It should come as no surprise that the world of fiction novels continues to outsell its nonfiction counterpart year after year. While the self-help genre has allowed for a significant boom in the nonfiction sector over the past decade, it still has miles to go before it catches up with its famous sibling. People love getting lost in entire worlds, drawn in with dynamic characters, and left breathless by an action-oriented plot. It’s intoxicating and addicting, and it can pull us from the brink of our own lives to only give us a break.
So, what are the hottest fiction genres for 2017? What makes them so unique and extraordinary? Why do people crave them? Why should YOU crave them? All these answers will come with time and patience, my dear grasshopper. Or, a bit more reading on your part.
The fiction genre that continues to sweep people away is Contemporary Romance. Who doesn’t enjoy a good love story? Contemporary romances are all about desire and sensuality as well as lust and delayed gratification. Many contemporary novels fall under the “erotica” headline, whose readership in the eBook world is easily double that of any other sub-genre in fiction. Men are painted as masculine, chiseled creatures and women are painted as fiercely independent, and sometimes the woman is even considered the damsel in distress while the hunky male protagonist comes and saves the day. The lure for this topic is all about the sexual tension: the denial of attraction between the main characters, the lust that brews between them, and the ultimate steamy scene where their fingertips finally get to graze the skin of the one they’ve finally admitted they love. I’m shivering just thinking about it.
The next genre of fiction to sell out the stadium is the Suspense/Thriller genre. In these stories, one of the main characters is usually in jeopardy. They have found themselves in hot water, and nightmarish pasts come to light in spine-tingling books that have you chewing the inside of your lip the entire time. The characters are dark, their pasts are peppered with sting and regret, the settings are steeped in psychological mind games, and the question the entire books surrounds is whether the protagonist will truly escape the horrors they’ve found themselves in. These plots come with twists and turn you never expect and are shrouded in a curtain of mystery that leaves the reader guessing the entire plot until the very end.
Then, there is the New Adult fiction category. Instead of featuring adult characters, these books feature college-aged adults that explore challenges many actual teenagers face when venturing out on their own for the first time. This fiction topic is very popular because it allows college-aged individuals to lose themselves in characters they can relate to while exploring their own wild and sensual side. The trope used here is the exploring of all life has to offer when parents are no longer lurking in every corner, so parties and sex are usually the main topics in these books. However, it is not considered erotica because the focus is not the relationship between the two characters having sex, but how the individual character navigates their own emotions and mindsets after the hook-up or party happens.
Fantasy is the next genre of fiction, and this one is probably the easiest to explain. Fantasy worlds completely rip us from the rules and confines of our own lives and allow us to explore alternate realities that house new sets of standards and ideals. Kingdoms, mythological creatures, and religious beliefs are fleshed out in detail within these books, and the main reason why they are so popular is that they are usually created in a series. And, while they often take cues from traditional historical settings, the reason this genre is so popular is due to the attachment the reader forms to individual characters. Often, a character is introduced, developed, and finished in the span of one book. In the fantasy genre, characters are introduced and developed over multiple books. We get to see how they interact and grow, how they date and love and lose, how they war and argue and deal with their emotions. And sometimes we walk them through their lives right up until their burial scenes. It is the connection we get to form with these characters that make this fiction genre so popular with the masses.
The last best-selling fiction genre of 2017 is the Action/Adventure genre. This is any book that puts the main character in some danger they have to navigate. Courageous battles and defeats are had and near-brushes with death are met as this type of fast-paced novel robs us of our breath and doesn’t give it back until the very end. However, the climaxes in these stories are done differently: while a climax in any other genre serves as a turning point for drama, a climax in an action/adventure novel is a turning point for relief. It is this relief that turns the story 180 degrees and thrusts it into another direction, and that is why people keep coming back and reading this genre over and over again: because they love how it throws them in one direction before tugging them in another.
The great thing about two of these genres is that they are top-selling genres time and time again. Contemporary Romance and Action/Adventure dominate the marketplace when it comes to both sales and authors that write for them, so you will never be scouring titles for new material to read. There will always be something exciting, steamy, and new in these genres every single year because, out of all the aspects we enjoy in books, Contemporary Romance and Action/Adventure offer us two of the most popular ones: love and adventure.
And who doesn’t enjoy losing themselves in a great love or heart-pounding adventure?