This is my personal opinion on recent publishing trends. You may or may not agree – let me know in the comments!
The best publishing trends
Self-publishing. Not only is publishing your own work (instead of going through a publishing house) becoming more and more popular, it’s gaining more attention too. I have read some excellent self-published books and of course I have released my own on Amazon.
Diverse representation. I am all in favour of representing as many different kinds of people as possible in both fiction and non-fiction. This educates readers, helps them to feel seen, reflects a variety of cultures and makes the publishing industry more inclusive.
Re-tellings. Classic myths, legends and fairytales are a rich resource for authors wishing to put new perspectives on old stories, most often from a feminist point of view but the possibilities are endless. There are no new stories, only new ways of telling them!
Dystopias. Not exactly a new trend, but it has grown from just a handful of well-known titles to a large category in its own right, independent of science fiction. There are a myriad ways the future can go wrong, so plenty of mileage in this genre yet…
Book bloggers! I’m not just saying this because I’m a book blogger. I’m referring to the way that authors and publishers value the contributions of book bloggers and bookish social media influencers. Blog tours in particular are a great way to promote books.
The worst publishing trends
‘Celebrity’ authors. TV chefs, pop stars, Royals and comedians writing books for children which are then automatically bestsellers, regardless of quality. Children’s publishing is a fiercely competitive market. Why not give writers who aren’t celebrities a chance?
Censorship. The recent uproar about the updating of Roald Dahl books for the sensitivities of today’s audience has suggested to me that we’re at the top of a slippery slope in which new editions of classic books will only be available in censored versions.
Lookalike books. One book becomes very successful and is followed by a flood of books with similar titles and cover designs. Again, not really a new thing and I’m not entirely sure why it annoys me so much, but there we are.
Film/TV tie-ins. The covers for these are almost always dreadful and have stickers that say they’re on Netflix, etc. Even worse are tie-ins with the name of the adaptation rather than the original book title.
Artificial Intelligence. This is a hot topic, as AI is increasingly used to write content, create art and even to narrate audiobooks. Supporters say it’s a tool to help creatives, but in reality it’s a threat to human livelihoods.