Tuesday, November 30th: Mash-Up
Wednesday, December 1st: Children's/YA
Thursday, December 2nd: Fantasy
Friday, December 3rd: Mystery/Thriller
Monday, December 6th: Literary Fiction
Tuesday, December 7th: Science Fiction
Wednesday, December 8th: Chick Lit/Women's Fiction
Thursday, December 9th: Romance
And we'll have the usual round-up from Laura on Friday, December 10th.
The usual disclaimer: this is all my opinion, I'm not responsible for any lost time or money you might suffer due to taking my opinion as cold hard fact, this post is not for ophthalmic use, &c &c.
Without further ado—mash-ups!
For those not familiar, the mash-up (in this sense) is a novel that combines a pre-existing text with new material; while the concept isn't new, the literary mash-up of today was more or less created a couple of years ago by Seth Grahame-Smith in his Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. After the enormous success of the book, a number of "resurrected" classics (e.g. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Little Women and Werewolves) arose, creating a sort of independent genre at the intersection of literary classics and humor.
Funny? You bet. The first time, anyway.
If any of you are currently writing mash-ups, my advice is: cut it out. My sense of the market (based on experience in-house, sales numbers through services like BookScan, and anecdote) is that it's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in the lead with a number of imitations (many of which are pretty middling) tied for a very, very distant second. My opinion (opinion! not fact) is that this trend has pretty much run its course, and if you're jumping on the bandwagon now (in the hopes of publishing in 2011, 2012, or later), you're probably too late, regardless of how sweet your title/concept was.
This, by the way, goes for 99% of the trends you're seeing in publishing these days: whether it's vampires, zombies, Vikings, or mash-ups, the flavor of the day is exactly that: temporary. Just like in the stock market, if enough people are doing something for you to notice a trend, it's probably too late for you to capitalize on it. That ship has sailed; keep on doing what you do and don't worry about what everyone else is doing.
Unless, of course, your book is coming out at a time when your genre or topic is a hot commodity, in which case: go even more nuts promoting yourself and separating yourself from the pack than you otherwise would. But this isn't something you can predict or have any control over.
So, my advice for writing mash-ups is:
2. If you're dead-set on it, at least pick an interesting classic that hasn't been done yet.
3. Make sure the text you're working with is in the public domain. If it isn't, you're going to have to get permission from the author/his or her estate/his or her publisher, and you're going to have to split any profits you derive.
4. You probably won't see (m)any profits.
Tomorrow, dear readers: children's/young adult literature!