Have you ever noticed how many titles in bookshops all look the same? Some of this is clearly intentional, pure bandwagon publishing, but some of it is driven by fear.
Fear that producing something that looks and feels genuinely different from its peers will not be able to find a home. Fear that trade buyers and readers won’t be able to ‘get it’, and fear that we, the publisher, have too much to lose.
And so we end up with a homogenised publishing landscape with all the books looking like copy-cat Hunger Games, Gone or The Fault in Our Stars.
Spot the difference?
Someone, somewhere has to put their head above the parapet.
After all, paranormal romance wasn’t a thing once. Pre-Twilight, vampires were ghoulish Bram Stoker creatures that stalked the fantasy section not ran rampant through YA. (OK Buffy might have been an exception I’ll grant you).
So this is a cry from the heart for publishers, bookshops, customers, agents, authors and designers to dare to be different. To try something new and to take a chance. Because you might just discover the next ‘big thing’. Just ask Eimear McBride.