Friday, September 9, 2011

To Trend or Not to Trend?

A friend of my sister called me today because she just signed with a small press. When I asked what genre she wrote, she responded YA paranormal. Her novel is a fresh idea for paranormal but my first thought was good luck. It is a saturated market and her press is offering little as far as promotion. She was given the advice: if you want to write a book, you should look at what is currently popular and write a story in that genre.

This was shocking to me because it seems all the blogging agents scream about NOT writing to a trend. Why? Because the industry is slow and it generally takes a book 18 months to be published. What is trending now may not be trending when your story is actually published. My sister's friend said the press was really pushing ebooks, and I can understand why. It can be out quickly before teens are over paranormal. (One positive, based on librarian opinion, paranormal is still heavily requested.) Although are teens actually reading ebooks? Maybe early adopters.

Still it made me think about my current story. It is a dystopia which is trending but not why I'm writing it. In fact many agents have already expressed they are over dystopia. So why am I writing it? For fun and to improve my dialogue and character development---but mostly because I love the genre and my idea despite the waning trend. I'm not really worried about it because I don't know if my story will go past a first draft.

So what do you think? Should you write to a trend or follow the solid advice of the agents and write what you're passionate about?


Nathan Lowell said...

I write what I want to read. Full stop.

The market is in such flux right now that nobody -- not agents and certainly not publishers -- knows what's going to happen in the next 18 months. (I'm actually pulling some of my books *back* from my publisher and getting ready to publish them myself.)

Bezos is biding his time. What will happen to the price of the Kindle when the new Amazon tablet comes out in a few weeks?

If Bezos were smart, he'll be releasing a new K4 for FREE. His biggest income is from the sales of books now. The unit sales of Kindles are just icing on the cake.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure Bezos is smart.

Halli Gomez said...

I agree that people don't know what will be "in" 18 months from now.
My thought is that people are always looking for something different. Yes they will still read the popular genre, but also search for something else.

Personally, I write what I am passionate about. I'm not sure how to write any other way. It makes me happy anyway.

Andrea Mack said...

I don't know if I could write just to suit a trend. It takes a long time for me to write a book, so I have to really believe in what I'm writing to keep at it.

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