Writing Advice: Why Writing To Trends Doesn't Work

Note: This is a makeup for January and is for the 1/7  post. Because of this it'll go live to everyone within 1 week rather than the regular 2.

See what's selling and write it. This advice was given decades ago when I started writing and it's still given now. Of course, with today's shorter publishing cycle it's easier to follow. Back then books were contracted at least eighteen months out, so trends were always 18 months to 2 years behind the curve. You had to anticipate what was going to be big in the future and hope you hit it. If you didn't, publishers dropped you.

There's nothing wrong with that if you're moved by what's on trend. But trends change and sometimes you don't want to move on. If you don't want to move on--what do you do?

This is just one reason why I think writing to trends doesn't work. I know I've talked about this before. Maybe not here. I remember when paranormal romance was just coming into its own. Finally those of us who wanted happily ever afters with our ghosts and our werewolves and vampires were welcomed by the publishing community. It was hot. And EVERYONE jumped on the trend.

And frankly, it showed. You could tell who knew nothing about the genre, who wasn't writing from the love and who hated writing paranormal, but was told that they had to by their agent or whoever. 

My advice? If what's on trend moves you, write it. But if you want to write something different (like my equestrian women's fiction), do it. You might be surprised as you tap into a niche that needs some love and has ravenous readers waiting for YOUR book.


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