When a book is very popular and successful, it amazes me how quickly very similar books are released from other authors and publishers. I’m not sure how it’s done. Maybe when an acquisition is predicted to be a bestseller, agents take on more books which fit the trend, or it gives authors enough time to write similar books. If anyone has insight into this, I’d be interested to know. It can take many months to write a book, let alone time spent on revisions, editing, proofreading, advance copies and marketing… so how do books with ‘copycat’ titles, concepts or cover designs appear so quickly to take advantage of the trend? Anyway, here are some I’ve recently noticed, merely by seeing what’s new on NetGalley, Goodreads, the library, book blogs, etc. I’m not mentioning any specific books, but you may know of some like these:
- Non-fiction science / nature books about the secret life of one specific animal.
- Psychological thrillers set on islands / luxury holidays.
- Romance novels named after the titles / lyrics of pop songs from the past.
- Retellings of fairytales, myths and classic books from different perspectives.
- Narrative nature writing combined with memoirs of terminal illness.
- Rom-coms or historical novels with chemistry as a theme.
- Contemporary literary fiction with privileged, confused young female protagonists.
- Gothic-tinged mystery novels set in manor houses in the present or past.
- Darkly humorous books about women killing their families / men.
- Murder mysteries in cosy settings such as tea shops and book clubs.
No doubt some readers find it convenient to discover books which are similar to others they’ve read. You’ll probably have guessed that I’m not one of them, considering that I’ve written before about the best and worst publishing trends and also about why I rarely read hyped books. I’m very much in favour of variety and originality, so I’m therefore unlikely to read a copycat book unless I’ve sampled the style and am hooked enough to continue reading.