I’ve loved books, all kinds of books, from an early age. I love the feel of them, the weight of them, the promises and secrets they hold. I’ve seen a myriad of changes to books in my 20+ years of editing, newspaper writing and paste-up, and especially reading for my own enjoyment. I’ve read the classics and the quirky, the long and short, the profound and ridiculous. I’ve also seen trends change and writing evolve with each new generation.
Books and subjects tend to come in droves with similar information or fictional storylines. We went through formulated plotlines in romance where the author filled in a template, not deviating from the script. Now, it’s almost anything goes, and rules and formulas have fallen by the wayside. Here’s some recent trends that are taking over the industry:
- Imaginative, unique cover designs, even on textbooks and nonfiction biographies, motivational/inspirational, and business books. Full-color covers with eye-catching designs.
- Chapters no longer have chapter titles for fiction. Used to be a creative struggle to come up with catchy phrases that didn’t give away the next twist or turn in the plot, but not be vague either.
- Short sentences; short paragraphs, and short, quick-to-read chapters or sections. The average reader wants to hurry through action-packed stories in the time it takes to ride the subway, bus, or carpool to work. Large books are daunting, heavy to carry, and overwhelming. eReaders have helped with the weight problem, but quick-reads are probably here to stay.
- Series books are very popular, in short installments.
- Dystopian futuristic disasters and fantasy books are in demand.
- Erotica is not only out in the open, but explicit and HOT!
- Confession nonfiction stories of lifestyle is available from celebrities and notorious villains.
- Different point of views are assigned to each character in fiction with experimentation in 1st person present or narrated 1st person past tense instead of 3rd person past tense, where the author has access to all the characters’ feelings and thoughts simultaneously.
- Political and historical nonfiction is written in dramatized novel-type language and flair.
The world has changed and so has our reading material.
Writers are filling shelves and tablets with new creative ideas. Something for everyone. We have turned a page in books and media.
Deborah A. Bowman