I think many authors stop and think in December, “okay what’s going to be big next year? Vampires again? Women’s Fiction? Suspense?”
And while none of us can really know for certain, we can speculate based on buzz and what’s selling.
Below find what I think will be the next publishing trends for 2019 (including cover design!) from yours truly.
Remember back in 2003 when chick-lit was everything? Super cute illustrated covers and romantic comedy where the focus was mainly on a woman finding her way in a big new world?
Well it’s back, and it’s back in a big way! Funny how contemporary romance has always done really well, but for the most part, contemporary romance isn’t a very far stretch from Chick-Lit. The main difference is that chick-lit isn’t centrally focused on the romance, but on the characters’ lives, jobs and family.
There is always a “Happily Ever After” (HEA) where the main character has a greater sense of self after all the lessons learned—think the romantic comedies you watch on TV. Crazy Rich Asians did a LOT for this genre, and even though I wouldn’t necessarily call it chick-lit, people are wanting more of this type of story and wanting it badly.
2. Illustrated Book Covers
The covers are colorful, they have a bold font, and they make you want to buy the books without even knowing what their about!
This is the year of illustrated covers, folks.
3. Regency Romance
This genre trend is actually super close to my heart. For the last four-ish years, it seems that historical has taken a bit of a backseat, but thankfully, with Outlander hitting HBO and A Game of Thrones (though not historical, but with a historical feel) still doing amazing as it heads into its last season, we have a new resurgence of Regency.
You only have to look at the rankings on Amazon right along with the incredible news that Netflix has optioned Julia Quinn’s bestselling series (The Bridgertons) to know that its comeback is only just beginning.
4. Women’s Fiction
It’s still hot and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Again, a lot of times TV shows help with publishing because the minute you’re done binge-watching you suddenly go wait, is that a book series? Is there a third book? Can I cheat before the next season releases?
Thanks to books like Big Little Lies, Women’s Fiction hasn’t just made a comeback, I’m pretty sure it’s here to stay.
5. Culturally Diverse
I think this genre actually excites me the most. Personally, I’m tired of books that don’t adequately describe the world we live in, which is why I’m so happy to see books such as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, China Rich Girlfriend, Children of Blood and Bone. And I’m thankful to streaming services like Hulu and Netflix for optioning some of those best books in the YA genre, making them available to a bigger audience, and doing an incredible job in the process.
Yup, I said it. You know, the books that make you want to cry for at least three weeks, while you mourn fictional characters that aren’t even real? Angst has been back for the last two years (not that it ever truly left) and I’m seeing more and more books, such as What He Doesn’t Know, with tissues as a two-for-one special.
There’s nothing like a good cry fest.
Now it’s safe to say that Mystery/Suspense is always going to be a great seller, ie Beneath A Scarlet Sky (soon to be a major motion picture) and Where the Forest Meets the Stars. But we’re seeing a lot more gritty suspense that doesn’t necessarily include law firms and heists, but perfect families and wives who seem to have it all (Family Jewels) . What the new mystery and suspense books are doing is incredible–bringing in the pressures of social media and entertaining into delicious storylines. I’m loving it and it seems like the rest of the community is too.
Now, I know that a lot of people read these posts for advice and ways to not only become better writers, but successful writers. And I would never want to suggest anyone just trend hop, that’s not what I’m doing here, but I do think it’s super important as an author to stretch your writing. That means, if you’re a strict historical writer, why not try some suspense writing in your free time? Better yet, why not read a suspense book while writing historical?
Authors become better writers when they read, and I genuinely think that writers need that escape just as much as they offer it in their own books. So pick a trope, grab a book, and let yourself recharge before starting that next deadline, and remember, we all start somewhere. I began in Regency romance, and now I’m writing mafia and vampires! It makes no sense whatsoever, but it doesn’t hurt to try something new.
Until next time!
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of Regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
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