I've a question about dead genres in publishing.?

I was told that there are 2 types of writers. 1) a person who writes a story they like, fits their niche and who doesn't follow the popular trend. 2) A person who treats writing like a business, who doesn't write a story based on their emotions and who writes books that fit what's currently hot.

How do you know if a genre is dead? How do you know what's popular or what agents and publishers are looking for? I know self-publishing lets you write and publish anything you want but I want to try and go the traditional way first.

8 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Agents (and publishers) both have websites,  part of which list the type of manuscripts the handle and their submissions guidelines.  Don't waste time guessing,  they tell you right on their page. 

  • 2 months ago

    How do you know when a genre is dead? When the trade journals stop announcing that the publishers are buying it.

    The trouble with trying to "write to market" in traditional publishing is that, unless your book is about something very topical, the time between signing the contract with the publisher and your book being available for readers to buy is around 18 months to 2 years. So unless you already have an agent, and she likes you enough to tell you what publishers are looking for now, you're essentially guessing what might appeal to her.

  • Elaine
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    There is no such animal as a "dead genre" in writing or publishing.  The popularity of a particular genre depends on the reading public and each genre has its time in the sun.  Genres come and go but they never die.  Any genre can be divided into  categories with each having its own sub-category. 

     Take for example Children's books.  There are adventure stories, science, fairy tales, etc. and these can be further categorised into subjects such as astronomy, land animals, fish, etc. 

    Publishers in general accept manuscripts that they think will sell. If a manuscript is rejected the publisher  gives the reason.  

  • Marli
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I am a reader who writes as a hobby, so I will answer as a reader.

     I read hardly any "hot" books. Not that I don't appreciate magical creatures, but I prefer them to be represented as statues or on tapestries in historical novels, not as real.  Fantastic creations belong in fantasy realms, and crossovers are not to my taste.  As for sex, one or two well written scenes between two equal partners is fine, even great in some books, but more impedes the story. I want persons, not mere passion. A love story, not pornography or a sex manual, and not S and M.

    What I want to believe when I read is that the author believes in the message he or she is writing about. If the author believes that S & M expresses true, pure love, she will put all her skill into her story. I won't like it. I may not respect her theme but I will respect her sincerity and her demonstrated skill.

    Professional writing is a business for profit; but a business that believes in its products and strives for high quality is more likely to be successful than one that creates knock-offs of the latest fad.

    Write what you believe.  If you can put your theme inside a popular genre, and you probably can, you will have a better quality product to sell than if you wrote what you did not believe.  Market it well.  Even if your first book is not a good seller, someone will like it. That person will read your next book and recommend both books to friends and to his favorite book review websites.

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  • 2 months ago

    Some solid replies here already, to nobody's surprise.

    I believe strongly in writing what you want to read. Never mind hot genres or topics unless you're both a very fast writer whose first draft only needs one-pass edits *and* you will self-publish. Cranking out a book on a hot topic within 21-30 days can get you buyers you wouldn't have if it took you two months. Producing a new book every month in a hot genre can get you name recognition that results in sales. But for both of these, the book needs to be of decent quality--and we all know a great many self-published books are not.

    Genres wax and wane, but the best work in any genre finds both a commercial publisher and a readership. Write the stories you're interested in creating.

  • 2 months ago

    Knowing the current market doesn’t help that much, because by the time you’ve written a book and gone through all the work to get it publishable, that hot genre you wanted to take advantage of is old news.

    Honestly, I can’t imagine writing that way. I can’t imagine feeling the author’s passion in a story written just for profit.

    Ask yourself what matters most to you in the stories you read. What themes do you care about? What stories really stick with you?

    Write those. When it’s publishable it might be in trend and it might not. But you’ll have something you’re proud of and actually enjoyed working on. (And at some point it will be on trend, probably) 

  • 2 months ago

    As to whether you know whether a genre is dead or not by the time you're ready to publish, especially when it comes to traditional publishing where everything goes slower: You don't. You're making an educated guess.

    So unless you're self-published and can spit out novels at a fast pace, it's better to just write the story you want to write and not try to ride on the tide of a specific genre.

    The majority of serious writers do treat writing like a business, though. There are many different sides to this than just the genre.

    If you want to know what agents and publishers are currently looking for, then most will have it written on their web sites.

  • Jesere
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Write what you know 

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