Monday, February 15, 2010

Trendspotting

Okay, so last week I promised some predictions on trends we'll see in the writing-related market. I'm going to throw out the basic, common sense ones here today and give you a tip or two on how to spot or start your own.

Trends we will see:
  • Armageddon/cataclysmic/Endtimes scenarios as 2012 approaches. Big drama, "save the world" sort of stuff.
  • Dystopians (anytime there's a political shakeup these find space in the market--especially political shakeup + 2012).
  • Steampunk. (It sort of wedges itself in with both of the above with its alternate, dystopian feel.)
  • Stories that take us beyond the end of the world (or the world as we know it). If you have one of these you're working on, I say get it ready to go out.
  • More (and potentially grimmer/darker) faery stories. (This is based on fact some faery books just got signed for movies and authors and publishers will inevitably want a piece of that pie.)

A simple way to forecast trends is to learn from your history. Yeah. That's right. :p History DOES serve a purpose. So here's what you can do:
  1. Grab a calendar and the internet.
  2. Look at what major anniversaries (births, deaths, battles, wars, diseases, events) are coming up IN TWO YEARS OR MORE. Don't waste your time on this year's calendar--the books are already well into the pipeline for this calendar year (at least with trad publishers). So. You have a great Annie Oakley story? Too bad. That anniversary is THIS year. Maybe interest will be renewed in her as a result, but is your story with Annie in front of publishers now (or can it be within a month or two)?
Any thoughts? Remember, just because you can spot trends doesn't mean you should write to them. At this point I DO have an Endtimes, faery, steampunk-ish, dystopian and several other things in the works because those are the ideas that nabbed me and yelled "WRITE ME!" My problem is potentially getting them in the right order (and having time to do it all in short order--while maintaining my desired quality).

Have a great day! Happy Monday!
~Shannon

11 comments:

Rebecca Herman said...

I wonder when the vampires will go away. There are just soooo many.

Cleverly Inked said...

I still like vampire books, even before they became huge.

SO right history does repeat itself

Shannon Delany said...

Rebecca, I think vamps are one of the never-truly-dead trends. There will always be vampire fans and therefore always a need for vampire stuff (although it'll go through the same ebb and flow as other trend). I think it's because our culture is so obsessed with immortality and having youth forever (and don't get me started on the arrogant alpha male stuff often in vamp books;-)... I have to think it's an obsession created by our culture.

Cleverly Inked, yeah--history repeating itself is the only reason I'm even taking a stab at predicting trends. :-)

Take care!
~Shannon

Sheila Deeth said...

Interesting. I may try that.

Dirk said...

"So. You have a great Annie Oakley story? Too bad. That anniversary is THIS year."

Ya' jerk. :p

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Lol, I'm absolutely horrible at forecasting trends, though I'm all for dystopian and armageddon (the end of the world - so exiciting!). But I've always loved those genres, the increasing number of those books just made me realize exactly how much I love them. :)

As for steampunk, I'm still not completely sure of the definition, but I loved Gail Carrigar's Soulless. What matters most to me is being unique!

Shannon Delany said...

Dirk--Hey, kiddo! LOL! Note the sentence following that where I said you probably still had a couple months to get it done (in other words: Get your butt in gear!). You have an AWESOME story idea but get it done while the anniversary's still fresh in people's minds. It helps potential publishers have something to link to. ;-) Besides, I have contacts I can use in the biz NOW if you're ready. Don't wait too long!

*hugs*
~Your Troublesome Sis

Shannon Delany said...

Hey, Jenn!

Steampunk's still sort of emerging and defining itself. There are some awesome websites that mention it and a couple conventions just cropped up over the last year or two (from what I've seen).

I can tell you there's one dystopian series I'm totally looking forward to (partly because I was a beta for it and partly because the author is fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!). In December 2010 (or January 2011) an author I greatly admire will be launching her first YA novel. I'll definitely be talking more about it here. :D

Squeeee!
~Shannon

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Shannon Delany said...

Good morning! Dealing with spam... Evidently my blog's gained a new rank. Before we flew by totally devoid of spam. *shrug*