Those of you in the writing biz probably saw the list a week or so ago that Scholastic compiled about trends in 2010. Well, needless to say that got me to thinking about trends in the book biz. And inevitably that led to talking about trends in the book biz.
And most of that talking was with my friend Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
What books were hot and what did they have in common? What were the big happenings in the industry in general? And, ultimately, what things do we THINK will be big in 2011 and beyond?
Is this list scientific? Uh…no. Are we psychic? No. (But I claim I am a little bit. Jen laughs at me every time I claim it.) Is this something–the future trends especially–that should alter what you write, how you write, etc? Nope.
This is just us talking. And then writing it down. And now sharing it with…everyone.
PS: Go read Jen’s take on the subject right here.
OUR TAKE ON THE TREND THING
by Jen Barnes & Ally Carter
2010 GENRE TRENDS
From The Maze Runner to Matched, in 2010 the search for the next Hunger Games kicked into high gear. With the Mockingjay release and a Hunger Games feature film on the way, dystopian is a trend that isn’t slowing down.
While established vampire series are still rocking the YA market,
lesser-known or debut authors seem to be having more luck with angels.
Growing series like Hush Hush and Fallen and successful debuts like Halo join with re-released older titles like The Fallen to make this a trend with major Times List staying power.
With the release of Clockwork Angel by Cassie Clare, Radiance by Alyson Noel, and The Lost Hero
by Rick Riordan, 2010 was the time for new series set in already
best-selling worlds. With many other authors announcing plans for
spin-offs of their own, this is a trend on the rise.
4. Beyond-the-Grave Fiction
This sub-genre of realistic YA has been experiencing a slow build since the release of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. But with the paperback release of If I Stay, and Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall debut, 2010 has taken the “death” book to a whole new level.
5. Humorous Middle Grade
There’s no denying that funny is where it’s at in middle grade fiction. Established powerhouse series like Diary of a Wimpy Kid stayed strong, and newer entries like Big Nate and Dork Diaries continued to rise, proving that funny was a valuable commodity in middle-grade in 2010.
6. Dark YA
As much as middle-grade readers love to laugh, those same books have
few YA counterparts seeing equivalent success. Whether it’s a
dystopian future or words from beyond the grave, a dangerous romance or
a gritty look at reality (a la Ellen Hopkins), the 2010 young adult
market was dominated by the dark and serious.
2010 INDUSTRY TRENDS
People are talking about E-books, E-readers, and E-publishing–all adding up to a very big E-year for 2010.
2. Adult Mega-Stars Crossing Into YA
Adult fiction has been making waves for several years , so it’s no
surprise that more adult superstars are hitting the YA market than ever
before with authors like John Grisham, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kathy Reichs
and Candace Bushnell all making 2010 debuts.
3. Growth of Book Packagers
has been book packaging for years, but lately more and more packagers
are popping up and making waves. Tinderbox and the controversial Full
Fathom Five and are just two up and operating now with more gaining
traction every day.
4. Repackaging old titles
books come out before their time. In 2010, publishers didn’t let that
stop them, and many repackaged titles from authors like LJ Smith,
Christopher Pike, and Thomas Sniegoski to take advantage of current
events looked different in 2010 with more multi-author tours hitting
the road. Whether they were publisher-driven like Disney-Hyperion’s
“Un-required Reading” tour or author-run like the “Smart Chicks Kick
It” tour, cross-promotion was certainly on the rise–a trend that could
also be seen in non-tour marketing efforts such as “The Penguin Five.”
6. YA on TV
Two of the biggest shows on television today got their start on Young Adult bookshelves. In 2010, YA-TV eclipsed Gossip Girl with Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries taking
center stage. If the orders for upcoming pilots are any indication, we
will soon see more YA novels on the small screen than ever before.
1. Contemporary Romance
dark and edgy to lighter contemporary fare, we’re predicting that
paranormal romance readers might become simply “romance readers”. The
success of Simone Elkeles’ gritty YA romances and staying power of YA
powerhouses like Sarah Dessen bode well for this genre in 2011.
2. Soft Sci Fi
Hunger Games isn’t just dystopian–it’s also science fiction. Coupled with Beth Revis’s upcoming Across the Universe, we’re predicting that these books may open the window for more YA sci fi: from space operas to tech.
Following in the wake of Beautiful Creatures, as well the general popularity of both paranormal and darker fare, we’re expecting a surge in books with a Gothic feel.
their paranormal and dystopian elements, many of 2010’s mega hits are,
at their core, action-adventure-thrillers. It stands to reason that
many of those readers might eventually reach out for action-based
stories set in a more contemporary world.
5. Mixed Genre Paranormal
is far too popular to go away in its entirety any time soon, so we
expect this genre to hold strong in 2011…if it brings something new
to the mix. Be on the look out for books which blend other genres with
paranormal mainstays, in the vein of White Cat (crime fiction), Paranormalcy (crime solving), or Maureen Johnson’s upcoming paranormal mysteries.
6. Commercial Historical Fiction
Lately, readers interested in complex and interesting worlds have been
finding them in the paranormal, but they can also find them in the
past. High Concept Historical Fiction might be poised to make a move
if, like paranormal, it has a mix of commercial elements. From
crime-fighting flappers to Austenian assassins, historical might be a
very interesting place to be in 2011 and beyond.