Top Ten Tuesday - Best and Worst Trends

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and The Bookish

This Week's Prompt: 

Top Ten Trends You'd Like To See More of/Less of

I'd like to see LESS Trends in what gets published. 
What I mean is that I get bored when all the popular books are clones of each other, and it makes me likely to avoid whatever genre is in vogue. For example, recently Paranormal Romance, then recently Dystopian YA, seem to have swallowed popular publishing whole. I read an array of different styles and genres, most of which could fall under the broad SF/F label, but even within that, there's a huge assortment of books that I like. Authors/publishers who are just jumping on the latest trend, whether it's legal thrillers or zombie mashups, muddy the waters and make it harder to find the really good examples of any genre.

Like to see MORE: Genre Busting Works with Mass Appeal
All that above said, I really like it when a book starts one of those crazy trends by being utterly unique and unclassifiable (and really well written, of course). Super Bonus Points if the author openly says that it's Sci-fi or Fantasy (or Horror, etc, or even Spec Fic) instead of hand-waving it into "literary fiction" as soon as it starts to sell well.

Like to see LESS: Shitty Ebook Formatting
How many times do I have to say this. It's really not that hard to make it right, people, if I can do it.

Like to see MORE: Ebook Releases of Out-of-Print Works
Especially if they're cheap, but even otherwise. I love the opportunity to catch books I may have missed the first time around. (See yesterday's review of Fire in the Mist, for example.) Even books that initially got a small mass market paperback run that vanished years ago have the chance to gain a new audience on ereaders.

Like to see LESS: Books adapted into Comic Books
I think this trend is already on its way out, but it was time. It became a bit silly, really. (Who is buying the comic adaptation of the Anita Blake books? Or The Strand? Really?)

Like to see MORE: Books adapted into TV shows. 
Unfortunately, I'm sure that the success of Game of Thrones will result in a bunch of executives green-lighting half-assed violent fantasy series with no thought as to why GoT is working, but there are many series that could benefit from a little adaptation. Honor Harrington could be an interesting series, or I'd like an animated adaptation of the Bone comics. Or original plots in literary worlds, like a teen adventure/drama about Heraldic Students set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar.

Like to see LESS: Stubborn Price Fixing in ebooks
Really, publishers. I would love to get the ebook edition of this paperback from 1997, but I'm not paying upwards of 7 dollars for a book I can get used for 50 cents. Similarly, hugely inflating the price of ebooks to "protect" new hardcover sales just makes you look desperate.

Like to see MORE: Self-published authors getting love
Sure, this is partially selfish (see our books for sale in the sidebar!) but I really like that I'm seeing more and more unique stories coming out of indie/self publishing. I've waded through a lot of terrible sample chapters looking for the good stuff, but I've been reading an array of great work recently, and that thrills me.

Okay, that's not quite ten but this is long enough. What are your most/least favorite trends in publishing?

6 comments:

Colin said...

I haven't seen most of the comic adaptations of novels but the few that I am interested in have been pretty good. Granted, those are limited to Richard Stark's Parker and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and both seem to be done by people who really care about the source material. My feeling is that as long as people are reading interesting stuff that makes them think, the exact delivery method in fairly unimportant.

That said, I don't think we need an Ender's Game or Anita Blake mega-series, or the manga adaptation of Maximum Ride

kathy@bookskidslike.com said...

You've got a lot of great ideas on this list! Less Trends...Better E-Book Formatting...More Love for Indie Authors...E-Book Releases of Out-of-Print Books!!!

Dead Trees and Silver Screens said...

I agree with you very much on poor ebook formating and over priced ebooks.


http://deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com/2011/08/top-ten-tuesday-aug-2.html

Dead Trees and Silver Screens said...

I'm a new follower!


I'm sick of books being made into comics too. Why do we need Twilight comics, Artemis Fowl comics, Sookie Stackhouse comics, Hugh Hush comics, yuck! I love comics, good comics but this takes attention away from whats already there.

Lindsay said...

Thanks for the comments, folks!

Just to clarify: Some comic adaptations are fine, even great. I own the first few Anita Blake issues and the first few Dark Tower issues. (Didn't keep collecting them, but still.)

But there was a while where I couldn't turn around without seeing the next "hot" book-to-comic adaptation. Twilight. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. True Blood (which is book to TV to comic, although I think the point holds). You know exactly what I'm talking about, Dead Trees.

Colin said...

As to not make this just about comics, less publishing trends would be awesome. It wouldn't even cost that much more in overhead if the first-run physical books stayed within trends but ebook publishing was ramped up for everything else (I'm under the impression that a huge amount of the cost associated with books is setting up a print line and sourcing enough trees, correct me if I'm wrong).

One other thing I'd like to see is better print on demand services for consumers. I want to be able to go, buy an ebook (since ebooks are awesome from a publishing and distribution standpoint), and have an easy method of printing it out (because I like reading physical books). One of the bookstores near Seattle has a rapid printing/binding machine for this task, but it would be nice to see this become the norm instead of the exception.

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