So I am something of a psychic when it comes to the next big thing (or probably it's all in my head). For instance when I was planning my outdoor wedding (yep, its a wedding anecdote), I thought personalized water bottles for the guests would be so cute and thoughtful and I was laughed at. Laughed at, I tell you! But look what we have here. This, of course, totally proves I am a marketing genius (disclaimer: this proves nothing). So why not look into my crystal ball and tell you what the next big trends in YA will be? (Because I am totally unqualified to do so, maybe?)
Ok, I am basing this post off the deals I've seen coming through Publisher's Marketplace as well as the queries I've been reading in various writerly forums. It seems to me that certain trends are emerging, but I could also be completely wrong and full of myself. However, if you are interested in what's trending, getting ready to query your own book or tossing around ideas, you might find this interesting. (Note: probably never a good idea to write to a trend since the market will be on to a new things by the time you are ready to jump in).
TIME BETWEEN US) to nineteen year-olds jumping through time working for secret government agencies (TEMPEST) or a tale of two teens who discover a window into their future Facebook account (THE FUTURE OF US). 2012 may herald the end of the world, but I guess time is on our side.
2. PARALLEL WORLDS, EVIL TWINS, AND DOPPLEGANGERS - Would JJ Abrams be proud or what? From a boy mourning the loss of his girlfriend finding out she's still alive in an alternate dimension (THROUGH TO YOU) to space operas featuring long lost twins and government conspiracies (LINKED) to a girl living out her life in two possible realities who must choose one (PIVOT POINT).
3. SUPERHEROS - Teens will be getting a dose of super-powers in the coming year as new books about characters with extraordinary powers hit the shelves from an invisible girl dealing with her mob boss father (TRANSPARENT) to reality shows for superheros (FAILSTATE).
EVERNEATH) to books exploring the implications of reincarnation (INCARNATE) to characters picking up the pieces after death by broken heart (THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME) and a futuristic purgatory via pod (LEVEL TWO).
Also making waves? Murderous mermaids seem to be all the rage. Ghosts are popping up left and right, but isn't that what they're best at? And everyone thinks contemps will be making a comeback (did they ever really leave?). And there's still quite a few angels and demons books selling these days (you know what they say one person's hell is another's heaven).
Dropping off the radar? Dystopians are a harder sell these days according to those in the know. Paranormal romance is struggling a bit with finding fresh ideas.
And the word of the day: genre-bending. Agents like it. Editors love it. If you can pull it off, it may be your golden ticket.