Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hot Books In 2014

If you want to know about upcoming book trends, just look backwards.

Most publishers look ahead to see what special anniversaries are coming up and look to publish books relating to historical events, significant figures, and timeless moments. They search for birth and death dates, for instance, of famous people and look to push out content within three to siz months of the honorary date. JFK would’ve been 100 in 2017. Jesus will be dead 2000 years come 2033. I’m sure we’ll see books on these two figures for years to come. books on Nelson Mandela are sure to arrive soon.

So what will 2014 bring us?

It will mark the 75th anniversary of the onset of World War II and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Look for plenty of military-related and history-filled books to cover both wars.

2014 is also an election year. All 435 House of Representative seats are up for grabs. So is a third of the U.S. Senate. Look for public policy books.

2014 is a year for the Winter Olympics, so books pertaining to the sports covered in them will be popular. So will as books about host Russia.

It’ll be 50 years ago, in 2014, that the first Beatles record was introduced in the U.S. Look for a torrent of books on that.

Five decades ago the first U.S. Surgeon General warning on smoking was issued. We may see books regarding addiction, cancer and e-cigarettes.

Muhammad Ali, first known as Cassus Clay, won the heavy weight boxing championship 50 years ago. Given Ali’s age, look for books on boxing, Ali, and the like.

Jeopardy! debuted on TV 50 years ago. We could see books relating to games, trivia, Merv Griffin, etc.

Mary Poppins premiered 50 years ago. The Rolling Stones released their first album 50 years ago. The first African American to win an Oscar for best male actor was awarded 50 years ago to Sidney Poitier. Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 50 years ago. So many entertainment-related books will no doubt cover these topics and related ones.

Other socially significant events that occurred a half-century ago may also get book coverage this year:

Vietnam War -- Congress passes controversial Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The first war protests take place, beginning with 12 New York men burning their draft cards in public.

Civil Rights -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. becomes the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Society -- Comedian Lenny Bruce is sentenced to four months in prison, concluding a six-month obscenity trial.

There are 75-year anniversaries for the following events -- each with the potential to generate books:

·         John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is first published.
·         Batman makes his first appearance in comic books.
·         Lou Cehrig retires with his “luckiest man” speech.
·         The National Baseball Hall of Fame is officially dedicated.
·         The first Little League game is played

A century ago, these significant events took place:

·         Charlie Chaplin makes his first film debut.
·         The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers formed to create copyright laws.
·         Woodrow Wilson signs a Mother’s Day proclamation.
·         Honus Wagner becomes the first baseball player with 3000 career hits.
·         Babe Ruth makes his debut, with the Boston Red Sox.
·         The Federal Trade Commission is established.
·         The first everyday items made of stainless steel come into circulation.

If you want to know what else happened in the past that might be relevant in 2014, look up years with significant anniversaries -- 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200 years ago or more. Look at Wikipedia for those years and see what pops up. You may discover the future -- at least in books. 

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