This is my last post for September here on the main blog. What does that mean? Well it means starting Monday, this site is going to be playing second fiddle to RA for All Horror for the entirety of October. I will have more here on Monday, but for now, know that while this blog will post every weekday, my main attention is on 31 Days of Horror during October.
And believe it or not, once Halloween passes, we are going to be knee deep into year end "Best" territory. In fact, soon I will have a HUGE announcement about my annual "Year in Review" webinar that I have been offering over the last few years through PCI Webinars. Just know that it is happening, but this year, I will have a new partner and because of that partnership, the webinar will be more widely available and completely FREE to view live. Details soon.
Which leads us to today post which touches on BOTH issue from the above. I am already keeping an eye out for articles and information which is summarizing year end trends and my Horror expertise is in high demand. So, when PW had this article about Bookstores experiencing HUGE increases in sales of genre fiction, my antennae went up.
While general fiction at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango, Colo., grew by 7% in the first half of 2023 over the same period in 2022—after what adult book buyer Jeanne Costello described as two “awesome” years in 2021 and 2022—genre fiction continues to post bigger gains, including a 23% sales increase in mysteries, 26% in SFF, 36% in horror, and 64% in romance. “Art rises to the times we are living in,” Costello noted. “The past several years have dealt us some overwhelming problems, from the pandemic to extreme weather and deep political and cultural clashes. Romance and mystery allow us to process emotions and solve problems that elude us in our real lives. Horror helps to process trauma, and science fiction/fantasy can build worlds that can offer hope, featuring heroes and worlds that are saved in the end.”
At the end of each year I always cross reference book sales data and library circulation data and use the information in tandem to make larger proclamations about trends. You can see last year's slides from my 2022 Year in Review for an example.
Now, here in libraries we have been seeing an increase in genre readership for a few years, but some libraries ignore it. Why? Well even in 2023, I still see a bias in the library world that places "literary" titles above all others even though genre titles, especially Romance and Mystery, have always been our most widely circulating books.
The disdain many library workers have for "Genre" fiction is not hidden. Trust me, I encounter it all of the time, but even if you are one of those people who only promote genre titles because you have to, you cannot argue with sales data. If bookstores are clearing more space for genre, you should also be highlighting it more.
And since it is going to be October, why not start with Horror.
More on that starting 10/1, but it is all genres, so check out the full report and think about how you can incorporate this increase in sales into your RA work.