5 Explosively Popular Book Genres and Why You Should Write in Them (2023)

Confused about what book to write? The best place to start is by picking the right genre.

The only problem is that there are so many genres out there. It can be rather overwhelming.

Don’t stress; we’ve got you covered! We have the current trending literary genres you can try out right here!

What Is a Genre?

Before we dive into what genre sells the most books, let’s discuss what a genre is. A genre is just a category in which your book falls. This will be evident in the underlying theme and storyline of your book. It helps readers decide what books they would most likely enjoy.

Someone who loves romance books won’t want to read a book where the hero doesn’t fall in love with the man of her dreams. In the same way, someone who picks up a crime book is not going to be too happy if the book is focused on the relationship between the detective and the witness instead of actually solving the crime.

5 Explosively Popular Book Genres and Why You Should Write in Them (1)

Now, you definitely can have different elements of multiple genres in your book.

So don’t think that if you picked romance, for instance, you can’t have an element of crime, mystery, or sci-fi laced throughout the book. You most certainly can! But the overarching theme and the thing that will be highlighted will be the romance. The same goes for every genre

How to Pick the Right Genre for You

Picking the right genre for your book might seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be.

When you are thinking about the genre you want to write in, you are targeting a specific audience. So, think about:

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  • Who you want to reach?
  • What does your ideal reader look like?
  • What would they like to get out of the book?

Once you have these answers, you can develop your book. The best way to understand what a reader wants is to read the most popular books in that genre. All genres have bestselling books. The reason is that those books gave the reader what they wanted.

Another great tip is just to write what you enjoy reading. You probably already have a specific genre you are drawn to or that you always find yourself picking up.

This is your preferred genre and will be perfect for you to write in. You are already familiar with the writing style and direction of the storyline.

For non-fiction books, the genres are not as broad. Here, you can write about a topic you are familiar with or passionate about. If you have a skill or idea you would like to teach people, then writing a non-fiction book is the way to go.


There is no way a reader will like every book in a specific genre. It’s just too broad, which is why subgenres exist. They help guide the reader into a more specific book niches

Picking your books subgenre is just as important as picking the genre. It will help you write in a specific direction that will appeal to a certain type of reader.

There are so many different subgenres for each genre, so you are definitely going to have to do your research. Chances are that you already have a subgenre preference, even if you don’t know it yet.

Really analyze the books you commonly read and see if there is a common theme. If you find it difficult to pick out the subgenre, try doing a quick Google search. You should be able to find out the subgenre in no time.

Why Choose a Popular Book Genre?

5 Explosively Popular Book Genres and Why You Should Write in Them (2)

Genres help readers pick books they would like to read. People naturally gravitate to the types of books they have enjoyed previously. Once a book becomes popular, people look for other books in the same genre. This is how genres grow in popularity.

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You can really boost the profitability of your book if you pick a current popular book genre. More people will be interested in picking it up. This means more potential readers for your book.

Places like Amazon and Play Books commonly suggest books to readers based on what they have read. So, writing a book in a genre that people are interested in reading could really increase traffic to it.

What Genres Sell the Most Books Right Now?

When making this list, we have also taken into account subgenres. Take a look at them and see if the book you want to write falls into any of these categories.

1. Romance – Contemporary and Historical

Romance is consistently one of the top-selling book genres and has been so for many years. In fact, it has never fallen out of the top 5 bestselling book genres.

Romance books are categorized by having an emotionally satisfying and often positive ending. These books take the reader on a journey where they become invested in the characters’ love story.

There are many subgenres in romance that are constantly fighting for the top spot. Right now, the most popular subgenres are contemporary romance and historical romance.

Contemporary romance is set in the present time. Anything set anytime after World War II would qualify. Because it is more current, you are free to explore the themes and ideas of current events. Some examples of these are Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Historical romance, on the other hand, is set anytime before 1945. The plot of these books relies on a solid portrayal of the era it is set in. Think Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole.

2. Crime and Thriller

5 Explosively Popular Book Genres and Why You Should Write in Them (3)

Crime/thriller and romance seem to be the two most popular genres for fiction books. They are always competing for the top spot. It has to do with the emotions they evoke.

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While romance gives readers a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, thrillers engulf the reader in the darker side of life. This is exactly what readers want when they pick up the likes of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or basically anything by Lee Child.

When people speak of a page turner, it is usually a book falling in this category. If written well, readers can burn through these books faster than most others. I mean, who isn’t curious to find out who had done it!

3. Religious and Self-help

These types of books have a huge following, both as ebooks and printed copies. People are more interested than ever in improving themselves.

Religious books are basically self-help books, but they are founded on religious doctrine. Of course, your readers will be those who follow that religion you are writing about.

If you are planning on writing a book in this genre, think about information that would be helpful to people. There are so many options here that you are only limited by yourself, your own ideas, and experiences.

Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero all fall under this category.

4. Children’s Books – Humor

5 Explosively Popular Book Genres and Why You Should Write in Them (4)

Children’s books are massively popular in both print and ebook versions. Children typically read more books than adults. This is because it is fun for them to get lost in an imaginary world. Anything that sparks a child’s sense of adventure and creativity is something they will enjoy reading.

The sweet spot, in terms of age, is children between the ages of 8 and 12, but even books for younger kids are still very popular. Knowing the trends and characters children are loving will help you write a children’s book that will captivate your young readers.

Adding humor to kids books is a rising trend. Kids love to laugh and so do the parents who will definitely be reading the book as well! Having a funny element really captures the child’s attention. The BFG by Roald Dahl is a great example of this.

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But honestly, who doesn't love a good laugh?!

5. Fantasy and Sci-fi – Young Adult

Readers of this genre are incredibly loyal to it. There are many subgenres, but the books geared towards young adults have become the most popular. Most of the stories in these books take place in other worlds or in this world but with a twist.

About half of the books on the 20 bestselling books of all time are from this genre. Think The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.

If you are worried that you will have to compete with these huge titles, then there is some good news for you. About 48% of this genre’s total book sales were either self-published or Amazon published.

Bonus Tip: Strong Female Lead

There has definitely been a rising demand for books with a strong female lead. Books that have an empowered heroine in it are getting attention. This is across all genres and niches, and we are here for it!

Kids are looking for female role models to look up to and adults are looking for someone to inspire them. Because of the lack of strong female leads in the past, it is understandable why representation is being asked for.

Final Thoughts

Picking the right genre can definitely help boost your book sales, but there’s more to it than just picking the top trending literary genre. Make sure that whatever you decide to write will capture your audience and give them what they are looking for.

Choose a genre that you know you will be able to write well. This way you can build a following of loyal readers who always enjoy your books. If your book falls into one of these categories, then that’s a huge bonus for you!

And even if it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean you should scrap your book and start anew! The best piece of advice is to write something you would be proud of and would enjoy reading.


What are the 7 types of genre? ›

Literary Genres
  • Drama. Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.
  • Fable. ...
  • Fairy Tale. ...
  • Fantasy. ...
  • Fiction. ...
  • Fiction in Verse. ...
  • Folklore. ...
  • Historical Fiction.

What are the 6 book genres? ›

These are the most popular book genres:
  • Fantasy.
  • Sci-Fi.
  • Mystery.
  • Thriller.
  • Romance.
  • Westerns.
  • Dystopian.
  • Contemporary.

How do you choose which genre you should write? ›

There are a few factors that decide which genre you should write.
  1. Write What You Love. I can honestly say that I love reading all different genres. ...
  2. Write What You Are Good At. ...
  3. Don't Write With Money In Mind. ...
  4. Think About Your Audience. ...
  5. Test A Few Different Genres.

What are 5 books called? ›

A pentalogy (from Greek πεντα- penta-, "five" and -λογία -logia, "discourse") is a compound literary or narrative work that is explicitly divided into five parts.

What are the 4 genres of writing? ›

The four main types of writing styles are persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive. In this blog post, we'll briefly explore the defining features of these four writing styles. For more help using these writing styles, schedule an appointment at the GWC!

Which is the most popular book Why? ›

Guinness World Records estimates that over five billion copies of the Bible have been sold, making it the best-selling book of all time. Because religious texts are often translated into many foreign languages and distributed widely by churches, however, precise figures are hard to come by.

What is a very popular book? ›

Top 100 best selling books of all time
1Da Vinci Code,TheCrime, Thriller & Adventure
2Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsChildren's Fiction
3Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneChildren's Fiction
4Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixChildren's Fiction
45 more rows

Why is romance the most popular genre? ›

Romance helps grow our understanding of other people. It encourages empathy. Because it's the most popular genre worldwide, that's why. Because they're written for women by women (it's right 90% of the time), everything centered on a woman.

Which genre of books sell the most 2022? ›

Young Adult

Young adults have the biggest market, as young people now know the value of reading as a pastime and an escape from reality. It is still popular among young adults going into 2022. The top genres here include sci-fi, fantasy, and romance.

What are the 3 major genres? ›

The three major genres are Prose, Drama, and Poetry.

Now, like I said within each of these genres there are several subgenres, but before we get to those let's go ahead and define the main genres. First, Prose.

What are the 7 major story types? ›

The 7 story archetypes are:
  • Overcoming the Monster.
  • Rags to Riches.
  • The Quest.
  • Voyage and Return.
  • Comedy.
  • Tragedy.
  • Rebirth.
31 Oct 2011

What are the four 4 major literary genre? ›

In the landscape of literature, there are four major genres: poetry, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction. While there are certain key recognizable features of each genre, these are not so much rules as they are tools, or conventions, the author uses.

What are the 10 types of novels? ›

Types of novels - next steps
  • Mysteries.
  • Romance.
  • Thrillers.
  • Science Fiction.
  • Fantasy.
  • Historical Fiction.

What is 7 books in a series called? ›

A heptalogy (/hɛpˈtælədʒi/; from Greek ἑπτα- hepta-, "seven" and -λογία -logia, "discourse"), also known as a septology, is a compound literary or narrative work that is made up of seven distinct works.

What are the 5 genres of nonfiction? ›

The 5 Kinds of Nonfiction include active, browsable, traditional, expository literature, and narrative nonfiction.

What is the best genre to write a story? ›

What Genres Sell the Most Books Right Now?
  1. Romance – Contemporary and Historical. Romance is consistently one of the top-selling book genres and has been so for many years. ...
  2. Crime and Thriller. ...
  3. Religious and Self-help. ...
  4. Children's Books – Humor. ...
  5. Fantasy and Sci-fi – Young Adult.
6 Nov 2020

What is an example of a genre of writing? ›

The main kinds of literary genre that you might be familiar with are fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

Why is writing in different genres good? ›

Writing in more than one genre: requires different strengths and allows you to push your limits and abilities–learn, test, experiment, polish. lets authors explore their wide interests without limitation. allows new writers to explore genres before determining the right “fit” for their style, voice and passions.

What is a 5 star book? ›

Finally, a five star read is one that I recommend to everyone (for years to come) with no hesitation or qualifications. It's a “must read” book and a book that I'd like to reread some day! One book I've been recommending for years is Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

What is a 6 book series called? ›

A hexalogy (from Greek ἑξα- hexa-, "six" and -λογία -logia, "discourse") is a compound literary or narrative work that is made up of six distinct works.

What are the first five books in the? ›

The Pentateuch, or the books of Moses, are the first five books in the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

What are the six genres of writing * Your answer? ›

There a six genres of writing: descriptive, expository, persuasive, narrative, technical and poetic.

What are the three genres of creative writing? ›

Three Genres gives students a basic introduction to fiction/ literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama and helps them to develop their creative skills in each area.

What are the 5 writing techniques? ›

The 5 Types of Writing Styles with Examples
  • Narrative Writing. Narrative writing is storytelling at its most basic: it's all about sharing something that happens to a character. ...
  • Descriptive Writing. ...
  • Persuasive Writing. ...
  • Expository Writing. ...
  • Creative Writing.
19 Apr 2021

What is the name of 10 famous book? ›

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

What is the #1 book ever sold? ›

According to Guinness World Records as of 1995, the Bible is the best-selling book of all time with an estimated 5 billion copies sold and distributed.

Are Famous Five books still popular? ›

The author hadn't intended the series to continue for so long. Initially planning between six and eight books, the children's adventures proved so popular that Blyton continued writing them until 1953. More than two million copies of the Famous Five books are still sold each year.

What is the most popular book ever read? ›

The most read book in the world is the Bible. Writer James Chapman created a list of the most read books in the world based on the number of copies each book sold over the last 50 years. He found that the Bible far outsold any other book, with a whopping 3.9 billion copies sold over the last 50 years.

What is the most famous book ever? ›

The Holy Bible is the most read book in the world. In the past 50 years, the Bible has sold over 3.9 billion copies. It is the most recognizable and famous book that has ever been published.

What does #1 best-selling book mean? ›

A bestseller is a book or other media noted for its top selling status, with bestseller lists published by newspapers, magazines, and book store chains.

What is the #1 genre in the world? ›

Deserving of its name, pop music is in fact the most popular music genre in the world.

What genre is least popular? ›

Jazz is the least popular genre of music in the United States. Once very popular in American cities, including Omaha, jazz began to lose its place on the music industry in the 1960s. Rock 'n' roll became the new thing.

What are people's favorite genre? ›

*Total sample size was 2,200.
Most popular movie genres among adults in the United States as of December 2018.
CharacteristicShare of respondents
9 more rows
12 Aug 2021

What is the most watched genre? ›

Market Share for Each Genre 1995-2022
11 more rows

Which genre is the most influential? ›

Hip hop has been named the most influential musical genre to emerge since 1960, beating the British invasion of the Rolling Stones and The Beatles, soul, punk, prog rock, heavy metal, disco and many more in a new study.

Why is the fantasy genre so popular? ›

Fantasy tends to be more character driven.

You look at fantasy novels and certainly the plot is important but we fall in love with the characters. They tend to be more fleshed out and the books are huge so the story has a lot of time to spend on dialogue.

What book genre is popular now 2022? ›


Thrillers are a perpetually popular genre that continue to hit the bestseller lists and continue to be made into films and shows.

What is the most sold fiction book? ›

25 Best-Selling Books of All-Time
  • #1 – Don Quixote (500 million copies sold) ...
  • #2 – A Tale of Two Cities (200 million copies sold) ...
  • #3 – The Lord of the Rings (150 million copies sold) ...
  • #4 – The Little Prince (142 million copies sold) ...
  • #5 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (107 million copies sold)

What is the current best selling novel? ›

  • Desert Star by Michael Connelly. ...
  • The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham. ...
  • Fairy Tale by Stephen King. ...
  • No Plan B by Lee Child; Andrew Child. ...
  • Going Rogue by Janet Evanovich. ...
  • Triple Cross by James Patterson. ...
  • Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks. ...
  • Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult; Jennifer Finney Boylan.
17 Nov 2022

What are the 5 writing genres? ›

there are only five main kinds of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and journal or letter writing. Each writing genre has its own unique purpose and requires different skills.

What are common genres? ›

The Genre and Subgenre Debate

These subjects can include biography, business, fiction, history, mystery, comedy, romance and thrillers.

What are the 5 major story elements? ›

There are five key elements to every story: plot, setting, characters, point of view, and conflict.

What are the 6 original stories? ›

This gets along well with Kurt Vonnegut's research on the six basic plots in literature.
That said, Vonnegut's six basic plots are:
  • Rags to Riches (Rise)
  • Riches to Rags (Fall)
  • Man in a Hole (Fall, then rise)
  • Icarus (Rise, then fall)
  • Cinderella (Rise, fall, rise)
  • Oedipus (Fall, rise, fall)
3 Mar 2020

What are the 5 types of short stories? ›

Short Fiction Forms: Novella, Novelette, Short Story, and Flash Fiction Defined
  • Novella. A work of fiction between 20,000 and 49,999 words is considered a novella. ...
  • Novelette. A novelette falls in the range of 7,500 to 19,999 words. ...
  • Short story. ...
  • Flash fiction. ...
  • Short Fiction Challenge.

What are the 5 genres of literature briefly explain each? ›

The main literary genres are fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Literary Genres. Two Main Types Fiction Non-fiction Both can be divided into categories called GENRES: ◦ group of books which share style, form, or content.

What are the 5 basic literary elements in literature? ›

These five components are: the characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. These essential elements keep the story running smoothly and allow the action to develop in a logical way that the reader can follow.

What are the top 10 most popular book genres? ›

Most Popular Fiction Genres
  • Fantasy.
  • Science Fiction.
  • Dystopian.
  • Adventure.
  • Romance.
  • Detective & Mystery.
  • Horror.
  • Thriller.
17 Nov 2022

What is the 5 example of fiction? ›

Mysteries, science fiction, romance, fantasy, chick lit, crime thrillers are all fiction genres.

What are the 4 types of stories for kids? ›

Children's book genres.
  • Fable. This is usually a short story with few characters, and very often the characters are anthropomorphic – animals who behave and speak like humans. ...
  • Fairytale. ...
  • 2b. ...
  • Myth. ...
  • Folktale. ...
  • Legend. ...
  • Trickster Tale. ...
  • Tall Tale.
4 Mar 2015

Is there a book called 11? ›

This is a story about bullies and heroes. About tragedy and hope. About enemies with two legs and friends with four, and pesky little sisters and cranky old men, and an unexpected lesson in kindness delivered with a slice of pizza. This is Eleven: the journey of a boy turning eleven on 9/11.

What is a set of 4 books called? ›

A tetralogy (from Greek τετρα- tetra-, "four" and -λογία -logia, "discourse"), also known as a quadrilogy, is a compound work that is made up of four distinct works.

What do you call a 9 book series? ›

It's called an ennealogy. It means a nine-part series, as in Star Wars, which, like the Conspiracy Chronicles, is made up of three interconnected trilogies, or nine total narrative pieces of the larger pie.

What are the 7 genres of nonfiction? ›

Nonfiction Genres List
  • History. History nonfiction writing involves recounting a historical event or specific time period. ...
  • Biographies And Autobiographies. ...
  • Memoirs. ...
  • Travel Writing. ...
  • Philosophy. ...
  • Religion And Spirituality. ...
  • Self-Help. ...
  • Science.

What are the 4 main genres of literature explain each briefly? ›

There are four main literary genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama. The works within each genre share certain characteristics that place them in the same category. Furthermore, categories of literature can be divided into sub-genres.

What are public genres of writing? ›

Public writing is a broad category that includes a wide variety of genres: opinion pieces, letters to the editor, blogs, newspaper reports, magazine features, letters to elected officials, memoirs, obituaries, and much more. All of these genres share common features.

What is creative writing genres? ›

The four primary genres of creative writing are fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and drama.

Can a writer write in two genres? ›

Without an agent or publisher, you're free to write anything you want–and not be pigeon-holed into one specific genre. Prior to the more mainstream self-publishing options currently available for authors, the direction your writing took was often dictated (at least in part) by the marketing departments of publishers.

What are the 5 main genres of fictional literature? ›

The following are some of the main genres as they are used in contemporary publishing:
  • Crime.
  • Fantasy.
  • Romance.
  • Science fiction.
  • Horror.

What are the 3 literary genres? ›

Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry, and Drama.

What are the 5 literary genres in 21st century? ›

They are,
  • Hypertext.
  • Speculative Fictional.
  • Experimental Fictional.
  • Auto fictional.
  • Game making.
6 Oct 2020

What are the 7 literary? ›

The 7 Literary Standards The seven literary standards are: artistry, suggestiveness, intellectual value, spiritual value, permanence, universality and style. These are a set of characteristics to determine whether or not a work is literary. The criteria was developed by writer William J.

What are the 4 types of literature mention and explain them? ›

Several commonly recognized different types of literature are: nonfiction prose. fiction prose. poetry.

What are the 9 types of stories? ›

  • Overcoming the Monster.
  • The Quest.
  • Voyage and Return.
  • Rags to Riches.
  • Rebirth.
  • Rebellion.
  • Tragedy.
  • Comedy.


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