Trends Schmends...

Ponders a Snarkling

Miss Snark,One assumes that agents/publishers are acutely aware of trends. The success of the Potter books has probably caused an explosion in YA,in submissions as well as print.Considering the time it takes for an accepted ms to reach bookseller's shelves, do you have any impression/comments on the next publishing wave?It seems to me that agents are particularly positioned to observe this. If enough writers, through some basic, sub-dural impulse/ understanding/awareness of the public's interest, are impelled to write a certain type of genre/sub-genre/ cross-genre, inevitably, some of them will be good enough to be accepted and inevitably some of them will take fire with the readers, a reverse domino effect.

Miss Snark is clueless about trends. CLUE FREEEEE.
I know what's sold in the past.
I know what I like to read.
I watch what people are talking about and if they are talking about new and interesting things.

But trends are a strange and odd science.
Faith Popcorn gets zillions of dollars to predict trends.

But as soon as you start thinking you know what lies ahead, God says HA! and Bridget Jones becomes a smash hit, and everyone who said Judith Krantz was still the style leader was proved wrong.

Harry Potter and Eragon are a trend? The next best selling series books are Lemony Snicket and The Gossip Girls. Describe a category that holds all four of THOSE.

And is chick lit a trend or is Jennifer Weiner just such a good writer that people want to read her work? (I vote for the second half of that)

Agents and editors like to think they can see ahead, but they can't. If you watch how editors talk about that season's hit book you'll almost always hear "surprised the hell out of us when it did so well".

The people who have crystal balls? The sales guys. The sales guys were the first to catch on to DaVinci Code, to Prep, to Lovely Bones.

And they can't see ahead, but they sure as hell know what works now.

Ignore trends. If you write to fit a trend you're a pale imitation.
Write original stuff. Become the trend, don't try to follow one.


Anonymous said...

"Become the trend, don't try to follow one."

Exactly what I tell my son when I'm forking over the bucks for his latest pair of must have sneakers.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the guy who wrote
"He's Just Not That Into You" which should have never received the kind of interest and sales it did. Try predicting that piece of shit as a run-away best seller!

kitty said...

"Original"? You mean it hasn't all been done before?