Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Case of Genre and The Market

I've always written what I like to read, and I think most writers do the same, and if they can follow a trend, then usually it's all the better. Right? I'm not so sure.

The one thing I found is that too often the market becomes flooded with writers hoping for a chance to get published once a genre becomes popular. I'll hear writers claim that paranormal fiction (or YA, fantasy, etc.) is currently big, so that's the genre they're going to write. The unfortunate part is that every other writer has come to that same conclusion. This usually means writers are competing against all the other writers that had that very same thought, thus diminishing their chances of getting published.

This isn't to say that you won't get published if you've written in a genre that is currently experiencing a rise in popularity, I just think, in my limited experience, that your odds are greatly reduced since the competition is great. After all, if an agent has his/her choice of two hundred vampire, young adult romances, what are the chances for your vampire, young adult romance?

Obviously the ideal situation would be to write in a genre just as it starts to experience a rise in popularity before everyone else catches on.

What are your thoughts or experiences on the matter? What genre do you currently write and have you given other genres any thought for the sake of a better chance at getting published?

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1 comment:

atsiko said...

I think writing to the market is a bit silly. Books don't get published instantaneously. Even after they are written, some books can take up to two years to make it to the shelves. Most "trends" don't last that long (at least not at full steam), so by the time your book is published, it's too late, and it has to be that much more incredible to stand a chance of getting published.

Now, if you do happen to be writing a book, or have written a book, that fits a newly rising trend, that can be just the boost you need. Remember that old high fantasy novel you wrote and trunked after 45 rejections? Well, high fantasy is popular again, and now may be just the time to touc it up and send it on the round again. (That's a hypothetical example, by the way.)

But personally, I do as you've said above and write what I like to read. Or whatever I feel like writing at the moment, honestly. Some of what I write, I've never read a book quite like it Although with the abundance of little-known work out there, there's bound to be something similiar if I dig deep enough. And if I end up finishing the book and still liking it, I might very well engage in a little of that digging. It never hurts to know what other similar things have been done before.

Atsiko