If you're anything like me, you enjoy reading a variety of books. From steamy erotic novels to inspirational self-help paperbacks...it's nice to just get alone and lose yourself in a thought-provoking book. And it's interesting that the most popular and best selling book genres are Romance, Crime/Mystery, Inspirational, Horror, and Suspense/ Thrillers Fiction. Lots of pocket change is spent on those kind of books globally and yet there are still quite a few books around that do not see a worldly fanfare and relatively sit on the shelves.
Top Five Worse Genres by Sales (Updated with Stats)
The Action/Adventure category is the worst for sales, with an estimated .74 million copies sold each year. Action Adventure books feature danger and crazy adventures for their heroes, which differs extremely from their ordinary day-to-day lives. They hit their peak in the 1950s. Today, action-adventure books are most often found in other genres, like crime novels, thrillers, murder mysteries and war novels.
Westerns sell an estimated .96 million copies each year. This is only slightly better than the Action/Adventure category. Westerns had their heyday during the late 1940s to about 1967. To exemplify this, John Wayne made movies from 1930 to 1962. Clint Eastwood was very popular from 1960 to the early 1980s for his spaghetti westerns. Of course, he's gone on to do more acting and directing in Westerns and other genres. The western soap opera Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975. The slowdown of the genre occurred in the late 1970s with most Western comic books going into reprint rather than new stories being published, and the book genre has seen a slow decline since the late 1970s. What I suspect is that this genre can now be found in other categories, like historical novels and romance novels, where the western theme is more of a subgenre than the main genre and reason for the story.
Occult and horror books sell roughly 1.05 million books a year. This genre was extremely popular in the 1970s and 80 and has since hit its peak and fallen almost off the charts. However, like action/adventure books and westerns, horrors or horror-like books can be found in other categories. I find them most often in the thriller and paranormal categories, but they can also be found in fantasy and science fiction.
4. Religious Books
Religious books sell roughly 1.33 million copies a year. There's no distinction here between different categories of religious books, such as reference, self-help and fiction. The exception here is the Holy Bible, which last time I checked was the most popular book ever and remains that way. For individuals who read religious fiction and seek out religious books, they are very dedicated to this category, but it's certainly not growing.
5. Science Fiction
Science fiction sells roughly 2.68 million copies a year. These are your space adventures, your weird technology adventures and futuristic-type novels. Like most of these genres, science fiction's heyday was in the 1960s and 70s. Star Trek anyone? Star Wars? While Star Trek and Star Wars and spinoffs are very popular, this category as a whole is not. Could science fiction be showing up in other genres? Certainly, which may be the reason for the dramatic decline of the category but why there are still millions of fans.
Where were the stats found? Statista, but good luck getting this link to work. Most of the time the informtion is behind a $60 pay wall.
Western type genre- These are fictional books set in the Old West or in the historical frontier days of the late 18th to late 19th Century. These kind of books are less interesting to today's more tech-savvy everyday readers and seem to be only favored by a marginalized group of people who enjoy reading about fictionalized Cowboys, Indians, and dusty trails.
Fantasy theme fiction- Although, this type of fiction you'd think would excite reader's imaginations, the opposite is true. In fact, most readers who used to run into bookstores to find those brain-curdling imaginative stories now find them boring and lacking in prose. When it comes to the book charts, fantasy is fourth from the bottom.
Graphic novels- You know these are the kind of books that feature wild at heart stories told with comic-strip imagery. In 2017, this type of fictional genre saw record low sales in compared to mysteries and the ever best-selling Romance novels.
The Classics - This brand of fiction has always been slated for school usage as well as considered to be culturally rich, yet many readers today find this type of fiction stale and lucid. Perhaps the availability of this type of fiction sparks people's disinterest in our more sophisticated culture today.