Where do you see the women’s fiction market heading in the next three to five years?
Ah! A prediction. A complete and utter guess, but from an industry professional. Well, I’ll do my very best, and of course if I’m right, watch me sell some really hot books in the next three to five years.
Women’s fiction isn’t a market that’s as easy to predict as, say, romance or mystery since it’s not a market that relies so heavily on hooks. For example, romances are going to continue to get steamier simply because of the success of erotica. Does it mean all romance is going to be erotic? No, it just means that a lot of romance will be sexier than it was three or four years ago. With women’s fiction, however, there isn’t a whole lot of change. The newest trend was chick lit, mom lit, and all of those other types of lit. I actually suspect those will drop off and we’ll see a return to more traditional themes—the recent divorcee, the wife of a cheating spouse, basically the woman trying to make it after tragedy, whether it’s death, divorce, or just an empty nest. And we’ll see a return to more traditional voices. I think people tired quickly of the snappy, acerbic “lits” and want the quieter, more dramatic read.
From what editors are asking me for, everyone wants the next Jodi Picoult or Debbie Macomber, and if they’re buying those now you can bet that will be the way women’s fiction is headed.