Thursday, December 2, 2010

Where is all this "specific, niche" writing heading - A prediction

I am of the honest opinion that all of this niche writing we are seeing people doing is nothing more than a cathartic activity for writers. In other words, the market is simply purging itself to get to something bigger and better. What will that be?

IMHO... will be a return to normalcy.

Sure, there is something fun about stories with vampires and Victorian women. Sure movies with cowboys and extraterrestrials may be a light shift from the depression of the real world. Yes, gambling zombies is certainly something new. I won't deny any of this.

But, with that said, like Chick lit, and yes, like Steampunk, there is only so far you can take the stories.

Really, if you think about a lot of the genres out there, we have seen a serious flexing of the muscles. When erotica hit, we saw all of the markets pushing the barrier as far as they could push it, and then what happened? The pendulum swung back.

This is what will happen to everything else out there.

We're already seeing that with the big push for the traditional regencies. Editors told me in August of their desire to see real contemporary stories with real people.

If you really want to be on the cutting edge. Return to normal. Write stories with real people, in real relationships, with real problems and let it ride. You might be amazed at what arises.



  1. Sounds good to me (since I write contemporary YA). Thanks for the musings!

  2. There's something new in the market now, though - ebooks. People can be as specific in their tastes as they want to and still be able to find the books they want, because it's now economically feasible for publishers (i.e. e-publishers) to put those books out there. As long as there's a search mechanism out there, the reader can choose to only read interstellar steampunk thrillers or Jewish inspirational romance or whatever else and still find enough books to keep them happy.

    I do think there will be a side effect - each sub-genre will have a different quality threshold. We will probably see a lot worse erotica out there than we will inspirational "sweet" romances, for example, just because people will read some flat-out awful fiction (see: fanfic communities) if it addresses whatever specific things turn them on.

    Overall, though, I think we'll see effectively parallel markets. There will be the big blockbuster names - the ones which get featured on the front page of Amazon and have big publisher pushes behind them - and then there will be a vast low-to-mid-list of titles of varying quality in a wide variety of niches. Just like now, there will probably be a few gems in the niche markets, some of which will break out and make it big, but there will also be a lot of slush.

  3. Hooray! I'm all for those 'old-fashioned' romances. I'm getting tired to rereading my old ones. And, it's nice to know the kind of books I like to read and to write and coming back.