Genre Numbers

The Washington Post offered some interesting data on book purchases in Sunday’s Book World.

Did you know that the most popular genre is “mysteries and thrillers” with 28% of readers favoring that genre? At the bottom are “westerns” with only .5% of the fan base. In between are “general” 23.2%, “romance” 15.9%, “fantasy & sci fi” 10%, “literary/classics” 7%, while “all others” take up 15.4%.

To me the most interesting info was that 70 percent of mystery purchasers are women. Another factoid: Apparently readers over 50 are influenced by more reviews; younger readers are influenced by the cover! That tells me don’t skimp on the cover, folks if you’re looking for young readers.

Despite the low numbers, westerns are making a small comeback…thanks to True Grit.

Purchases of “fantasy & sci fi” are down, but there’s a reason — vampire books are in. Hopefully, readers will tire of this sub-genre and be more open to speculative fiction.

It’s good to know your audience.

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