That is why today, now that we've got our Christmas spirit lingering in the happy space in our tummies, I'm going to go off on a rant about publishing trends.
So what are publishing trends? The answer is that publishing trends, at least the ones I'm referring to, are those annoying little things that happen when suddenly someone's book gets really famous and becomes a phenomenon. Suddenly publishers (and readers) are about this new trend, publishing mega amounts of the genre. It doesn't take long for everyone to get sick of that trend, and by that point, the publisher is already out there looking for the next one.
Publishing trends are the bane of my existence (and many other writers), because they make it very difficult at times for good, well-meaning authors to get published. A writer will have written a book in a particular style, you see, and then suddenly a book in that genre will become a phenomenon, and now no publishers will take their work because it's already too late for that genre--at least for the next few years. So the writer is left crying out in the desert, cursing whatever book just ruined their chances.
Also, by the time you've found significant proof of a new trend, it's probably too late. The last thing I heard, zombies were considered the next it thing, which means that probably anyone writing a zombie story is out of luck today. Another genre out of luck right now--dystopians, particularly those YA sci-fi things that happen to have a very strong main female character and a love story central to the plot.
Yup. The Hunger Games set off that one. If you're at all familiar with YA fiction, you've probably noticed that trend. I bet you could name a few recent books other than The Hunger Games right off the top of your head. I mentioned that myself in a post a while back. So you dystopian writers who are struggling right now, you can blame Suzanne Collins. But try not to riot too much, because I do really like her and her work.
I became aware of this issue in my freshman year of high school when I was trying to publish THE PSYCHIC STORY, which is a YA fantasy romance. It just kept getting rejected over and over again. That's not anything new for me, and I'm not saying it necessarily would have been different had this not been the case (no, guys, I'm the best writer in the world), but the reason I decided to stop sending it out and move on is because of a publishing trend. Can you guess which book got in my way?
So that is why publishing trends are of the devil. Someday, I will be published and I will become a bestselling phenomenon, and then writers can weep as they find themselves suddenly unable to publish their awesome speculative fiction about psychics.
SO THERE, WORLD.
See you next time!
Image via Goodreads.