So have I been beating my head against the wall trying to market fiction books in a remotely held genre for years when a little research would have told me quickly and quietly where the trend lies? (Hint: It’s obviously not historical sea or western adventures.) The focus might better shift to romance (the blue line in the Google Trends chart) with a stronger showing for mystery. Most of us love a good cozy mystery. It appears, however, that it is the young adults who are driving the fantasy genre.
Google Trends also shows that Sci-Fi’s are down, which is difficult to imagine given the popularity of J. K. Rowlings and is currently viewed in #4 position according to Thomas Stewart. Of course, he also places fantasy at #4 as well with such books as “Harry Potter.” Holding strong in his #3 position is the Bible and religious or inspirational books. Number 2 would be the mystery category and where does that leave Romance? Number 1–perhaps no secret to most.
Horror stories are static, but a surprise was the uptrend for the young adult category. So is interest in tablets (the rising star in electronics for young adults), kindles, and cell phones also fueling an interest in..(Gasp!)..reading?
Aine @ Writing on a Vintage Typewriter hopes a trend will be robots, which certainly goes hand-to-hand with the current AI controversy. This trend might also give my Goodreads buddy, Dean C. Moore an in with his sci-fi fantasy series “Futurescape.” Alexandra @ Twirling Pages thought she saw a trend in pirate related and historical fiction mixed with fantasy, and I was looking real good until she added “mixed with fantasy.” Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales, however, clearly believes pirates, sea travels, and ships will make it big in 2016. (Things are looking up!) Most tapped for comment mentioned fantasy–makes sense–we are talking young adults.
The Huffington Post in their recent article citing the YA trends for 2016 listed many of the same books noted by the blog authors above. Book series are finding an increasingly stronger market giving back to us the popular old serial form we used to listen to on the radio and that still exist in the form of soap operas.
Jessica Tripler reported in her attendance at the Romance Writers of America national conference conceded the medieval romance novel largely dead while both romantic suspense and western contemporary and historical stories were gaining, specifically noting Oregon a “hot” setting. She, however, maintains the historical romance genre is expanding while the vampire or werewolf genre “come and go and come again.” Erotic romances hold strong while the romantic idea of alpha cowboys gain attention whether in Young Adult or New Adult categories.
Currently popular plot devices include the paranormal and apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic adventures. Time-traveling plots can combine several of the popular genres all rolled into one.
While intense, emotional fiction is probably overwhelmingly sold to young adult females, hard-hitting contemporary and out-of-the-box tales make the cross-over into older generations. These are stories that tackle a life or death struggle. We all want happy endings, and that isn’t just a youthful fantasy. ©2016 Virginia Williams