
Comments Are Demanding:
Adult and YA Choose Your Own Adventure
Before you get your panties in a twist, let me explain a major reoccurring factor here. Articles pointed out that people aren't done with M/F romances, or Paranormal Romance, so much as they are fed up with reading the same story lines over and over. They want memorable characters and real struggles. They are tired of chic meets sexy paranormal dude and the biggest struggle is, "Oh, how can our relationship survive since you are a (insert creature type here)." People are tired of BDSM books where the biggest issue is "Let me show you that being spanked isn't domestic abuse and liking it doesn't make you sick in the head."
People are tired of the same book, different author syndrome. The biggest thing all the articles and posts I read (and gods did I ever read a ton of the things) stated were the need to make a plot that readers can read and remember. Stand out. With the invention of ebooks, publishing has become so easy that literally anyone can do it, with or without publisher. This means the market is absolutely flooded, especially with done to death themes like shifters, spanking, and couples whose only conflict is "will they, wont they."
What does all of this mean? To be blunt (because lets face it, you all don't expect anything less than full frontal assault with honesty from me, right?) this means several things. I say this from the perspective of an author, and of an editor in chief.
If an author and a publishing house plan to continue to succeed and thrive in a crumbling system, these are some hard truths we're going to have to deal with:
* Authors are going to have to place a bar above their heads and actually reach for it when it comes to creating powerful plots, moving characters, and emotionally engaging story lines.
* Publishers are going to have to become more jaded and stricter in what they will and will not accept. They need to learn to read a submission and say, "This is good, clean writing, but there is nothing to set it apart from titles we already have with the exact same plot lines."
* Marketing will require much more effort than shouting "Buy my book cause I'm awesome" on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
Overall, though the digital age has made it so much easier for authors to achieve their dreams, it's also made it more difficult to see those dreams come to a true fruition. Competition is huge, and there is an endless source of it. One article stated that as many as 3,500 books are being published daily in the romance genre alone. 3,500. That boggles my mind. So, I'm not being mean or kidding when I say, if you want to see your book hit the big time, you're going to have to work for it...and the best way to do that is to write a book like no one else has ever dream of before. You must be up to snuff on the trends, or risk flailing as you achieve your dream of publication and get no where with it.
~ D. F. Krieger