Thursday, February 7, 2013

As Luck Would Have It

I once heard, or read, or found out, or someone told me —but am far too tired to research— that when a type or genre of book is popular, it’s already too late to attempt jumping onto that proverbial bestselling bandwagon. Examples that come to mind, at this moment anyway, are books like Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games and TV shows like The Walking Dead. Because, right now, utopia / dystopian worlds, such as the one in Divergent and The Maze Runner (not to mention, once again, The Hunger Games), are toping bookseller charts, movie theaters and DVD rentals – guess what? That market is saturated.

If you are working on a utopian / dystopian, apocalyptic and/or supernatural manuscript, might want to stop. Publishers will be mailing out form rejection letters (or emailing them). This may include vampires and zombies – it’s what I’m thinking, same boat. It’s just a guess, a gut feeling.

Think of it this way. You write the manuscript. Let’s say that takes roughly a year. Add six months for some re-writes and edits. Maybe you already have an agent. So we can skip that. How long might an agent take to find a publisher? For the sake of argument, let’s be generous and add another six months (uh-huh). Publisher reviews the material in bits and bites, eventually offers a contract (we will add 3 months for that process). You get assigned an editor. More re-writes. And fifteen months later your book is in stores (or available for Kindle/Nook uploads). Not bad. What year is it then? From start to book-on-a-shelf? I really don’t know, like, more than 3 years has passed? I can’t do the math. Not this late at night.

But I mean, hey, still write the story. Finish it if you must. I don’t want to discourage. Point is it might be a tough sell. Probably will be. Just saying.

Nothing new under the sun. I know. I’ve heard that, too. But think cycles. Goes around. Comes around. When Katniss and Thomas and Beatrice and Rick Grimes have lost their flare, their popularity … the next wave of fiction will strike.

It will.

The question is –you ready for it— what type, what genre will be the newest, hottest fad?

I remember when my oldest son was little. Christmas was around the corner. The craziest toy was the latest craze: Tickle Me Elmo. I’ll admit it was kinda cool. But you couldn’t get one. No one expected it to be so popular. Stores were unable to keep shelves stocked. Think Tyco knew what they had on their hands when they first produced the battery-filled doll?

Doubt it.

Hate to say it, but I’d put my money on luck.

Movies. Books. Same thing.
It’s about timing. Delivery. But mostly luck.

I’ve bought toys I’ve despised, watched blockbusters I’ve hated, read bestsellers with sloppy plots and cardboard characters and thought – what am I doing so wrong if this is a bestseller?

I can’t predict what the next hot genre will be. But I will let you in on a secret. I have shoved into a sock drawer my zombie work-in-progress, and am diligently at work on something … fresh, new. Something that is hopefully different, but relevant, and will be holding my breath to see if my gamble pays off.

It might. Might not.

With fingers crossed (and breath held), we will have to wait and see what genre pulls into the forefront. Leads the pack. Takes the wheel . . . in the months (that follow the apocalyptic) storylines.

Me? Who am I but a midlist author. Still, I’ve got my money on ... Ha—I’m not telling!

Phillip Tomasso

PS … Check out my new website:
Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

1 comment:

  1. I know of what genre you speaketh. And I DO believe it can be the next trend. So go forth, my friend, and may the luck be with you.