What do you see as the upcoming trends in fiction? Do you think chicklit will ever make a comeback?
I don’t make a point of trying to predict trends. To borrow a line from Steve Laube, “By the time you spot a trend, it’s too late.” Recall that if I were to sell a novel on Buddhists traveling to Pluto and, as a result, converting to Christianity while finding romance with Plutonians, I might start a trend of “Buddist Plutonian Conversion Romances.” (Please, no. Just. No.)
To create this book, I would have likely taken:
- six months to two years to write and edit the book
- a week to write the proposal
- two weeks to a year to find a publisher to buy the book
- an additional year to bring the book to publication
So the overnight success you see on the bookshelf today could have been five or more years in the making. And of course, some authors write at a rate of once a decade, or even less.
Can an author whip out an unusual book in a couple of months, publish on the Internet, and start a new trend? Perhaps. But most books take more time than that.
An author should ask: “Do I want to latch on to a trend and then jump on a hamster wheel, churning out book after book after book until the trend dies?” Even authors who answer yes to this question should have a backup plan for when the trend expires.
As for chicklit, I believe it is here to stay. You may not hear as much about it as a key trend, but these books have an audience. A Google search of the topic took me to Goodreads, where I found many books in the genre published this year. So happy reading!
Bottom line? Don’t chase a trend. You can write what you love, then see where it fits; or you can write a book aimed at a particular market. Make it your very best. A great book written by a dedicated author is likely to find a good home.
What book have you recently read that seems to defy all trends and categories?
For the entire series, click here: “Your Questions Answered.”