Monday, 17 June 2013

Fifty Shades of Bridget Jones and the Boy Wizard

No. Not a new best-seller. And no; I'm not writing it. Would it sell? Almost certainly not, and besides, there would  inevitably be copyright problems.

But. Every so often, a new book/series hits the literary headlines, and becomes an instant best-seller. Then lots of other writers jump on the bandwagon, and we get (for example) Fifty shades of everyone from Elizabeth Bennet to (probably) Winnie the Pooh. But by now, the moment has passed, and I'm sure none of these also-rans have sold the way the originals did. What's happened is that the author has (probably unwittingly) filled a gap in the market; a gap no-one knew was there until it was filled.

Crazes come and crazes go. The knack- if it is a knack - is to identify that gap before it is filled. My novels are of the unfortunate kind that don't fit into any genre (although The  Birds , the Bees and Other Secrets does seem to get mistakenly lumped together with 'facts of life' type books. My publisher didn't like the title I wanted). So the answer seem to be to write something stunningly original/outrageous or whatever - something that hasn't been done before - and hope the world is waiting breathlessly for just such a novel.

Meanwhile, back to the drawing board...

13 comments:

  1. Oh, if only we could write that elusive 'original/outrageous' novel - then we'd all be rich! Actually, I'd be happy to be able to write any novel, Frances!

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  2. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff comes to mind. She lived from 1797 to 1848, wrote poems and novellas and composed music and musical dramas. During her lifetime, she felt she did not receive the recognition her works deserved; instead, she expressed the wish to "be read in a hundred years", thinking that by then, society would be ready for her literary heritage.
    Frances, your books are highly readable right now, and I hope you won't have to wait 100 years until your best-seller hits the shops!

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    1. Hundred years...hmmm...I think I agree, Meike.

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  3. Just give it time, Frances -you're well on the way!

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  4. Whether or not a book becomes the next big thing seems to be almost entirely down to luck.

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    1. Good point, Patsy, although Fifty Shades (and I haven't read it) seems to fill a need for some people. The need to be beaten...hmm. Never felt is myslf.

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  5. I've given this quite a lot of thought and realised that I have no idea at all what the next big thing is or where there's a gap in the market! Damn!

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    1. Neither have I, Linda. That's the problem!

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  6. Completely beyond my ken Frances. I read and I either enjoy or I don't. I'm a very simple soul.

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  7. Ah, but there must be some reason why you pick up a book in the first place, GB?

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    1. There's no single reason as a rule Frances. There are many reasons. I had a 'Russian Phase' when I read any Russian novel I got hold of. I read your first book because I was curious and the others because I enjoyed the first. I won't read Fifty Shades because I don't think I'd enjoy them (even though one or two of the most unlikely - female - friends tell me that they are un-put-downable). I read (or in some cases start) some books because they have been recommended. I am reading the Lewis Trilogy because it's set in my home Island. I could go on...and on.

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