I think the part of having a writing career that writers struggle with most is the business aspect. All we really want to do is write ourselves sick before sharing our stories with a whole bunch of readers who are appropriately affected by them. The nasty gritty business stuff can be vastly annoying to us. I've already written a post on the basics of the publishing process, which covers just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the writing business.
That is why today, now that we've got Christmas spirit lingering in the happy space in our tummies, I'm going to rant about publishing trends.
What are publishing trends? They are those annoying little things that happen when suddenly someone's book gets becomes a phenomenon. Suddenly publishers (and readers) are all about this new trend, publishing mega amounts of the genre. It doesn't take long for people to get sick of it, and by that point, the publisher is already out there looking for something different.
Publishing trends are the bane of my existence because they make it difficult at times for good, well-meaning authors to get published. A writer will have written a book they love, and then a book in that genre becomes a phenomenon, and if the writer can't jump on the trend right away, no publishers will take their work later--at least for the next few years. So the writer is left crying out in the desert, cursing whatever book just ruined their chances.
The problem with this is not only that it leaves some very decent writers in the lurch, but it makes a lot of writers turn to the dark side: they begin trying to write to the trends. This never turns out well because writers are artists, and art can't be just business. Every writer has their own area to focus in on. For example, me with YA fantasy/sci-fi. If I tried to write a cowboy story, things would probably not go well. Realistic fiction and I have also proven ourselves not all that compatible.
Oftentimes, once you have proof of a new trend, it's too late. The last thing I heard, zombies were considered the next it thing, which means that anyone writing a zombie story is out of luck today. Another genre out of luck right now is dystopians in the vein of The Hunger Games. If you're at all familiar with YA fiction, you've probably noticed the related trend. I bet you could name a few recent books right off the top of your head. 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.
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.
Did y'all have a great Christmas? I hope so! I got an acoustic guitar, a Rogue Dreadnaught Sunburst, whom I've named Rogue, and a lot of new music. I love music. I love it so much. It inspires me a whole bunch in writing and life, which almost makes up for stupid publishing trends.
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