Saturday, May 8, 2010

Writing For The Market...

I just returned from RT last week and as usual many were wondering about the market trends. What's new, what should they be writing? Urban Fantasy is hot, especially with kick ass heroines. Young Adult is extremely hot right now as is mixing the genres--action and adventure with paranormal, suspense with romance, anything with romance...

Romance writers have always done this. You only have to look at what's been out there for the past thirty or so years. I have always loved action and adventure and for me it seemed natural to mix it with my erotic paranormal romance, ASSASSIN'S KISS. It was a good fit but I didn't consciously decide to hook up with the current trend. I have to admit that I wasn't paying attention to trends at the time. I was writing the story I'd always wanted to write.

It just happened to be on target. Trust me, I didn't plan it that way and that brings me to a very interesting question that gets asked frequently on the loops. Do you write to market trends or follow your heart and write the stories you love?

Adventurous erotic romance
Head Over Heels-Ellora’s Cave
5 Hearts The Romance Studio
5 Angels-Fallen Angel Reviews
Assassin’s Kiss-Ellora’s Cave
5 Stars Just Erotic Romance Reviews
5 Blue Ribbons Romance Junkies
4 Stars Romantic Times
IOU-A Carnal Reunions Tale-Resplendence Publishing
5 Cups from Coffee Time Romance & More
Ellora’s Cave Titles:
Resplendence Titles:


P.A.Brown said...

I only write what I like. I can't write to trends -- I couldn't write a vampire book to save my life. I have a really nice book, everyone who reads it says it's great, including some agents, but I can't sell it because it doesn't fit neatly into any niche and nobody knows how to sell it. Do I regret writing it? No way. It came from my heart and it's good, whether anyone else ever gets to see it in print, who knows. My next one also came from inside me. It's an historical, and I now hear they're considered hot, so maybe I'll sell this one to a broader market. Who knows what I'll write next. But it won't be to fit a trend.

Collette Thomas said...

I sort of write to the trends, and I guess do both. Right now I'm into the vampire genre, and while writing my series The Pleasure of Our Company I'm able to combine both the vampire elements, erotica, erotic romance into this series. Plus I'm having fun with it as I write new stories and introduce new characters. Right now the list story will have me writing my first f/f romance, pretty much expanding my horizon. I think as writers we can write to the market, and what we also love to write since the market trends are quite varied and encompass more than before.

Collette Thomas

Paris said...

I hear you. I wrote historical romances for years and couldn't get anyone to look at them. My crit partners loved them and so did I. Maybe someday.

I'm enjoying the stories I write now, paranormal is very comfortable as are the novellas. Like I said, it was a happy accident that Assassin's Kiss is cross-genre but I didn't plan it that way. I write what I like too and I think it's improved my voice!

Paris said...

I think the having fun part shows up in our work. I'm not as "cautious" about trying new genres or elements as I used to be and I think my stories are better for it.

As market trends go, I think pushing ourselves to think outside the box, we just might happen onto the next best thing and a new trend. I think the f/f genre is just beginning to be explored and I'm looking forward to yours!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

I kind of do both--I like writing a variety of genres and will sometimes lean one way or the other depending on what an editor wants.

Fran Lee said...

I have switched a couple of times to meet the trends, and fans weren't hot over the shift. They expected more of the same...but the switches did sell well. I just got poor fan mail.

Pat C. said...

The problem with writing for trends is the time lag. What's hot right now is what the publishers bought a year or two ago. By the time yours comes out the trend could be over, or your book could get lost in a crowd of wannabes. I'd rather go with the book(s) I want to write and hope for a receptive market. Books from the heart have that special spark and tend to find their audience. Who knows, you could start a trend. Stephen King wrote what he wanted to and it worked out pretty well for him.

Savanna Kougar said...

First off, I always write from the heart. And, I only write the type of romance stories I want to read.

However, since I have an abundance of ideas and WIPs, I can choose toward a certain trend. For example, I've always wanted to write a Western romance... there's so much about that time and the various cultures that sing for me, that I just resonate with... Now, I could probably never pen a straight out historical western because everything I write naturally turns out in the paranormal subgenres. So, the story idea simply evolved around my heroine, Kylie, who finds herself, through no fault of her own, on the wrong side of the law during our contemporary time. Well, heck, where do you run to when there are cameras and GPS and you can hardly breathe without Big Brother knowing... but she does her best to save herself and ends up crossing a dimensional divide into another Earth, like the TV show, Sliders... where the Old West culture has joined with current technology and Texas is an independent republic. Plus, women are scarce because of a bio terrorism attack on Texas and three brothers desperately need a wife, three rough tough sexy cowboy ranchers.

Now, the trend may change by August 2010, when Branded is due out... but, so far, western and menage and paranormal are still relatively hot trends. So, we'll see.

IF any of you who have written historicals are interested in submitting to BOOKSTRAND, they might be interested.

Regina Carlysle said...

I sort of do both, Paris. I actually don't enjoy writing menage as much as other stuff BUT I will do them and lace them in between other things. I definitely mixed two things with my cowboy shifters. It wasn't an intentional thing...just turned out that way. Here's the thing. I like money. If something is hot and I have the time to work it in, I'll definitely write it.

Pat C. said...

Can't argue with that, Regina. There's writing for the market and writing from the heart, and sometimes doing what you love lets you pay the rent. I never thought I'd be writing vampire stories or male-on-male, but the ideas hit and I ran with 'em. I'm just lucky there's a market for that kind of thing. Now I've got an idea for a sequel involving a menage. I'm following the characters, not the trend, but if it nets me gas and grocery money I won't complain.

Sandy said...

I write what I like to read and hope others will like it too. If you follow the market by the time your book is out there the genre has passed it's time.

Anonymous said...

I've never been one for writing with the Trends, either. Whenever a new story pops in my head begging to have voice, I just write it as it happens. As far as I know, my first book TEMPTATION UNLEASHED (2006) was one of the first to break the trend with having the same species of Shapeshifters in a family. I had two brothers (one a cougar, the other a wolf) and their sister was a bear. I received loads of compliments at the unique idea. In my HER HEART HIS SOUL, I think it might have been one of the first to have a hero that is Half ANGEL and Half Demon. I have to say its FUN writing unique plot ideas instead of going with the Trends...!

hugs, Kari Thomas

April Ash said...

I can't deny that I watch the trends. This is a business, and you've gotta give readers what they want to make sales!

Lyla Sinclair said...

I still go back and forth on this. When I wrote what I wanted without looking at trends I came out with some romantic comedy novels that did well in contests, but would not slide comfortably into one genre, so they didn't sell.

I started writing erotic romance because after 5 years, I wanted to sell something, and erotica/erotic romance was selling. That being said, you won't find me writing shapeshifters like you Paris because I just don't get paranormal, and I'm sure that lack of understanding would translate over in my writing.

But bottom line: A girl's gotta eat.

Serena Shay said...

If I was a faster writer, I'd definitely write to some market trends, but I'd also write what I love. Luckily the two seem to mesh right now! ;)

Angel said...

I write what I like. I feel like if my heart isn't in it, then the reader may feel that in my work and get a bad impression.