This is a unique little post that I thought would be fun to include with the rest of our writing discussions! One thing that self-pub and traditional-pub authors alike need to pay attention to is the book trends for the year. They don’t have to write their books to follow those trends, of course, but it’s always good to be aware. In fact, one marketing strategy for self-pub authors that I’ve read about and applied is to focus on the trends in books and movies that are releasing for the year, and if there are similarities between books and movies coming out a particular month and your novel, you should publish in that month. People will be looking for more of the trends that the movies and books follow, and if you release your novel in that same month or at least around the same time, there’s a good chance your book will be found. (Note that there’s a lot more marketing that has to go into this tactic, but I won’t detail it in this post since that’s not what this discussion is about.)
With that in mind, I’d love to share with you some trends that I noticed started at the end of 2018 and that has thus far carried into 2019; and that hasn’t fizzled out. (And remember too that this is what I’ve noticed or that I’m assuming. 😉 I may not end up being right.)
- Asian Rep. I’m not sure how many of you have noticed, but the end of 2018 blew up with Young Adult novels featuring strong Asian characters, settings, and plot lines.
- Medieval Fantasy. One day not too long ago, I went into Barnes and Noble and all of the new releases they had featured on their circular display were some version of medieval fantasy. Swords. Princesses. Kings. Castles. Duels. Intense Battles. You name it! This actually became a bit of a joke between me and my husband because his niche genre is medieval fantasy. I told him he needed to get back to writing books since his genre is so popular right now. 😉
- Modern Day Females that Kick Butt and Deal with Social Issues. Angie Thomas almost pioneered this wave of books that deal with intense problems in society today with brutal honesty. There have been a ton of books released or announced since then with the same kick-butt, take-a-stand female leads.
- Pirates and Vikings. These dudes are slowly making a comeback with more and more interest.
- Mermaids. Actually, I’ve seen a lot of fairy tale retellings of The Little Mermaid popping up everywhere – whether involving a retelling of Ariel or Ursula, etc. It’s really interesting to see these popping back up. In all honesty, if I was going to choose to redo a fairy tale, it wouldn’t be The Little Mermaid. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that there’s so much one can do with the story that it should be a pretty obvious choice. Guess we’ll see how these turn out!
- The LGBTQ+ community is getting a lot more rep these days.
- Diverse Characters and #OwnVoices. More people are figuring out how to include diverse characters in their book and how to write them well. And #OwnVoices, for those of you who might not know, is just an author that writes a character or a situation similar to their own life experiences. This can be related to the color of skin and the problems that arise with the racism in America or disabilities, etc. It’s really inspiring!
- So this last one I have to admit is one that I haven’t seen in Barnes and Noble or other bookstores. Instead, when I went to a writing conference in late summer of 2018, a publisher actually predicted this trend would happen pretty soon. She mentioned that Dystopian is kind of dying since people don’t write it with original ideas (they don’t want another The Hunger Games or Divergent series), but something she predicts will happen in the future is a story that shows the rebuilding of society after a dystopian event. I thought this idea was so intriguing because it seems like it would be inventing a completely new genre; such an idea most likely couldn’t be classified as post-apocalyptic or utopian. So there’s just an insider tidbit to keep in mind. 😉
Those are just a few trends I’ve noticed or have been predicted! Do you agree with the ones I listed? Are there any others you can add?