I’ve been wondering and a little worried about what the next trend in books is going to be.
Harry Potter started a trend in Young Adult and fantasy, which led to Twilight and vampires, which went on to include all paranormal romance. Then there was dystopian, led by Hunger Games. Interestingly, I hear agents and editors on Twitter still complaining about all the paranormal they’re getting, but not so much the dystopian, so it seems the vampires have outlived the bleak future scenes. I’m sure there were trends before that, but I’m pretty sure HP was the beginning of the big YA surge, so that’s all that really matters.
There are still books coming out on all of these things, but the market has been pretty saturated and a lot of editors and agents are looking for something new, so right now we seem to kind of be in transition. The adults who have taken YA as their own seem to be leaning more toward the more erotic books led by 50 Shades. The term New Adult is being thrown around a lot in conjunction. The current definition for this “new” classification: books featuring college-age protagonists that tend to be more mature and graphic. And though it is a new classification, it’s not a new kind of book–these novels have been on normal fiction/romance fiction and even teen fiction all along; they’re just getting more attention.
But that’s what the adults are reading, and I’m more concerned about what the teens want to read next. I feel like zombies, vampires, angels, demons, etc may be on their way out, and what is going to rise up to take their place? I’m really rooting for normal contemporary books like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (which I haven’t read yet–am like 100 on library waiting list, but I’ve read other Green books and know the style). I’m rooting for that because that’s not what I’m writing.
I don’t write for the market; I write for me, but I’m a little concerned that the book I’m writing for me is in a market that’s due to hit it big. It could just be the normal author paranoia here of “someone’s going to steal my concept” but I’m worried that space sci-fi could be the next big thing (esp with this Star Trek movie, this weird Mars mission in the workings, and a bunch of independent space exploration companies starting to make the news, among other things). If my book was ready to go right now that would be great–maybe I could even start a trend and be the next Harry Potter (wishful thinking, I know) but it’s not ready, and I’m worried that by the time it is ready its time will have come and gone and too many similar books will have already been published. Because for this one I know I have a great concept, but it wouldn’t be a hard concept for someone else to think of as well. I just have to be first.
So thinking of this has made me pick up the pace a little on my work on this book (and I did need a kick in the pants to get moving again after the holidays), which is good, but all the same I’m rooting for all those contemporary books to hit it big. Come on, kids, get tired of all the fantasy and paranormal and bleak futures–all the pretend stuff and turn back to something real–at least for so long as it takes me to finish this book and get it ready to submit, okay?