One of the best things about being a bookseller (and there are many, many great things) is being able to easily keep tabs on publishing trends. You get your eyes on everything. What’s being written about, what’s being read, trends in jacket design, etc. Whether due to the industry’s collective finger on a singular pulse, or just a healthy reliance on borrowing, things come in clear waves. When I was a bookseller I’d sometimes be so certain I’d blown the cover off The Big New Trend that I’d have to shout about it.
And now, having moved to the publishing side of the fun, much of the trend watching has gone micro. Do we have in-house trends? We do. Our fall list, for example, is particularly inquisitive, with Richard J. McNally, Sari Nusseibeh, and Kenneth W. Warren all asking serious questions.
We’ve also been on a bit of an apocalyptic bent, as pointed out by one of our longtime manuscript editors, who noticed that three of the books she’s worked on in the last year have doomsday titles. The Last Tortoise, The Last Utopia, The End of Arrogance. There’s also The Decline and Fall of the American Republic. And we even reached back a couple hundred years to continue the trend, as we’ll publish a John Harvard Library edition of Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans this fall.
Maybe next season we’ll publish on cheer. Stay tuned…