Thursday, November 30, 2006

What sells...

There’s always talk at the annual RWA conference about what’s hot and what’s not in Romance fiction. Paranormal romances are on an all-time high right now. In case you don’t know, that means witches, vampires, shape-shifters, elves, faeries, anything magical or “other-worldly.” Erotic Romance is on the rise (no pun intended), too. We also hear that historical is “dead,” though I refuse to believe that! I, for one, LOVE historical romances – though I don’t know that I would have the patience to do enough research to write one, even though I minored in history in college. {g}

Publishers frequently try to predict what the next big trend will be. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they just miss the mark. Lines open and accept submissions one day and the next you don’t know where they went, what’s happened to those stories, those authors…case in point, the Bombshell line from Harlequin. If you aren’t familiar, think Lara Croft, Tomb Raider – the main character is a female who takes no crap, dishes out a butt-kicking if needed and who knows her way around guns, boats and cars. The Bombshell line was going great guns (from a non-publisher standpoint, anyway) and then we heard it was folding. The sales just weren’t there, apparently.

What will be the next big trend? Who knows? There’s a writer I know who did her research on a particular line from Harlequin – she found out what kind of stories they’d sold in the past with great success then set about tweaking her manuscript to include most, if not all, of those elements in her novel. It worked – she sold that manuscript.

Romantic suspense is hot. Romantic comedy is hot. Erotica is hot (again, no pun intended). Paranormal is hot. Sweet romances are still big sellers and Medical Romances are always on the shelves…

In other words, I don’t think it matters what you write as long as the story is GOOD and well-written. Trends come and go, but good books will always sell.

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