Nathan Bransford, Author

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What Are Your Predictions for 2008?

As a child, I was really, really looking forward to the 2000s because we would have helipads and awesome flying cars, and the only drawback would be that our privacy would be given over to nebulous electronic surveillance methods. Well, we've turned another page on the calendar, it's 2008, and STILL no helipads or flying cars, and basically the nebulous electronic surveillance is used to sell me stuff in Gmail. And, to further confound my predictions, I LIKE IT when Gmail tries to sell me ski gear when I e-mail someone about an upcoming ski trip. Who knew Big Brother was so cuddly?

Needless to say, my powers of prognostication are not very strong. Luckily the people who read this blog are much smarter than I am (not because you the blog is making you smarter, but rather it seems to be something that you are bringing on your own).

So, inspired by Maya Reynolds' recent post on PW's 15 predictions for 2008, I thought I'd ask you to put on your crystal balls and look into your wizard hats: what are your predictions for 2008?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say:

- political books will be popular
- celebrity books will be popular
- self-publishing will continue to be heralded as the next big thing without actually becoming the next big thing
- no flying cars

What do you think?


beth said...

*gasp* Do I really get to be the first poster?

I think YA Fantasy will continue to rise. It's not even about filling the Harry Potter void--it's about imaginative, plot-driven fantasy that is totally different from the sword-sorcery epic stuff being printed for traditional fantasy titles.

Emily said...

I read an article the other day that talked about the possibility of self-driving cars. So, still no flying, but maybe we can sit back and read while the car figures out where to park for itself.

As for 2008, Madame Emily predicts that...

-There will be many, many authors trying to take the place of JK Rowling.
-Vampires will continue to be huge. And Emily will continue to violently hit her forehead against a wall.
-A lot of kids will dive into the Narnia books for the first time, because the second movie (Prince Caspian) is coming out.
-Obama and Clinton will attempt to scratch each others eyes out.

AmandaKMorgan said...

I, personally, will be very upset about the lack of flying cars. That is definitely the publishing trend I was most looking forward to this year.

I expect THE HILLS people to come out with a tell-all. I also expect to secretly buy it since I missed the half of the last season so I can pretend like I didn't.

Scott said...

I prognosticate that just about every printed page in the U.S. will have something to do with somebody's whose last name is Spears. Those pages will outnumber pages about the presidential election 6:1, and small children will ask their mommies why the Spears ladies are running for president.

Furthermore, I predict that whoever wins the race for U.S. president will face a terrible crisis: How to turn the press back to actually printing real news instead of the celebrity gossip that the American Public is getting tired of, except for the 18% who will continue to watch TV and the 7% who will continue to read the papers because they LIKE celebrity gossip.

A congressional investigation will discover that the terrorists are behind the celebrity gossip, and that there is real danger of losing the war on terror because the majority of the American public will be unaware that there is anything going on the world that does not involve celebrity crises because there's nowhere to go to find out about actual current events without leaving the country.

Then, in a surprise late-year turn of events, the nation's two largest news services, Perez Hilton and TMZ, will stop reporting celebrity gossip and start reporting actual news, and we'll come back from the brink and defeat those pesky terrorists in the end.

Sleepy Writer Ada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sleepy Writer Ada said...

Adaora predicitions for 2008:
1. Obama will be president
2. Some people will still not care about global warming.
3. Jamie Lynn Spears will have her
4. Her ex brother in law will file bankrupsy
5. Hillary Clinton will cry again.
6. Lauren Conrad and Heidi will be seen at a party hugging.

LOL I honestly don't see self-publishing going over all that well. There is something about having the book in your hands, running your hands over the cover art rather then looking at it through however many million picture pixels.

CarBeyond said...

People will want to be inspired.

Inspiring books, movies, people, will be most attractive.

When that fails, people will begin to inspire themselves.

They are in need of substance.

Even fantasy will need to have enough substance to inspire them.

Brian said...

Let's not forget "Paper publishing is dead! E-books will totally pwn you!!"

Wait, I'm confused. I think I mixed up predictions with the earlier discussion on cliches.

So are we talking trends where there's actual evidence that it could happen or simply regurgitating hype from past year's predictions that didn't come true?

Apparently, I have my snarky pants on today. They's a little snug.

Erik said...

I think that this year books will increasingly be disconnected from reality, and the trend won't stop until next year at the earliest.

By this, I mean both fantasy and the middle-class ennui nonsense that seems to dominate literature are both trends that will continue.

When somone says that "vampires will be huge," I want to make it clear that I'm not afraid of vampires but I am afraid of *huge* vampires.

My prediction is based on a scenario I call "Waiting for Steinbeck". I see economic tough times getting worse, but writers are busy turning out happy-slap and brooding nonsense that speaks to the previous part of the cycle. The real pain in the world has been ignored this long, and I think it's likely to continue until the industry realizes that book sales are in the toilet.

Oh, and book sales will be in the toilet.

brian_ohio said...

1. Wearing underpants will come back into style.
2. Young men will re-discover the belt.
3. The price of gas will change continually, mostly going up.
4. People will have wheels in their heels... oh... we've got that already. Yippee!
5. I'll get a publishing contract (had to sneak that in).
6. Nathan Bransford signs the next Dan Brown and basks in the success of 'Newton's Cipher'. The core of the orignal gravitational apple contains a clue as to the whereabouts of ancient documents describing the battle between David and Goliath. Turns out the giant had been slipped a mickey a few hours before the fight.

Mark Terry said...

1. Thousands of people will self-publish and make little or no money at it.

2. Thousands (but fewer) people will be published by legitimate publishers... and make little or no money at it.

3. The publishing industry as a whole will complain about how little money they make.

4. Someone, somewhere, in print probably, will complain about the death of the novel.

5. Someone, somewhere, in print probably, will complain about this "dang younger generation" that doesn't want to read.

6. Scholastic will whine about their profits being down because there's no Harry Potter book to publish this year.

7. The publishing industry will whine about how overall profits are down because there's no Harry Potter books to publish this year.

8. I will whine because I'm not JK Rowling, publishing a Harry Potter book this year.

9. Authors will still continue to obsess about how best to market their novels on less than $1000 per novel.

10. Aspiring novelists will obsess over whether to use Times New Roman or Courier fonts.

11. The publishing industry will continue to spend millions of dollars promoting their biggest novelists and continue to spend absolutely nothing on everybody else then whine that their midlist is shrinking and say how important it is that you, as an author, must get out there and promote, promote, promote, and use all of your $3000 advance in the process.

12. There will be a new line of flying cars, but during test flights they crashed because the drivers were:
A. Talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to those tall buildings, and,
B. Putting on their makeup and not paying attention to all those tall buildings.

ulysses said...

You've talked about the Kindle and its future. I think that this comic sums up my feelings on the future of e-book reading. (I love Opus).

Consider it one of my predictions.

abc said...

1. skinny jeans will finally go out of style. Leggings too. What will Lindsay Lohan wear? ohmigod!

2. Polar bears are the new penguins.

3. No one will miss award shows.

4. i will not purchase any self-published books because the last one I did was by a guy from my hometown and it was really bad. Pervy. And talk about cliches! although I do praise that Wil Wheaton for what he did. However, I still didn't buy any Wil Wheaton books.

5. Wil Wheaton will finally get a good acting gig. (let's hear it for wil wheaton).

6. A whole season of Lost airs and we still have no freaking idea what is going on. Yes, I'm going to watch it.

The Anti-Wife said...

Television shows from May until November will be only 5 minutes long per hour and political commercials will take up the other 55 minutes of air time.

Heidi the Hick said...

"Put on your crystal balls"



I'm sorry.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Couldn't resist...

Predictions for 2008? More people will decide to write a book because it can't be that hard, right?

Other than that...people will keep on reading. That I do know.

liquidambar said...

Would we need flying cars if we could have space monkeys?

One reason "the next big thing" is big is unpredictability. Who would have predicted the hugeness of a series about an aspiring boy wizard, or the success of a thriller involving the Louvre, the Holy Grail, and the long-lost feminine aspects of Christianity? All I can say about the breakout success of 2008 is that it will be surprising.

Michelle Moran said...

I am so looking forward to young men rediscovering the belt. I wonder if young women will rediscover jeans that actually fit and cover their whale tails.

Lupina said...

Lupina's Looky-loo:
1. Way too many crappy books will be published, by all types of publishers
2. Way too many fine literary masterpieces will not be discovered in time to keep their authors from going back to driving an ice cream truck
3. Way too many writers will query Nathan with rhetorical questions, dead cliches, and all the other things he warns them not to do in his fine query advice
4. Nathan will sponsor another writing contest which will tip the e-mail scales in responses and earn him great notoriety on all the agent and book blogs.
5.Vampires will return, whimpering, to their crypts to await their next popularity cycle

Other Lisa said...

Jet packs in '08!!!!

Josephine Damian said...

Writing trends? I see more novellas (because of shorter attention spans), more illustrations in books (like "Special Topics in Calamity Physics"), and medical thrilllers written by lady docs seem to be on the rise.

I see European (excluding England) crime fiction eclipsing American and English fiction in popularity, and with more war-crime themed thrillers and mysteries (and no, not just because I'm writing one).

The thing that makes me go: WTF? (besides Britney, George W. and certain Republican candiates) is the proliferation of novels written in the present tense. I think it stems from people spending so much time communicating via text, IM, or email in present tense that it's re-wriring their brains and they find it hard to write novels in past tense, or have just gotten too lazy to switch gears to past tense when writing a story.

I also see autism as a huge concern and predict we'll see more novels (YA and otherwise) with autistic characters (ADD and ADHD as well).

Mary said...

The tealeaves tell me that the tide will turn on celebrity obsession. Celebrities will still be popular, of course, but the public will become tired of the talent-less type. People who DO things will capture imaginations more than in the recent past. You will travel, meet your soul mate, and live near water. There are secrets in your past. Someone close to you will seek your counsel and expect your trust.

And, as Josephine said, novellas are a rising trend.

Josephine Damian said...

Thousands of people will self-publish and make little or no money at it.

And that's just in my local writer's group!

Obama will be president


Some people will still not care about global warming.

They will once the food shortages start (lack of water for crops) and the brush fires burn down their houses.

Aspiring novelists will obsess over whether to use Times New Roman or Courier fonts.

I heard you should use Times for your submitting copy and Courier for the copy you edit.

Nathan will sponsor another writing contest which will tip the e-mail scales in responses and earn him great notoriety on all the agent and book blogs.

And Precie and me will be the first entries, and once more I will shake my booty for Conduit.

Way too many crappy books will be published, by all types of publishers

And I'll be blogging about exactly why they're crappy and why I couldn't finish reading them.

pjd said...

Put yourself at the end of 2008:

Although we do not have flying cars, the price of oil is so high that Greyhound rents a gate at every airport and rebrands itself "the world's oldest and most reliable airline." Airbus Industrie is not amused.

In response, the FAA disallows nail clippers, lipstick, and any liquid of more than two ounces on Greyhound buses.

Also in response, United Airlines attempts to improve its on-time record by driving its planes from airport to airport rather than flying them. They succeed. Business soars.

Osama bin Laden is not found, but Saddam Houssein is still dead.

Two days before the election, a major terrorist plot against the US is very visibly thwarted in France. It is later revealed that the terrorists had amassed two Red Ryder BB guns and a fake ID confiscated from an underage Syracuse University student.

One day before the election, a photo of Hillary kissing Monica at a state function is revealed by a 527 group known as Women for Democratic Truth. It is shown repeatedly on Fox News until the election is over, at which time Fox News takes credit for debunking the photo as a fake.

The American death toll in Iraq climbs above 4,000.

And finally, it is revealed that some baseball players may have used performance enhancing substances. Ticket prices go up.

Michael Reynolds said...

Gone, baby. It's gonna be all GONE.

Church Lady said...

I predict that books which are turned into movies will eventually be turned into electronic games.

I predict Nathan will get a new computer.

I predict the sales of all forms of books will be down because disposable income will be down. (sorry, but I believe this)

Aimless Writer said...

The psychic is in:
Feel good dog books will survive. Too many dog-lovers out there.
Paranormal in any aspect will thrive.
I'm sorry, I don't think Obama or Hillary will survive the southern right wing vote. They are just not ready. (no offense to southerners) I do think it will be a democrat.This dem with start pulling us out of Iraq.
Kids need books with kids with super powers. The wizard touched the we need something like that in a very different form. We had X-men, Animorphs, Harry P--Next!
Brittany goes back in rehab and makes a serious jab at recovery.
NJ becomes the highest taxed state in the union.
I sell my book and move to anywhere else but here.
OooooOOooooo, the vision is fading...
That will be $49.95 please.

John said...

1. Political books will sink to new depths of sleaziness in an effort to thwart the election of someone to something.

2. Books about Chinese Jack Bauer types saving Beijing from terrorists during the Olympics will appear in bookstores but go straight from their shipping containers to the remaindered table.

3. Julia Cameron will follow her weight-loss book with one about turning your flow of words into a renewable energy supply that you can use to light and heat your home.

Moose said...

I predict that Moose will be elected president.

Anonymous said...

1. Blogs will include more audio and video posts

2. I will make everyone in my family laugh everyday (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not)

3. The wars in Africa and the middle east will continue

4. Maybe publishers will pick up more novel on this topic for children and teens

5. Someone will let slip to the public what has been closely guarded but whispered often in private ... the identity of MISS SNARK

Adaora A. said...

1. People will continue to refer to Africa - a continent as a country. "He's from Africa." BUT WHERE IN AFRICA.

2. Celebrities parents will continue to give tell all interviews to the press.

3. Celebrites will continue to get pregnant and/or give birth to more beautiful babies.

4. I'll continue to spend way too much money on skirts, dresses, bags and sunnies.

5. Hopefully I will attain the agent I want.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

1. Vampires won't die, because, well, they're vampires. They don't die.

2. Plus I know too many vampire authors with 3-4 book deals.

3. There won't be new jet-packs, because there already are.

4. Boys won't discover the belt (that's for the next decade--this generation still has to try to find jobs at which employers insist on no buttcracks).

5. Girls won't discover jeans that fit, but they will tire of the backdrafts and start tucking their shirts in.

6. The war won't end.

7. In lieu of awards ceremonies, a new ceremony will be held for agents in which Nathan is voted "Agent Hottie" of 2008!

Dave Wood said...

Don't worry. I saw something late last year that NASA is funding research into flying cars -- well, personalized mini-planes that could also drive on roads -- so no doubt we'll see them soon.

~Nancy said...

NJ becomes the highest taxed state in the union.

It's been there for many years - I know because, guess where I live? ;-)


PublishAmerica will continue to hoodwink people into thinking they're a "traditional publisher"

Someone will win the U.S. Presidential election

The war in Iraq will continue :-(

The Hollywood writers' strike will finally end

Novels with World War II themes will become hot

I will finally (:-)) send out queries on my current WIP

bitterhermit said...

I'm convinced the space monkeys will reveal themselves as angels and gift us the technology of flying cars and helipads to compensate for robbing us of sexual reproduction. Reproduction will henceforth be unnecessary as science will this year announce the genetic code antidote to aging and death . . .
But in non-fiction? Money will come and go. Publishers will be born. Publishers will perish. People will read. People will continue to embrace their ignorance; others will continue to cultivate our erudition.
Some will die. Some grow old. Some be at peace and others at war.
And I'll write another few hundred poems to stuff in a drawer somewhere. And this will be the year an agent sees my name and gives me the best advice ever: a marketable name.
And you, Nathan, will be very busy and have a great many headaches (not to worry, I am eminating health your way to heal the concussions pre-emtively).

Rose said...

I'm friends with a lot of teenage writers, Nathan, and I have to agree with beth on this one--YA fiction will be on the rise. Every single one of the writers under 20 is writing a sword-and-sorcery fantasy or sci-fi (that or bone-chilling horror). If this is the future generation of writing, then I say that YA fiction is definitely going on the rise--and I think that sort of fiction altogether will always be popular.

The only bad part about all of this is that most of these younger writers...well, they aren't publishing-good yet. Creative, though. We can hope, can't we?

JSottile said...

I am going out on a cloud here, and I predict the sun rises in 2008 and 2009.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

I picked up a Life Magazine from 1950 at a thrift store several years ago. The theme of the magazine was predicting what the year 2000 will be like. There were artists renditions of the predictions, including an automated farm, where the farmer sat in this box filled with electronics and guided all the planting/harvesting etc. from there. And there was a home center where the woman of the house was pushing buttons so that everything would be done for her from washing dishes and preparing dinner to vacuuming and mopping the floor. Little did the 1950's-clad woman know that so many of us would go to work OUTSIDE the home. So much for predictions. ~Karen

Chumplet said...

Before signing contracts, authors will be required to pass drug screening tests.

Excessive use of Wake-Up will be deemed an unfair advantage.

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