The Unbelievable Importance of Knowing the Literary Market

If you want to work in the publishing industry the first thing you have to know is, well, the market. Knowing what had sold, what is selling, and what will sell is the most important part of having success within publishing. It’s pretty much as simple as that, but I’ll go into a bit more about what I mean.

What had sold…

Trends in the market can come in go very rapidly, but knowing the history of themes, genres, or specific books that have had success in the market is incredibly beneficial. For example, it is no secret that the Harry Potter series is one of the best sellers of all time, in the US and abroad. And although it’s not a good idea to publish a book that completely copies the themes and plot of this novel, knowing that it did well in the past shows, simply, what was successful.

What is selling…

Knowing what is selling now is also incredibly important. It shows what is currently relevant, and what the general public is interested in presently.

Let’s take a look at the Goodreads Awards for the Young Adult Fantasy genre:

In 2010:                                                                   In 2011:

mockingjay cover                                     

Both novels have dystopian themes, where a young girl fights against the atrocities of the overpowering government. This shows how after the success of one Young Adult dystopian fantasy novel, another one did just as well.

Yet, there ends up being the tendency where every book you see is apart of that trend. That becomes problematic, as readers will lose interest in the genre and not feel inclined to pick up another vampire book, for example. It’s important to be quick when a new trend suddenly appears, which leads into the next section…

What will sell…

Predicting the future of trends and sales is probably the hardest thing a publisher will have to do. Some current trends have a tendency to fizzle out fairly quickly. This is in reference to the timeline of publishing, since it takes at least six months to have a book published. Remember the vampire phase of literature after Twilight sold in huge amounts? Where it felt like every other book published afterwords was about vampires? That’s a trend that, although it felt never-ending, actually had a short market lifespan before people became tired of reading vampire romance novels. This means, that instead of trying to enter the game of trying to publish a novel that applied to what is currently popular, it is more beneficial to take a step back and analyze what has to potential to be the next-big-thing.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *