Market Timing

In the quest to become a successful writer, there are things you need to know. One of them is how to hit the market when a particular subject is hot.

After many years of Ann Rice dominating the vampire scene (starting with Interview With A Vampire in 1976), and L.K. Hamilton joining the fray with her series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series in 1993, along comes Twilight in 2005 and a feeding frenzy ensued. Now everywhere you look someone is coming out with a vampire novel. Now, I won’t comment on the quality of these novels because I don’t care for vampire novels in general (Remember the cover of Rolling Stone? UGH!). But I have to believe a lot of them are from authors and publishers trying to cash in on the next big thing.
Sounds like the right time to start writing that vampire novel to get in on the cash, right? Nope. By the time you get your novel to an agent or publisher the trend will probably have passed.
So how do you make it happen? Simple. Diversify your writing. You have a favorite genre’ you love to write in, say Science Fiction. But there are many different sub-genre’s that you can write in. Hard SF, Space Opera, Steampunk, Dystopian, etc… You could write Fantasy, Horror or even (gasp) Literary Fiction!
Try your hand at writing different types of novels and submit them. Now, many of the old guard will cringe at this and say “But wait! Common knowledge says you should only write one type of novel! Publishers and Readers will never accept that!” Common knowledge for millennia was that the Earth was flat. It took a while, but people finally figured out that wasn’t the case.
What sells are good stories with great plots and interesting characters. Disregard the trends and write one of almost everything you are comfortable with. That way you are ready for almost anything. In the end, you might be the one to start the new trend and make the big bucks. But only if you are committed to your art and are willing to work at it. So get out there and write!
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