Writing to Trend vs. Writing for the Market by Nephele Tempest + News & New Clients

Top News

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Nalini Singh's SILVER SILENCE hit #15 on the New York Times bestseller list.

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GRAVE RANSOM by Kalayna Price made the USA Today bestseller list

 


More News

 - N.K. Jemisin and Rachel Caine made Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now.

 - N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy and J. Kathleen Cheney’s DREAMING DEATH both made Barnes & Noble's list of 8 Books That Blend Science and Magic, Minus the Fantasy Tropes.

 - PRIMROSE LANE by Debbie Mason made #6 on Jules Herbert's Barnes & Noble romance recommendations for July.

 - THE DARKEST PROMISE by Gena Showalter made Buzzfeed's 5 Sizzling Romances For Poolside Reading.

 - QUEEN OF SWORDS by R. S. Belcher made Kirkus Reviews' Must-Read Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Kickstart Your Summer list. Barnes & Noble also called it "Feminist as Hell" in a great review.

 - LOST BOY by Christina Henry was on Amazon’s list of favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy hitting shelves this month. It was also one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Bets for July in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

 - Kirkus Reviews gave THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin a starred review.

 - Barnes & Noble called ASH AND QUILL by Rachel Caine "a conclusion that hits with the force of the literal bombs that explode on the page" in a recent blog post.

 - THE COLTON MARINE by Lisa Childs made the Globe & Mail romance bestseller list at #10.

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The Informer

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Writing to Trend vs. Writing for the Market

by Nephele Tempest

When a new trend races like wildfire through the publishing industry, there are always writers tempted to try and bask in those flames by writing a book that fits the trend. Agents and editors caution against this sort of approach for a number of reasons. There’s no way to know how long a trend will last, and editors frequently purchase several trend-related projects and then stop, waiting to see how those initial projects perform in the market. Trends can morph, altering so that by the time you’ve finished writing your book, you’re missing the twists and turns the market now craves. And ultimately, time spent writing a book designed to match a current fad is time spent not working on the ideas you’re truly passionate about writing.

It’s nearly impossible to catch a publishing trend before it dies down. Writing and editing a book takes time, selling a manuscript takes more, and then there’s the production process required to get that book out the door. From concept to bookstore, it can easily take a book years before it’s in the hands of readers, and trends can fizzle in a matter of months. Unless it conveniently dovetails with your current project or an idea you’ve been anxious to try, attempting to catch a trend can be a waste of your writing energies. But that does not mean you should ignore the market altogether.

When writers decide not to chase trends, they sometimes turn their backs on the market entirely, determined instead to write the book they wish to write and never mind the people reading them. On occasion this results in wildly creative, exciting stories that end up starting trends of their own, but more typically the results are books that strongly resemble the writer’s favorites without twists to make them something new. Yes, a writer should write what they love, but if they wish to publish, they should consider their end goals as well.

Writers need to understand the market for which they are writing. This differs from writing to trend. Writing to trend involves identifying a sudden wave of extreme book popularity and rushing to write something that fits its parameters. Writing for the market involves reading broadly in the genre that appeals to you, as well as those adjacent to it, so you have a sense of the big picture. What themes are perennial? What are the tropes? Which things have been done to death and what looks like it’s ready for a revival? Has there been a general mood to the books you’ve been reading?

Only once you see the overall landscape can you decide what sort of book will both fit and stand out. Writing for the market demands that you create a story with a fresh take, offering readers a new look at the genre they love. Sometimes that means introducing aspects of another genre to create a hybrid story. Other times it could mean incorporating current real-world concerns that make your story uniquely relevant for readers. Good ideas present a new point of view – yours – on whatever basic story arc serves as the foundation of your tale.

So when you sit down to start a new book, don’t ignore the market entirely. Instead ask yourself how your idea fits with what is already out there. What makes your story special? How can you shake things up to make it stand out even more? What are you offering your readers? What “hook” will you pitch to agents or editors? Chances are your first idea won’t hold up to this sort of scrutiny, but with time and brainstorming, you will see how to transform those first kernels of a concept into something complex, with layers and depth that will make your work shine.


Recent Deals

 - Gena Showalter's new contemporary YA series, where an average teen discovers she's actually the Evil Queen in fairytales, to Dianne Moggy of Harlequin, with Natashya Wilson editing, as well as two more books in her Lords of the Underworld Series, with Emily Ohanjanians editing, in a major deal, in a seven-figure deal by Deidre Knight

 - R.S. Belcher's BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL series, to ITV Studios America (AQUARIUS, TEXAS RISING) with Little Engine (SAINTS AND STRANGERS) producing, by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Lucienne Diver

 - Amy Jarecki's HIGHLAND CHIEFTAIN, the next in The Lords of the Highlands series about powerful Scottish Jacobites and their spirited women as they battle thorough perilous encounters with red-coated dragoons, to Leah Hultenschmidt at Grand Central, in a two-book deal by Elaine Spencer

 - Cassie Miles's THE GIRL WHO COULDN'T STAY DEAD, after a car accident, a woman winds up in a coma and a sheriff hero investigates, to Allison Lyons at Harlequin Intrigue, in a nice deal by Melissa Jeglinski

 - Mia Hopkins's EASTSIDE BREWERY trilogy, a contemporary romance series in which a family of ex-cons fight to sever gang ties and start a craft brewery in East Los Angeles, to Sue Grimshaw at Loveswept by Deidre Knight and Heather Tebbs

 - Karen Booth's next four titles, to Patience Bloom at Harlequin Desire, in a nice deal by Melissa Jeglinski

 - Joy Avery's next three titles, to Shannon Criss at Harlequin Kimani, by Elaine Spencer

 - Sarah Zettel's THE OTHER SISTER, a drama of family betrayal and the bonds of sisterhood, set in Northern Michigan, to Beth de Guzman of Grand Central, in a very nice deal, in a pre-empt, by Lucienne Diver

 - Dakota Cassidy's THEN CAME WANDA . . . WITH A BABY CARRIAGE, to Dan Totten at Tantor, for publication in 2017 by Elaine Spencer

 - French rights to Cat Sebastian's THE LAWRENCE BROWNE AFFAIR, to Bragelonne, by Anne Lenclud at the Lenclud Literary Agency on behalf of Elaine Spencer

 - German rights to Kati Wilde's GOING NOWHERE FAST, to Droemer Knaur, at auction, by Julia Aumuller and Sarah Knofius at Thomas Schlueck Agency on behalf of Elaine Spencer

 - Italian rights to Nalini Singh's ROCK REDEMPTION and ROCK WEDDING, to Mondadori, by Maura Solinas of Piergiorgio Nicolazzini Literary Agency on behalf of Elaine Spencer

 - French audio rights to Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series, to Audible, in a nine-book deal, by Anne Lenclud at the Lenclud Literary Agency on behalf of Elaine Spencer

Acting Out


New Clients on the Block

- Yolanda Ridge: Website | Twitter | Facebook

- Kendal Talbot: Website | Twitter | Facebook

M.K. Tod: Website | Twitter | Facebook

- Laurel Greer: Website | Twitter | Facebook