Where to find genre sales and publications numbers. Is there a way to find which genres are more successful?

I apologize if this has been asked a hundred times but I didn't find it in the existing questions. The question Where can I find sales numbers for books?, is not up-to date and the stats link doesn’t work and a visit to the main site only held the paying for stats version. This question is somewhat linked to my specific question Under which genre to publish? but is broader in nature and may be more useful to other writers.

I know that publishing houses do not publish their sales numbers. I know that one can find some partial information on internet or E-books sales. I know that there is a bit of fashion involved and that a very successful book or series might turn the tables. I also understand that genre is a publishing house gimmick for categorizing ease and that many books are multi-sectional.

What I wonder is if there is way to roughly know what sells, or what publishing houses want?

Even better would the "backlist" figures that exclude books by well-known authors. Else, is there is a way to guestimate the relative strength of various genres?


Sorry, didn’ get much done yet. I will Update the answer several times as I gather some research. For now, the Romance writers of America link from the page you recomanded http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582

on romance subgenres by format read primarily: Print: romantic suspense (53%); contemporary romance (41%); historical romance (34%); erotic romance (33%); New Adult (26%); paranormal romance (19%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (17%).

E-book: romantic suspense (48%); contemporary romance (44%); erotic romance (42%); historical romance (33%); paranormal romance (30%); New Adult (26%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (14%).

Top genres for e-books: erotica, romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, and adult fiction.

FROM http://www.wired.com/2013/06/digital-publishing-genre-fiction/ “ publishers have focused much of their attention on genres like sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and romance fiction “…“In the case of some genre titles, as much as 60 to 70 percent of the sales are digital.” ….“According to a recent survey, more than a fifth of all genre e-books sold in the United Kingdom are self-published”…

FROM Self-Publishing’s Share of the Kindle Market by Genre http://edwardwrobertson.com/self-publishings-share-of-the-kindle-market-by-genre/

Market share: Romance: 40% - Mysteries/Thrillers: 20% - Fantasy: 6.33% - Sci-Fi: 5%

ROMANCE - Self-published: 49%, Small/medium: 11%, Amazon: 9%, Big 5/Harlequin: 30% MYSTERY/THRILLER/SUSPENSE - Self-published: 11%, Small/medium: 5%, Amazon: 16%, Big 5: 68%, SCIENCE FICTION - Self-published: 56%, Small/medium: 9%, Amazon: 5%, Big 5 (plus Baen): 30%, FANTASY - Self-published: 49%, Small/medium: 7%, Amazon: 7%, Big 5: 37%

  • Rest assured, links you get here will probably go out of date soon too.
    – Standback
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 22:11
  • Romance. There are more romance novels published per year than any other fiction genre.
    – lea
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 4:47
  • 2
    You are asking this question the wrong way. The genre that sells the most books over all isn't necessarily the genre in which the best selling authors publish or where authors earn the most.
    – user5645
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


A google search for 'fiction genre sales' includes these results on the first page:




which answer your question for the USA, and go some way towards answering it for the UK.

US: Romance/porn, crime, religion, SciFi, horror (in descending order)

  • 1
    Thanks, i didn't thinkk of this, u got my upvote for your patience. i am currently doing research on the topic and will post it as an answer when i have more. if i am not downvoted much i will leave this Q open since i am sure this Q arises often. Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 23:55

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