Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Real Scoop on Trends

If you read through the comments on the blog contest I ran last weekend, you might have noticed that readers' tastes in ice cream vary widely. Some people love Rocky Road- even consider it amongst their favorites- while others count it in the 'bleuch' category. And it's not just Rocky Road that has people on opposite sides of the fence. There are very few flavors repeated, either as a like or dislike, which got me to thinking:

Ice cream flavors are like books.

Say what? Hear me out. Readers listed their favorite flavors of ice cream and their least favorites, and no two posts were the same. I imagine that if I ran a similar contest and asked people to list the best and worst books they'd read, we'd have comparable results.

Different strokes for different folks, right?

What's great about this is that we have an abundance of ice cream flavors and a whole bookstore full of tomes that range from the highly literary to the downright fun. What's bad about this is that publishers (and, I imagine, ice cream manufacturers) are looking for products that will appeal to the crowd because the more they sell, the more money that they make.

So while they are looking for the next cookies and cream blockbuster, maybe I am busy at work perfecting my pumpkin ice cream novel. I am going to do my level best to make sure it's the richest, smoothest, creamiest dang pumpkin ice cream that ever graced a cone, but no matter what I do, it's still pumpkin ice cream. If you like pumpkin ice cream, you will love the book I'm dishing out. If you don't, then maybe you won't. That doesn't mean that there isn't room for my unique flavor, or that there won't be people who list it among their favorites. It just means that everyone is different.

Maybe the pumpkin craze will be sweeping the nation and my book will come out at just the right time. Or maybe red velvet cake will be 'in' and pumpkin will be so 'out' that no one reads it at all.

That's not up to me. My only concern is putting everything I have into making the best pumpkin ice cream I can so that when it touches your tongue, it has the greatest chance of finding a lifelong fan.

To that end, I've been burning countless brain cells editing my manuscript. Someday you may be curled up on the couch with your toes painted, holding a bowl of your favorite ice cream and my novel in your hands. If I've done my job right and the fates align, when you reach the end, you'll tell a friend, "You have got to try this. It is fantastic!" And that is the sweetest ending ever.


  1. Interesting post! So... when I buy your book, it will come with a gallon of pumpkin ice cream as a bonus, is that it? ;)

    It's true what you're saying. Editors are in the business of selling books, and even if a book is really good, if they think it won't sell, they won't be interested in publishing it. That's something I didn't realize when I first started writing.

  2. Good post ... and it's true. If something isn't to someone's taste, they probably arent' going to like it and that isn't your fault as the writer.

  3. You nailed it! This is exactly the problem I am having. I wrote my book to appeal to a very specific audience -- those who grew up playing and loving Dungeons & Dragons and/or Tolkien. It's not a tiny audience, yet agents and publishers are extremely dismissive of anything in this particular category. This despite the fact that whenever such a book has managed to get published (Sword of Shannara, Iron Tower trilogy) it has sold very well.

  4. If you put the book out before Halloween, you should be fine! Pumpkin ice cream stops selling so much after Thanksgiving, when everyone wants candy cane flavored things!

  5. Annie and Tsaritsa- You two crack me up! :)


  6. that is, in fact, a great post! and you couldn't have hit home with a better topic...i'm an ice cream-a-holic just as much as i'm a choc-o-holic.

    and it is so true - we each have our individual likes and dislikes. so when an agent says "it's good, it's just not my thing" i believe them.

  7. This was a good post. Actually sweet pumpkin is quite good. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin break. Hope pumpkin comes back in style for you.

    Maybe try selling it around Thanksgiving? LOL, Just kidding. Have fun with your book and hope the rewriting is fun and going well.:)

  8. Damn you know how to write a blog post! I'm jealous. :)

  9. I was just talking about a book review and how as many hated it as loved it. My book will be released soon and I just have to convince myself there will be good and bad and not everyone will like me...sob.
    I'm vanilla with fudge sauce and choc covered nuts. :-}