Wow, what a couple of weeks! I had a fantastic time at World Con in Dublin. It was incredible to be among so many other people who have focused a large part of their lives on writing and thinking about the industry. It was massively reinvigorating to see and hear these people talk about the things they have done. If you get the chance I would definitely recommend going to a World Con. It was a bit tricky getting there, but even trickier was getting back! It’s never a good sign when the bus company decides that they’ve messed things up so badly that the easiest way for them to get out of the pickle is to order you a taxi! I have to admit, it was a nice way to get home, and even better since I didn’t end up having to pay the £200 taxi fee.
But, back to the website.
There have been some oddities in the charts this week. Mostly it seems that readers have had a hard time picking a single trend or niche to stick with, and instead have been reading in a very broad and vague style. This means it has been a bit tricky to work out what the niches and trends of the week have been for all the different genres. To help make sense of this larger scale project the posts we have been putting up have generally been larger too. Hopefully you have approved!
In Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller novels are doing very well and are taking up a lot of the chart space. Also popular are Romance novels, especially Holiday and Contemporary Romance novels, and Historical Novels with a lot of historical detail. Science Fiction and Fantasy is seeing a lot of best seller anthologies and collections make it onto the general fiction charts, which is interesting and does appear to be a seasonal thing. That makes sense, since it is after all just after award season for a lot of genres.
In Non-Fiction, American History and American Politics are really taking over the majority of the chart. In comparison, Recipe Books and Self Help Books are not proving particularly popular among readers. There is, however a pretty clear interest in books about grief and loss.
In Fantasy, the interest in Magical Academies has grown into an interest in even more varied Magical settings, such as Universities/Colleges, as well as Bars and Pubs. Historical Fantasy is also proving popular, with a lot of quests and curses going around. In connection with this, perhaps, GameLit and RPGLit are also proving popular in this genre.
Dystopias and Apocalypses are still massively popular in Science Fiction, as are Military Science Fiction books, and often these trends are found mixed together. Space exploration and military science fiction based in space is also selling well. Several Award winning books have bounced back into the chart, and GameLit/RPGLit is also proving popular in this genre too.
In Kid’s books the best things to help sell a book is brand recognition, particularly anything belonging to Disney, and cute animals. Picture books are particularly popular and generally original and distinct art styles are preferred.
Meanwhile in Teen and Young Adult the real world has clearly had a big impact on the readers, since even in magical settings the characters cannot escape High School. Magical Academies are massively popular, as are romances set in normal high schools. Biographies and Memoirs are also quite popular, and generally these are more of the deeply emotional and literary style, rather than first hand accounts of adventures.
In History, the main focus appears to be on three trends, Women’s History, Native American History, and Military History. Many of the books blend between these three trends, creating a Venn diagram made up of many secondary colours. For example, World War 2 is a popular niche this week, as it tends to be every week, but it is definitely being looked at through the lens of Women’s History and Military History.
Romance has seen even more varied niches and trends popping up. Magical Academies again, especially in Paranormal Romance, plus Shape Shifters and Vampires. Holiday Romances, especially ones set in Europe, are particularly popular this week. Clearly people are catching up on the holidays they haven’t managed to get this year. Contemporary Romance in general seems to be doing pretty well, but there is also some genuine interest in Historical Romance, especially that which is set in 1800s England. And, just to make the point, I am saying England, not the UK. For whatever reason there appears to be less interest in Scotland this week, and a complete absence of interest in Wales or Ireland.