Self-publishing has had a significant impact on the book industry in the last five to ten years. Without publishing companies controlling the market, writers have had more freedom to focus on the type of books they’re interested in. There has been a shift toward genre writing and self-publishing has revitalized a number of genres that have previously been underrepresented by the publishing industry.
With the increased popularity of e-books, self-published authors now make up as much as 20% percent of the sales in the genre market. But what self-published genres are the most popular genres? What genres sell the most books? These are important questions for writers interested in self-publishing and producing marketable books that meet an existing demand.
Here are NWA Publishing’s top picks for the most popular genres for self-publishing.
The success of romance novels is well established, with some estimates valuing the market at over $1.4 billion. Romance has been a major part of the book market for decades thanks to its widespread popularity and high sales. The genre has also expanded in recent years to include erotica, which has previously been underrepresented by mainstream publishers and is now a significant source of revenue for self-publishing authors.
2. Science Fiction and Fantasy
Few genres have readerships as dedicated as sci-fi and fantasy. The popularity of these genres has grown drastically in the last several years, in part because readers of these genres have clearly defined interests that make it easier for writers to produce books that meet demand. This makes science fiction and fantasy particularly well suited for self-publishing. Together, these genres have an estimated market value of $590.2 million.
3. Crime and Mystery
Scandinavian writers have lately dominated the crime genre, but it is an immensely popular genre with readers from all over the world. These books describe events like grisly murders that could or actually have occurred. The prospect of what is possible makes them compelling and frightening, which keeps readers engaged and on the edge of their seats. The market value is estimated at $728.2 million, with crime fiction accounting for between 25% and 40% of all book sales.
Though many self-publishing writers have found success within these genres, the question of whether or not you should limit yourself to the most popular genres depends on your interests and your goals as a writer. You shouldn’t necessarily drop whatever you’re working on to focus on a popular genre, but it is worthwhile to pay attention to what is trending and to try to meet the demand for it. There is value in focusing on what is popular, which can point you in the right direction for self-publishing a commercially viable book.