Over the last two years, there’s been an overhaul in the book publishing scene. What was once fashionable is now bargain-bin. That’s not to say that an old trend was simply a fad, and won’t make a comeback, but keeping up with current trends will help you sell more books.
Regardless of their favorite genre, it’s important for authors to scope out others in their quest to find book market domination. And, this doesn’t just concern genres that are popular right now. It can also mean your cover style! For instance, covers with images of people surged in popularity but now we seem to be returning to a slightly more minimal approach in certain genres.
Exploring the best-seller lists can give you a good indication of what should be profitable over the coming months, which, in turn, can lead to higher profits for your next book. Why? Because of supply-and-demand. If you can identify a trend in the very beginning, you stand to be one of the early birds on the scene. Even if you arrive a little late to the party, you can still stand to profit!
So how do you begin? Market research. This is a term used globally to describe how a company stays ahead of the game. The easiest place to get your information is from sites that highlight current bestsellers, which are a goldmine for figuring out what exactly is trending in any genre. You can capitalize on this by identifying why they’re doing so well. Don’t try to fit into the mold of just number one. Within the top ten, there will be key signs as to what is trending.
Once you know what is trending at the time, go and see if you can locate other books that are climbing ranks. A climbing book means that it hasn’t yet peaked, and that means there may be a trend that hasn’t yet peaked. As I said, getting into the trend ASAP is vital. But, unless you’re the one to influence the industry, you won’t be the first to get there. That’s why it’s important to have a quick turnover with your book writing! I, and others, have several books in rotation at any one point. If you have a backlog of varied works, you can swap out a release if the market changes.
For those who can only write for a specific genre, you may have realized your work falls into a sub-genre. These sub-genres are much easier to work with when compared to cross-genre writers, and that makes your research slightly easier. Again, you need to identify the current trends, and what is climbing. Pay attention, you one-genre-bands, to covers. This is especially important for those of you in a niche! Look at the books that sell best and see if there seems to a trend to the cover designs for those books. A cover can make or break your book, but a cover that’s not in-fashion can break a sale no matter how well designed it is.
In conclusion, there are two major components to research for authors: content and cover. These two will greatly enhance your sales rank by playing into what people want. The sooner you’re in, the less likely the market is to be saturated. Supply what people demand, and ensure your supply is the best. Learn, adapt, and dominate your genre.
Kristin James is an artist, model, and author from Wales in the UK. Currently, she’s working on two novels. Though she’s English, she speaks Russian, French, Spanish, and other languages, and enjoys learning new things.
I agree completely with Lucille.
And, your book also demands your style of cover photo and lettering.
Kristin does have a point.
However, if you begin a writing project with the only objective of creating a book to obtain the highest numbers of sales, you may find that most subject are off the table — including the one you are passionate about.
The paradoxical conundrum of the Artist’s Craft: How to afford expensive indifference by selling your creative soul to the highest bidder whilst maintaining self-respect and dignity (on a budget).
Or maybe: How hitching my eternal wagon to cheap ephemeral trends ensures literary success.
With all due respect, somebody, somewhere, starts these trends, and I doubt that they care much for popularity. They’ve already moved on.
Perhaps this is why Social Media offers the possibility to click ‘Follow’ but nowhere to assume ‘Lead’?
Thank you for the essay, but I simply cannot see myself writing to society’s expectations. I’m not sure I’m even writing for this species, or any other, to be honest.
I think I write for me. Selfish, but there it is – I write cos I can.