Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Ally and Jen's Trends-O-Palooza
Last week, Ally Carter and I sat down to discuss our thoughts on 2010 trends in YA and Children's publishing. The conversation proceeded like this.

ALLY: Did you read that article on trends?
JEN: Yes. Did you start mentally making your own list of trends?
ALLY: Yes. You?
JEN: Yes. I love lists. Lists are made of puppies and rainbows.
ALLY: I personally am quite fond of spreadsheets
JEN: And graphs!
ALLY: Shall we make an actual list of our owns?
JEN: Indeed!

So without further ado, I give you our list of trends, both coming and going. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts/additions in the comments!


1. Dystopian
From The Maze Runner to Matched, in 2010 the search for the next Hunger Games kicked into high gear. With the Mockingjay release and a Hunger Games feature film on the way, dystopian is a trend that isn’t slowing down.

2. Angels
While established vampire series are still rocking the YA market, lesser-known or debut authors seem to be having more luck with angels. Growing series like Hush Hush and Fallen and successful debuts like Halo join with re-released older titles like The Fallen to make this a trend with major Times List staying power.

3. Spin-Off-Series
With the release of Clockwork Angel by Cassie Clare, Radiance by Alyson Noel, and The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, 2010 was the time for new series set in already best-selling worlds. With many other authors announcing plans for spin-offs of their own, this is a trend on the rise.

4. Beyond-the-Grave Fiction
This sub-genre of realistic YA has been experiencing a slow build since the release of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. But with the paperback release of If I Stay, and Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall debut, 2010 has taken the “death” book to a whole new level.

5. Humorous Middle Grade
There’s no denying that funny is where it’s at in middle grade fiction. Established powerhouse series like Diary of a Wimpy Kid stayed strong, and newer entries like Big Nate and Dork Diaries continued to rise, proving that funny was a valuable commodity in middle-grade in 2010.

6. Dark YA
As much as middle-grade readers love to laugh, those same books have few YA counterparts seeing equivalent success. Whether it’s a dystopian future or words from beyond the grave, a dangerous romance or a gritty look at reality (a la Ellen Hopkins), the 2010 young adult market was dominated by the dark and serious.


1. E-books
People are talking about E-books, E-readers, and E-publishing--all adding up to a very big E-year for 2010.

2. Adult Mega-Stars Crossing Into YA
Young Adult fiction has been making waves for several years , so it’s no surprise that more adult superstars are hitting the YA market than ever before with authors like John Grisham, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kathy Reichs and Candace Bushnell all making 2010 debuts.

3. Growth of Book Packagers
Alloy has been book packaging for years, but lately more and more packagers are popping up and making waves. Tinderbox and the controversial Full Fathom Five and are just two up and operating now with more gaining traction every day.

4. Repackaging old titles
Sometimes books come out before their time. In 2010, publishers didn’t let that stop them, and many repackaged titles from authors like LJ Smith, Christopher Pike, and Thomas Sniegoski to take advantage of current trends.

5. Cross-promotion
Author events looked different in 2010 with more multi-author tours hitting the road. Whether they were publisher-driven like Disney-Hyperion’s “Un-required Reading” tour or author-run like the “Smart Chicks Kick It” tour, cross-promotion was certainly on the rise--a trend that could also be seen in non-tour marketing efforts such as “The Penguin Five.”

6. YA on TV
Two of the biggest shows on television today got their start on Young Adult bookshelves. In 2010, YA-TV eclipsed Gossip Girl with Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries taking center stage. If the orders for upcoming pilots are any indication, we will soon see more YA novels on the small screen than ever before.


1. Contemporary Romance
From dark and edgy to lighter contemporary fare, we’re predicting that paranormal romance readers might become simply “romance readers”. The success of Simone Elkeles’ gritty YA romances and staying power of YA powerhouses like Sarah Dessen bode well for this genre in 2011.

2. Soft Sci Fi
Hunger Games isn’t just dystopian--it’s also science fiction. Coupled with Beth Revis’s upcoming Across the Universe, we’re predicting that these books may open the window for more YA sci fi: from space operas to tech.

3. Gothic
Following in the wake of Beautiful Creatures, as well the general popularity of both paranormal and darker fare, we’re expecting a surge in books with a Gothic feel.

4. Thriller-Action-Adventure:
Beyond their paranormal and dystopian elements, many of 2010’s mega hits are, at their core, action-adventure-thrillers. It stands to reason that many of those readers might eventually reach out for action-based stories set in a more contemporary world.

5. Mixed Genre Paranormal
Paranormal is far too popular to go away in its entirety any time soon, so we expect this genre to hold strong in 2011...if it brings something new to the mix. Be on the look out for books which blend other genres with paranormal mainstays, in the vein of White Cat (crime fiction), Paranormalcy (government agency), or Maureen Johnson’s upcoming paranormal mysteries.

6. Commercial Historical Fiction
Lately, readers interested in complex and interesting worlds have been finding them in the paranormal, but they can also find them in the past. High concept historical fiction might be poised to make a move if, like paranormal, it has a mix of commercial elements. From crime-fighting flappers to Austenian assassins, historical might be a very interesting place to be in 2011 and beyond.

  • 1
Great list! I've noticed all these trends, too. Angels, particularly, seem to be getting more popular, and I quite love the books I've read that cater to that trend so far! I also love how there seems to be more spin-offs. I always enjoy it when authors like Lynne Ewing do it with their books. Makes the worlds they develop seem even more real since they can branch out like that!

Now, if only the funny MG trend would rub off on YA. No offense to the dark YAs--I love them quite a bit!--but gosh, it would be fun to see the funnier side of YA dominate for a change. :P

If you enjoyed angel books, you should keep your eye out for UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand, which comes out sometime in the spring. I think it might be my favorite angel book--realistic and endearing teen characters and unique worldbuilding.

Ooh, that does sound good! I'll make sure to keep an eye out for it in the spring. ;)

And oh, how glad I am that they're repackaging L. J. Smith!

Great list, and makes lot's of sense.

I'm trying to write something right now, and it has given me a better idea of what the current market is, and might be next year. Thank you very much. And have a very happy holiday!

I missed LJ Smith the first time around, but can't wait for the conclusion of the Night World series now that I've read all of the reissues!


Get out of my head, you psychic wenches.

*attempts to reign in psychic powers*

I am 100% with your trend predictions, specifically a rise in soft sci-fi. I feel like 2011 is going to get off to a strong start in that genre with Across the Universe. Sci-fi hasn't gotten a lot of attention for awhile.

(My own book fits 2, 4, and 5 of the prediction list, so fingers crossed that that's a good sign!)

Can't wait to read your book, Jeff! It's right up my alley. :)

thanks for putting "crime fighting flappers" and "Austenian assassins" into my head... those are some amazing plot bunnies :)

You're welcome. My brain is pretty much a Plot Bunny Burrow.

For some reason, I got much amusement out of the fact that you enjoyed this.

I don't know. It possibly has something to do with your little Neha icon. I think I am picturing little Neha reading the list and then nodding sagely as she replies.

that is what little neha is doing. she is also stroking her stuffed bunny rabbit, smiling, and plotting.

I imagine that little Neha indeed spent a lot of time doing just that.

Awesome list and are agreeing with most of them. I've also notice YA getting a lot of adult audiences and TV/Movie attention. And an increase in e-publishing. Also about the genre. I most squee-ed and fist pumped about this one point:

2. Angels
While established vampire series are still rocking the YA market, lesser-known or debut authors seem to be having more luck with angels. Growing series like Hush Hush and Fallen and successful debuts like Halo join with re-released older titles like The Fallen to make this a trend with major Times List staying power.

...since I'm almost finished writing a book about them (mostly) and am going to search for an agent next year. LOL.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Can someone brand the Full Fathom Five books so readers know to run the other way.


At my library steampunk is really popular. I was surprised it didn't make the list

Click Here

Found this page exactly when it wasuseful. Thanks to you. It's already been very useful

  • 1