Top Three Best-Selling Book Genres of All Time

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Though the main goal as a writer is to pursue whatever genre or storyline your heart desires, it doesn’t hurt to know which ones normally make the most money. The markets for traditional publishing versus self-publishing vary, keeping in mind how e-readers and e-books have changed the landscape in a significant way the past decade. Here are Midnight Publishing’s top three best-selling book genres in history:

1. Fantasy/Science Fiction Genre

“Lords of the Rings,” anyone? Yes, this trilogy by prolific author J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the top selling series in the history of time, with a reported 150 million copies sold. Other popular series include George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” books, “The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan, and the “Star Wars” series (though not nearly as popular as the movies). One of the reasons this genre seems to be so lucrative is because of its lack of standalone books; the worlds are so big and the storylines so complex that they require many installments to reach completion.

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2. Erotica/Romance Genre

E.L. James took the publishing world by storm when her originally self-published story, titled “The Master of the Universe,” was traditionally published as “Fifty Shades of Grey.” This was right around the boom of the e-reader, creating a “perfect storm” for female readers who craved the romantic, fantastical S&M tale and privacy while they read it. Romance has always been a popular choice for money-making, as its readers are especially loyal and have voracious appetites for new material. Best-selling self-published authors Bella Andre and Courtney Milan are reporting eight-figure incomes from their romance series, with many others easily making comfortable livings through Amazon’s KDP program.

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3. Children’s Fiction

With the richest author in history belonging to this group—J.K. Rowling for the “Harry Potter” series, whose net worth is said to be $1 billion—it’s not a surprise to find that children’s fiction is the best traditionally published genre of all. Other children’s books such as “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis and literary classic “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry also massively tip the scales in this genre’s favor.

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One of the most exciting things about the publishing industry today is the ability to become a hybrid author! Find Midnight Publishing’s tips for pursuing this lucrative career here.

For further reading on the best-selling book genres of all time, check out these links:

The Richest’s Which 5 Book Genres Make The Most Money?

Wikipedia’s List of Best-selling Books

EBOOK Friendly’s Infographic on the Most Popular Genres of All Time

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