Today we have editor Trish Owens talking about business trends and if authors should be writing for the market. It's insightful, so settle in and give it a read!
It's hard to tell an author what to write when trends change quickly. When I started in publishing in 2000 the paranormal market was dead, and rock stars and artists were an absolute no. Hero with tattoos? Heck no! All of these are now part of the hot trends. If you're already writing one of these, then great! But be aware by the time you publish it, the market may be slower. It takes time to write, edit, submit and go through the publishing process. Instead, make the book you're writing the best escape from reality money can buy, and hopefully readers will find it and make it the next best seller.
So my first suggestion is to write the book of your heart and make it unique and different. For example, vampires are still selling. Since readers are buying them in large volumes, they're going to want to see something fresh and unique. How can you make your vampires different than all the others? Twilight, for example, took vampires in a totally different direction and readers obviously ran with the series. Find your own pack of shifters, give your Scottish historical a new twist. Make that popular trend your own.
I personally have seen enough billionaire heroes and naive heroines, and hero/heroines who are authors, especially erotic romance ones. My senior editor is tired of rich men owning BDSM clubs. I wouldn't reject these on content alone, and I'd hope the story in front of me offered a fresh and exciting take on these well-used story lines.
Storylines that sell...
Consistently, the story lines that sell are the ones that have been around the block. In historicals--Westerns, Scottish highland set stories and Regency eras seem to do well. Romantic suspense is big. Dystopian set stories. Vampires, werewolves, shifters and other dark creatures seem to make it big.
In erotic romance the kink sells. Give the crowd a kinky cowboy or a naughty SEAL and they'll buy it in droves. Erotic romance historicals also seem to do well. What doesn't sell as well are female parings (f/f, f/f/m), Domme/male sub (F/m) and a few other lighter erotic tales. However, readers do seem to be open to trying more and expanding horizons in all genres. If the book of your heart is a Domme looking for love then write it!
Most important, write the book you want to share with the world. Success isn't always measured in numbers. There are best-selling books that are horrible. Write something awesome for the readers who will be thrilled to have discovered you, and your new editor will be one of those first fans.