Friday, 6 May 2011

5 Hot Publishing Trends for 2012

Writers love trends. They love chasing them, they love worrying about them and they love being told that the book they've slaved over for the last two years is just a week too late to capitalise on one. Because publishers know this, they do everything they can to indulge writers by creating new trends on a monthly basis. So what can you do to get ahead of the game? Thanks to some intensive networking and several bottles of Pinot Grigio, I can exclusively reveal what publishers will be looking for next year. All I ask is that you remember me in your acknowledgements page. Oh and I'll accept a cut of the royalties too - cheques to the usual address.


Dystopiary

Thanks to Bekki Hill for this catchy term to describe the burgeoning sub-genre of post-apocalyptic tree-shaping fiction. Often touted as Mad Max meets Edward Scissorhands, it's best exemplified by Brian McGloomy's The Hedge, the heartbreaking tale of a man scouring an irradiated Basingstoke for the last remaining piece of vegetation. When he finds it (after months of surviving on White Lightning cider and out-of-date Snickers bars) he constructs a poignant tribute to our lost civilisation - a perfect leafy effigy of Lauren Goodger from The Only Way is Essex.


Umpires

It's quite true that this trend started by accident, when a shortsighted editor acquired a YA paranormal trilogy about undead cricket officials. But spend enough money on a book, and a trend will surely follow. Expect plenty of young, hunky gents in white linen suits and panama hats, lots of staring soulfully into the middle distance and books that go on for days and then end with absolutely no resolution whatsoever.


Octopus Illusions

I have worryingly squid-obsessed children (this is true, by the way), which means that any cephalopod-related books are fine by me. So bring on the latest craze in picture books, combining tentacled water creatures and M.C. Escher inspired seascapes. This is both hugely exciting and in no way an excuse for another cheap pun.


Urban Myths

By now, you've probably had it up to here with retellings of Greek, Roman and Egyptian myths. These are all very well if you went to a posh public school and studied the classics, but how about if you went to a scruffy comprehensive like what I did? Never fear, because those famous friend-of-a-friend stories that you heard in the playground are about to come back in a big way. Kicking off with the sidesplitting Dog in a Microwave next spring, you can expect a whole raft of tales exploring dead grannies strapped to roof racks and people being sucked down aircraft toilets. Forget Homer or Virgil, this season's hot new storyteller is Bloke Down T'Pub.


Flan Fiction

As the next beachhead in the celebrity takeover of children's literature, publishers are set to unleash a whole raft of TV chefs on our unsuspecting kiddies. Jamie Oliver's first foray into middle-grade non-fiction - Oi, Mate, Put Down the F**king Chips! comes out next February, closely followed by Gregg Wallace and John Torode's board book series Be a Mini MasterChef. Expect plenty of screaming babies after those two have finished giving their "constructive advice". The inimitable Nigella Lawson has, as ever, taken a more personal approach - her debut picture book Finella the Fabulously Flirtatious Fig and Fennel Flan is a rollicking tale of female empowerment. Let's hope it has a happier ending than Rick Stein's Seymour the Lonely Shrimp, which climaxed with the eponymous hero being sautéed in garlic butter.

Nick.

17 comments:

  1. Yes, fab post Nick! Flan Fiction!

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  2. I have a WIP for each of those right now. I'm either ahead of trend or lying.


    Great post, made me laugh.

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  3. I think you might have hit on something with the cricket umpire. Seriously. LBW.

    lesley

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  4. Tee hee! You missed out Giant Crabs though....

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  5. Haha. I plump for the Flan Fiction.

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  6. But Kathy, that one might actually happen!

    Lesley - there were a lot of leg and ball related jokes that I omitted for reasons of decency ;-)

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  7. I want to write squid fiction, oh yes I do. Really.

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  8. Loving the 'Umpires' - a complete waste of time, how tempting!

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  9. Oh, Nick, this is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Thank you. It's always good to start the day with a laugh!

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  10. If I replace my swashbuckling sword waving heroine with a squid then i'm ahead of the game! a fine post!

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  11. That's it - my next book title is going to be 'Squids at Dawn' Thanks so much the helpful insight!

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  12. *expletive deleted* you've just revealed the climax of the novel that's currently doing the rounds. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CEPHALOPODS!

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  13. At last I'm on trend with - Umpires Get the 'Ump.
    Very funny post Nick. Thanks for the laugh.

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  14. Hooray - I'm onto several winners! Thanks, Nick!

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  15. I always knew my story of celeb chefs baking cakes for cricket tea in a future world of dead plants and fake grass surrounded by a rising sea of giant squid would be a winner.
    Thanks, Nick!

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  16. that's great ideas...i want to write best seller books
    .

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