You know how it is, a book sells hot and pretty soon the market is flooded with similar stories. This can be great, if you liked the bestseller. But, sometimes not even then. Remember TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer?
The Twilight Phenomena
I can’t complain about that one, because that is how my first novel got a pointed ear (my book stars elves, though I didn’t realize it at the time) in edgewise. Yep, I believe I first achieved publication because I included vampires in my novel back in the day. Aspiring authors will be told repeatedly not to follow trends. By the time you get a book out, they say, the trend is over. Well, that’s not how it worked for me. Listen to what people say, but then pay attention to what they do and what actually happens. For the record, I deliberately avoided reading Twilight or watching the movies before my first novel was published. I worried it would influence me too much. One of the things I loved about the Twilight phenomena was how so many people loved it AND so many people hated it. I would listen in on debates and end up laughing. Guess what? Stephenie Meyer still gets paid, whether you bought her book and loved it or not. A lot of people bought it just to see what the fuss was all about.
Team Carlisle, in case you’re wondering.
My Last Book Trend Hangover
I just came out of a book trend hangover centered on Contemporary Romance and, let me tell ya, the Romance Genre is possibly the most vulnerable kind of books to fall into the trend trap. I’ve been pleading for them to dismantle the Alpha Male Cloning Facility for decades now, but it seems I’m one of the few chicks who thinks a sense of humor is way sexier than washerboard abs. Some men have both.
But, I can tell you, as a woman who’s been married multiple decades to my one and only, that a sense of humor lasts a lot longer than washerboard abs and it will see you through some of life’s most difficult times. But, most of the Romance Genre is about wish-fulfillment, not reality.
Within the Contemporary Romance arena, I also ventured into Romantic Suspense and Cozy Mysteries.
The Value of Book Trends
A strong book trend can make you throw up in the end, but it can also help you find some fabulous books. These can lead you to authors who will reliably put out the stories you love for many years to come.
Contemporary Romance Which Does NOT Have an Alpha Male Clone Hero
Identify the Elements You’re Sick Of
In the case of Contemporary Romance, I’m sick of the Alpha Clone and general lack of variety of characters and characters who do not grow. Also, the whole hot nooky magically transforming a selfish jerk into a faithful mate is just too ridiculous for me to suspend my disbelief for. Sorry. Actually, no, I’m not sorry at all.
Identify the Elements You Love
I love a variety of characters who grow. I’m binge-watching Downton Abbey right now. I am in awe of how the writers managed to create and develop so many characters and keep them all going with their own arcs. I love that! I mean, wow!
This series also carries riveting suspense. I hear there’s a movie coming out too. Oh, I hope they don’t spoil the awesome essence of the show.
I love Suspense.
Find New Books with Those Elements
In my case, that leads me to Young Adult Fantasy and all subgenres thereof. But, it also keeps me reading Historicals.
To find new great books you’ll love, of course, I hope you’ll come back here. When it comes to reviewers, I found it helps to find ones who love books similar to the ones you do. They will lead you to other voracious readers too. Also, Pop on over to Goodreads. Besides authors and groups of readers who love the same books you do, you can find a really helpful feature called Lists. Hit that button and you can do a search on any kind of story element you love. Check out this one I found in my search for books featuring elves- Goodreads Best Books About Elves or Faeries
There now, don’t you feel better?