Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ten Things About Publishing That Keep Me Up at Night

By Karen Neches





1. Knit Lit is huge, i.e. novels about people who knit, but I’ve never actually seen anyone read a knitting book, which leads me to wonder, who is really reading these books. Homeschool moms? Nursing home residents? State prisoners? And why is knitting so big in novels but not crotcheting? Or needlework?

2. Young Adults novels are extremely popular, which means the market is going to be glutted and suddenly YA will be dead and no editors will be buying them. So what does that mean for young readers when there’s no more YA? Will they go from “Good Night, Moon” straight to Jackie Collins novels? And what happens when all these young adults grow up? Since there’s no more books about people in their early twenties (chick lit) will they have no choice but to settle for knit lit? Will knit lit one day rule the world?

3. Why do people want to read about romances with supernatural creatures? I don’t get it. Especially the werewolf thing. It’s like being secretly attracted to your dog.

4. Speaking of dogs, it seems like every talking dog novel gets a six-figure advance. Same with dystopian novels. How about a talking dog who predicts the coming dystopia? Would that land an author a twelve-figure advance?

5. What’s up with bonnet rippers, i.e. Amish romances? Do the Amish read them? If all books turn into e-books then what will the Amish readers do?

6. When will readers finally put stakes in the vampire novel? It feels like it’s had a longer run than chick lit.

7. Who read Snooki’s novel? Did it have pictures? Did it come with margarita mix?

8. Why isn’t there a genre for country music lovers? Seems like an untapped market to me. Country music always tells a story so there’s already a relationship to novels and it’d be a cinch to market. The titles already crackle with drama: “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off; Mama Get a Hammer (There’s a Fly on Papa’s Head),” “She Got the Ring and I got the Finger.”

9. Is Jane Austen spinning in her grave?

10. Why didn’t “Water for Elephants” start a craze for pachyderm lit?

What puzzles you about publishing? Love to hear.



28 comments:

  1. LOL!! Karen, these were hilarious ;). Thanks so much for the laugh tonight..."pachyderm lit" and "bonnet rippers"...hee!

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  2. HIGH-LARIOUS!!! #4, #9 are my favs.

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  3. #5 : There's actually an Amish vampire novel. No, I'm not kidding. The title is Forsaken.

    I think putting #s 3,4,5 together might be the next best genre.

    Thanks for sharing these. Especially #9.

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  4. Awesome, Karen! Thanks for the morning laugh.

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  5. This was the funniest unexpected email I may have ever received. The sheer silliness of it, because it rings true is just priceless.

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  6. These are so awesome, I laughed out loud and my coffee spewed all over my computer. Uh-oh, but quickly cleaned that up. I pictured you lying there on your pillow with these thoughts running through your head ... I write literary fiction and have received so many rejections it's getting to be amusing. Publishing wants a sure thing, they want what is the hot read for today, and like you I'm wondering when the vampire story fad wanes what will be the next big thing? Your offerings are priceless!

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  7. I think I did go from Good Night Moon to Jackie Collins,or Valley of the Dolls anyway, hmm... You got me with the country music lovers genre. I do believe that's totally doable!!

    Funny, funny Monday morning post, Karen!!

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  8. and speaking of country music stories ...this from a friend: This is a wonderful interview, sweet story and gives insights into a beautiful, complex writer and artist. ..When Cash was 18, her father (you know him as Johnny) presented her with a gift: a list of 100 essential country songs to help the budding singer-songwriter connect with and better understand the music that came before her. After holding on to it for the past few decades, Rosanne Cash decided to turn that gift into The List, her new album. - http://www.npr.org/2011/08/19/113496614/rosanne-cash-runs-down-her-fathers-list?ft=1&f=13&sc=17

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  9. Thanks ya'll for the comments. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  10. This is a riot . . . love it! I have many of the same questions . . .

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  11. Karen, oh, Lord, girl. This is hilarious. I've wondered many of these things, too, though not as eloquently as you stated them!

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  12. My comment got eaten, so trying again!

    Karin, #5 should win an award--LOVE it.

    I admit I love knit-lit and will buy any book with yarn on the cover. I suck at knitting and have tried and tried, so maybe living knit-cariously through knit lit. :)

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  13. Agree on the idea of country music. Funny list for my Monday morning. I think you've found a missing genre with No. 2. And, No. 3 No one wants to talk about that.

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  14. Thank you thank you thank you for this!
    How can knit lit be huge when so many industry talking heads proclaim chick lit dead? A statement with which I heartily disagree, by the way. I hope there's a big market for chick lit for smart women. Though I have to wonder if I screwed up by adding neither a vampire nor a talking hound...

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  15. ROFL! Maybe the Babar books started the pachyderm craze, and Water for Elephants was derivative (except that the elephant in that book didn't wear a green suit.)

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  16. +1'd. Sharing all over: on my author page and on the PubWrite Group page. Hope vampires and werewolves don't run-out of steam before my release date :-)

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  17. Pachyderm Lit could have been HUGE with unforgettable stories sold for peanuts on Amazon! I would've bought trunkloads. (Okay, I'll stop. I'm running out of elephant puns anyway. ;->) Karen, thanks for making me smile on this Monday!

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  18. This was a fun post! Thanks for the chuckles! I'd like to start a "grandmothers with funny nicknames genre." Mine is MoMo - or Mo-Squared for those mathematical-rapper types.

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  19. This was hilarious! And I agree with everything you said! I recently won a bag of books at a writers retreat and there were 2 Amish novels in there. I can't imagine reading one, let alone two!

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  20. LOL You must be in my head. I really have been wondering about all of these things! I hope you don't mind me sharing this on my blog with a link to this page. Hilarious!

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  21. Awesome post! I especially loved #3 and #8 -- I smell a good idea for a new Harlequin series: Country Music Werewolf Lovers!

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  22. Wow! Thanks for the chuckles. This post was just what I needed before I have to head out the door to my day job (I'd rather be writing!).

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  23. What keeps me up at night? For the last ten months - nothing. Prior to that about anything would keep me awake. Just thinking and worrying some. Then I decided to slow down, let some projects sit, not argue, and just be more laid back. Result? I fall asleep within fifteen minutes and if something wakes me I go right back to sleep, I don't set an alarm anymore yet I still wake up when I need to.

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  24. Antoinette La ForceFebruary 9, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Yes... I just realized : Novels with supernatural heros DO BOTHER me TOO, for the same reason !!!... I don't think I can empathize with a girl who's infatuated with a werewolf. ( LOL !!! )

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  25. Very funny! Loved the pachyderm lit, still laughing!

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  26. Sharyn McCrumb's ballad novels are good . . . not country music, though, more traditional . . .
    Stake through the heart of a vampire novel . . . would a pencil work?

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