How do you pick trends in publishing?

Debut authors for July 2016. (I borrowed the images from the Qwillery site, where they also have a monthly Cover Wars post, where you can vote for your favourite cover.) If I had to guess just by the covers, I'd say a bit of horror, and not too much science fiction.
Debut authors for July 2016. (I borrowed the images from the Qwillery site, where they also have a monthly Cover Wars post, where you can vote for your favourite cover.) If I had to guess just by the covers, I’d say a bit of horror, and not too much science fiction.

Write what you know. Write for the market.  Don’t write for the market.  Write what’s hot right now. Don’t write what’s hot now, for it won’t be hot when you’re ready to sell.

Whether you choose to write for the market or against it, how do you pick what the market is doing?

The best piece of advice I ever got about working out what the market was doing, and it’s true for readers as well as writers, is to

Read debut authors from the last year, maybe two years.

If you’re a writer, it doesn’t help with what to write, but it does give you an idea of what’s happening in the market.  If you’re a reader, it gives you a good idea of the way your genre is coming.

Why debut authors?

Because they’re the authors who don’t have any history behind them. They’re the ones the publishing houses are taking a chance on, the ones they think can sell.

So now we’ve established that it’s good to read debut authors, how do you know what’s coming?

Book publishers’ sites.  Booksellers’ sites.  Bloggers who blog about new and forthcoming books.  My personal favourite site is The Qwillery.  This lists all the debut releases for the month, and interviews many of the authors as well.  I’ve found a lot of books there.

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