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Most popular genres on

Rosen Trevithick on 08.10.2016 11:47
Rosen Trevithick

People often ask me whether it's worth featuring their genre fiction in our newsletter. For most genres, the answer is yes, as we have a large mailing list consisting of people with versatile tastes. Crime, thrillers, mystery and romance books are particularly popular, whilst children's books struggle to attract interest.

Below are figures from September 2016.

Most featured genres

Crime, thrillers and mystery 35%

Romance 24%

Fantasy 14%

Historical fiction 12%

Action and Adventure 10%

Contemporary fiction 10%

Science fiction 9%

Literary fiction 7%

Young adult 7%

Horror 6%

Humour 6%

Psychological fiction 4%

Family sagas 4%

Children's books 4%

Genres with the most clicks

Crime, thrillers and mystery 47%

Romance 28%

Fantasy 12%

Science fiction 10%

Literary fiction 10%

Psychological fiction 9%

Action and adventure 6%

Contemporary fiction 8%

Historical fiction 7%

Horror 6%

Young adult 5%

Humour 4%

Family sagas 4%

Children's books 0.5%

Please note: percentages will not add up to 100, as books can be in multiple categories.

Last edited: 08.10.2016 11:48

M.D. on 08.10.2016 12:45

It fascinates me that Crime, mystery, thrillers are always at the top of lists, because other genres can include all three. Take Historical: some of the greatest mysteries are found in historical novels, which invariably contain at least one crime – although the protagonists might argue that it was "political expediency" – and what decent historical novel doesn't have thrills?

Looking at my own genres of Science Fiction and Horror – I don't actually write Horror, but rather Ghost stories and Supernatural tales. However, as you all know, the Amazon catalogue treats them as sub-categories of Horror. What, I wonder, would Charles Dickens do if he were alive today and looking to upload A Christmas Carol onto Amazon. Imagine the BBC introducing Dickens' famous horror story before the watershed! I digress. The case I make for Historical applies equally to these other two genres. I don't think I need to give examples, we all know of a handful of them.

Maybe Crime, mystery, thrillers could be retitled: police procedural; lone, anti-establishment detective/lawyer/reporter about to uncover a secret so terrible it will change the world as we know it ... said anti-hero accompanied by wide-eyed establishment figure ... some sexual frisson; unexplained artefact – probably found by anti establishment ...

Oh, I almost forgot: cold-hearted killer – organised crime or government sponsored, take your pick – slowly discovers his, or her humanity. They either die making the ultimate sacrifice (but don't forget the prequel if it really takes off, or the Dallas shower moment), or leave the door open for sequels.

What fun!

Last edited: 08.10.2016 12:56

Rosen Trevithick on 11.10.2016 11:15
Rosen Trevithick

You're quite right to point out that a broad genre has more chance of reaching the top than a narrower genre. Crime, thrillers and mystery isn't the only whopping genre. Children's fiction encompass more, and that's not very popular at all, among followers,

We do allow people to break genres down further: crime, thriller, mystery, gritty, cosy, police procedural, legal, drugs etc. Unfortunately the sub categories aren't used enough to report any meaningful data on their popularity.

Anna Faversham on 31.03.2018 11:27
Anna Faversham

Interesting! And yes, it's difficult for some authors to find a genre that fits exactly what their book is about.

I put my historical books into historical until reviewers start using words like' thriller' and 'suspense' then I shout hurray because I can put it under the thriller section or whatever. But then I wonder if I should as it's not what most thriller readers are expecting. Angst. Major worries. Silly me.

BookHippo has an extensive list of genres and sub genres and I still stare for far too long working out which ones suit my books. The fact that we get the chance of three choices is very, very helpful.

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