Monday, February 10, 2014

What's HOT?? What's NOT???

We hear the question, ask the question, participate in discussions about the question. What is hot in books today? What are readers poring over when they should be sleeping, cleaning, cooking (writing!) or mingling with live people instead of characters in a book? And when we hear or read the question, don't we all just lean forward just a bit to hear the answer? Maybe click on that link to read someone the words from on high, if it's a hot agent or editor?

And don't we sigh a bit when we learn that shape shifters/vampires/elven lords are out, gone, passe, never to be sold or read again? Especially since we're just polishing our unique take on shape shifters/vampires/elven lords.

How many of us put that book away and force ourselves to start something that's up with the times? Only to read a few months later about the sale of an innovative shape shifter/vampire/elven lord series? I'm hoping I don't see a show of hands out there. Anyone who has been in the writing business for more than five years should have learned by now, there is no way to predict what people will be reading six months from now.

Every time we think we understand market trends, they take a sharp turn to the left and leave us in the dust.
The new and exciting and innovative books we see on the shelves NOW were bought up to two years ago, often presented by agents who believed in the work. Especially the 'Big Six' published books. Anyone who scrambles to emulate those books is already months or years behind the trend. If you follow the publishing news, you might learn when those books are bought, so you're not as far behind the starting line. Of course we won't know how the books fare until they are on the shelves and/or in our e-reader.

Remember when Western movies, or television shows, were dead? Or Space Opera, or Relationship or...? Until along came something so exiting, so well done, it grabbed the viewing audience by the the throat and made massive amounts of lovely cash for all participating?

What's hot? A well written book. A book with characters who grab our hearts, put into situations where we cringe for them and stay up late to read their success. For romances, what's hot is the HEA in spite of all odds.

What's hot is what people want to read, written by people passionate about their words. Okay, dino porn is also hot right now, but so were Pet Rocks (for anyone here old enough to remember them!) Rather than writing to trend, think about writing to last. What makes those keeper books stay on the shelves? Which sounds like a great topic for next month.
Monica