Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Look what doesn't sell.

Book liquidation lists are really revealing.

There are "types" of books that seem to predominate.  Usually they are copycat trend books.  So if there is a successful new type of book -- say, supernatural stories with hot women in tight leather pants fighting creatures -- there will be dozens and dozens of books like that.

Or young kids in horn-rimmed glasses.

Or guys investigating historical anomalies.

They appear to be trying to ride the wave.   And most you've never heard of.  Most were probably flops.

How can they keep producing flops?  Because just one of these books hitting big probably pays for all the rest.

As a writer, I see these trends and realize that most books are shoehorned into one of these types.  That if you aren't writing that type of book you are working against the tide.

There are some really good books mixed in -- which I'm happy to pick up at a discount.

Still, it's pretty obvious to me that the trend is the master, not the individual book.  I think what happens is that something catches on and others are thinking the same and/or what someone else is writing is just enough like the current trend to be marketed that way.

Won't change what I'm doing.  What I write usually isn't that far off from what is being published.  I do tend to have the same kind of taste I see being published.  But even if I didn't, I still would write what I want to write.

My first three books were marketed as "Sword and Sorcery" even though when I wrote them I didn't think of them that way -- I thought of them as "Heroic Quest Fantasy."

But, you know -- close enough.

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