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The Most Popular Book Genres Right Now

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

In order to become a best-selling and successful self-published author, you must know which book genres are the most popular and in high demand. Read this blog post to discover the most popular book genres right now.

Popular book genres
The most popular book genres right now

Did you know that between 2013 and 2018, the growth rate for self-publishing was 40 percent? Thanks to the growing e-book industry, authors from all over the world are finding it easier to self-publish their books and sell them in both; e-book as well as printed versions.

In the USA alone, 1.2 to 1.6 million books are self-published each year. And most of these are available on Kindle for as low as $4 per book. But in order to become a best-selling and successful self-published author, you must know which book genres are the most popular and in high demand.

In a broad manner, all books are classified under two categories; fiction and non-fiction, but within these two categories, there are several genres that and each genre has its own particular style of delivery and content.

For example, books that fall under the genre of thriller or horror will usually have a morbid storyline with creepy characters, suspense and its fair share of jump-scares. On the other hand, a romantic novel will have a slow-paced character and plot development, a well-situated climax and a romantic happy ending where the hero and heroine live happily ever after.

According to the recent survey results, the most popular book genres are as follows:

Most Popular Fiction Genres

1. Fantasy- Set in a make-believe fictional land or universe. The story is often inspired by myths, folklore or oral traditions. E.g. Lord of the Rings.

2. Science Fiction- The story is about a futuristic or imaginative world and deals with concepts of science and technology, such as time travel, parallel universe, space exploration, alien invasion etc. E.g. The Time Traveler’s Wife.

3. Dystopian- An imaginary community is created to represent a utopia, and it is so unlike the real world that the concept seems dehumanizing and frightening. E.g. Divergent.

4. Adventure- Usually charts an exciting journey or quest of the protagonist and other supporting characters. Several climaxes will ultimately lead to a destination. E.g. Around the World in 80 Days.

5. Romance- The story focuses on the relationship between two protagonists, usually a man and a woman, who face hardships, fall in love, profess their love and get married. E.g. Pride and Prejudice.

6. Detective & Mystery- The story revolves around a criminal case such as murder, robbery or kidnapping. The detective and his team solve the case by identifying clues, eliminating suspects and prosecuting the criminal. E.g. Sherlock Holmes stories.

7. Horror & Thriller- The story is usually set in a dark, abandoned, and scary place and has characters like ghosts, monsters, serial killers and vampires. Events are filled with suspense and morbid details. E.g. Dracula.

8. LGBTQ- The story revolves around characters who represent the LGBTQ community and could be a sub-genre for either of the genres mentioned above. E.g. Call Me By Your Name

5 Most Popular Non-fiction Genres

· Memoirs and Biographies

· Self Help Books

· Religion and Spirituality

· Health, Fitness, and Dieting

· Politics and Social Sciences

5 Most Profitable Book Genres on Amazon

· Romance/Erotica ($1.44 billion in sales)

· Crime/Mystery ($728.2 million in sales)

· Religious/Inspirational ($720 million in sales)

· Science Fiction/Fantasy ($590.2 million in sales)

· Horror ($79.6 million in sales)

Final Word

Whether you are a fiction writer or an author specialized in writing non-fiction books, it is important that you tell stories that people want to hear. We hope that with our list of the most popular book genres for 2021, you will be able to find a genre that resonates with you and helps you to tell a compelling story.

Looking for a self-publishing guide?

If you are an author and looking for more tips on how to publish and market your book, click here.

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