formula fiction

What Will Be the Next Viral Hit in the Book World?


I came across an interesting article with a title about 50 Shades of grey while I was looking for information about the 50 Shades movie. I just submitted an essay for a book that will be out this fall titled, “Fifty Authors on Fifty Shades of Grey,” and I wanted to double check a few facts. I’ll post more about the essay and the 50 Shades book in the future.

What I found interesting was that the article I’m talking about now is titled, “50 Shades of Grey: Books That Will Be the Next Viral Hit.” Of course the article is more about popular book themes and how they seem to resonate with people with regard to predicting the next viral hit in publishing. It gets into “Hunger Games” which is why I posted a pic of Liam Hemsworth. But I suspect the author of the article knows the web well enough to know that anything with a title even remotely connected to 50 Shades will generate more hits than one that isn’t. You learn these little tricks the more you blog.

This just proves how much of an impact 50 Shades has had on everyone. I even saw a football related article in my search that was titled something like “50 Shade of the Future,” and it had absolutely nothing to do with 50 Shade of Grey or publishing books.

In any event, the article to which I’m referring is actually very good, and it gets into some of the more popular themes that seem to be tried and true with the mainstream reading audience. I’m a firm believer in following formula for the most part, and then twisting it and turning it around to make it different. In many ways, that’s why I love parody so much.

Well, there are lots of themes and they tend to change slightly from series to series depending on the plot, but my personal favorite and one that is fairly consistent is Good versus Evil. Ah yes, nothing better than the timeless tale of the little man who stands for all things right in the world, rising up to defeat his antagonist who happens to be the very face of evil itself. There are probably a thousand, deep rooted, anthropological reasons why we love these tales but the best reason I can come up with is that we love these fictional stories because we want to know it’s possible for good to defeat evil in reality.

As I said, I’m a fan of reworking old formulas with new elements, which could be anything from New Adult concepts to a suburban mom who gets into BDSM. You can read more of the article I’m talking about here, where there are a few more examples I thought were thought provoking.