D. F. Krieger

Friday, May 23, 2014

Be Trendy or Flail

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
Urban Fantasy
High Fantasy

Possibly Coming Back:

Survey Says: Overdone and Dying:
Boy Meets Girl (M/F)
Paranormal Romance
Kink Without Cause
Paranormal YA

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


Torie James said...

woman, not only are you a wonderful friend, inspiration and author, but you tell it like it is!!

KD Rose said...

Great Post.

Kimberly Gould said...

Well thank you for doing the leg work for us. I can't say I've ever chosen what to write based on 'trends'. I tell the story that won't let me sleep until I write it. And after an entire night with no sleep AND no story, I'm a little worried. Not about insomnia, that'll pass, but that I don't have any possessing stories anymore. It's quite sad. :(

I agree completely on the 'same old story' line. I got tired of those stories years ago...

Here's hoping the next idea IS one of the trend. (Although by then it might be on the way out, tis the way with trends.)

D. F. Krieger said...

Torie, I love visits from you. :)

KD, thank you very much!

Kimberly, in the past, I never chose to write based on trends either. But lately, as the market gets harder and my desires to reach best seller's lists growing larger, I find myself becoming conscientious of my writing. What can I do to reach my dreams? What am I doing that is keeping me from it?

Your fears are those that authors face daily. I haven't put any word count in for several months now. My day job has placed a major drain on my creativity. What time I've had to write, I've been using to write requested blog articles and guest posts.

You have stories in you. You have a future as an great author within your grasp. You are just going through a rough patch. Everything will be okay.