This will be short. I’m leaving on a week-long trip in a few days and there are a million things to do before I go. (Including one more blog early next week).
As an editor, I’m used to seeing writers follow trends. After the Left Behind series came out, I saw writers who wanted to find that kind of success with their own version of the end times. Then when Rick Warren’s book The Purpose-Driven Life sold more than 20 million copies, I saw various book proposals formatted to the “40-day” concept. Of course, most recently, Amish fiction has attracted a lot of attention as writers are doing their best to tap into that genre’s unexpected success. But what’s really interesting to me is that with upwards of ten million copies sold (I think that’s the present number) of The Shack I have yet to see anyone tell me their book is comparable to that novel. There may be one, but I don’t remember. I know some have suggested Jim Rubart’s book Rooms appeals to that readership, but that’s really about the only one. Anyone have any ideas as to why aspiring writers aren’t trying to aim for that gigantic readership in the same way they have other bestsellers? It’s a mystery to me.
By the way, I don’t have anything against finding a trend and trying to catch a wave (so to speak). I do it myself. I have several proposals for books that I try to tie in to existing interests in the reading public based on what’s already selling. My only reservation is that it seldom works (even for me). I’m happy to see the occasional successes when it does work.