Laura’s post about How to Choose the Best Story and a comment at my writer’s group last night about the genre of my WiP being (maybe) saturated, got me thinking again about trends, that nasty word that will either thrill or chill you (or possibly both) depending on whether you’re writing a trendy book or not.
Yes, I want to be realistic about the market.
Yes, I want to sell to traditional/indie/whoever will publish my book.
Yes, I want to write something that people are interested in reading.
But what if my great story idea is passé before I start? What if by the time I finish it, the trend will be so sizzling hot that no one will be buying those books anymore?
We’re not supposed to write to trends because by the time your book gets published, the trend of today is long gone.
But what if that’s all wrong?
There, I said it.
Amanda Hocking got rich off writing to a trend. Yes, the e-book phenomenon hit at just the right time, along with a bunch of other factors, but let’s face it: she wrote what was popular, published it herself, and zoom people ate it up. Because that’s what people want to read.
The key here was that she was able to get her book quickly to market, to benefit from the trend.
This is not rocket science, people (and I would know). Any business knows they have to get their product to market quickly, or risk being beaten by the competition, or just left behind by the public as hopelessly out of touch with the consumer desires of the day.
There’s no shame in writing what people want to read. The mere fact that I have to state that as some kind of defensive argument is indicative of how strange things are in this business.
Which of these statements makes the most sense?
Vampires are hot? Well, for heaven’s sake, don’t write about that!
Touch screen phones are hot? Well, for heaven’s sake, don’t make any of those!
Answer: neither one.
Maybe I’m just stubborn (it’s been known to happen). Maybe I’m just contrarian (that happens a lot too). Throwing down a gauntlet and saying “You can’t do that!” is just about a guarantee that I will try.
So, I’ll keep writing my Sekrit project even if it’s in the too hot genre right now. Mostly because my kids really want to read it. And, after all, isn’t that what this is all about?