As a writer of horror (and other sundries) I am always asked why I write a genre that will forever take a back seat to most other genres. The answer to that one question is simple — because it’s my passion. But that question actually begs of numerous, multi-layered questions. I thought, what better place to ask these questions than here, where blood, gore, and fabulous spills from fountains made of bone and satin.
Let’s begin with the easy and work our way down to the impossible. The first question for you to answer (in the comments below) is this:
What genre do you prefer to read/write and why? Be honest and let us all know where you spend your hard earned coin and time.
Now, we dig a bit deeper into the muck and mire of a far more crucial truth. What, if anything, can pull you from your beloved favorite genre? This could be anything — a recommendation from a friend, a review, a burning need to branch out?
Finally, the third and most challenging question of all: Why are certain genres more popular than others? This is the key question for any writer or reader. We all want to know why there is such a fascination with whatever genre is burning up the bookshelves at the moment. Both readers and writers alike!
Where does all this come from? Once I complete the next I Zombie book and novel-within-a-novel To Be Written, I plan on firing up the steampunk engines of my Klockwerk Kabaret series. I’m highly interested in how the different genres will sell at different times.
Before I let you loose into the forest, I want to take a moment to answer the questions on my own — that way you don’t have to worry about going first. I am, if anything, a fair and just host. 😉
What genre do you prefer to read/write and why?
For me this is simple – Horror. Why? It’s my passion. I’ve adored horror since I was but a wee child. The monster, the hellish, the brutal — have always been intriguing to me. How deeply disturbed the human condition can become remind me how fragile we are as a species.
What, if anything, can pull you from your beloved favorite genre?
There are other genres I read and write. I do love sci-fi and thrillers. In fact, I plan on starting my first steampunk series very soon. What intrigues me about that is the beauty in the melding of old school tech, modern story lines, and futuristic ideas. It’s a brilliant mashup few other genres enjoy.
Why are certain genres more popular than others?
This one is tough, like on a holy crap kinda level. Most often I’ll drop the “Because the media has convinced the masses that something is popular bomb.” But I don’t know if that’s the case. Here’s what I do believe. There’s a whole lot of truth to be found when looking at who spends the most amount of money on books — women. Here are some interesting statistics:
- More than 40 percent of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book; the average age of the American book buyer is 42.
- The average age of the American book buyer is 42.
- Women make 64 percent of all book purchases, even among detective stories and thrillers, where they buy more than 60 percent of that genre.
That says to me, the most purchased books will be of the romance ilk. That could mean just about anything — but Paranormal Romance, Erotica, and other sub-genres pop into my mind. This also tells me why horror isn’t nearly as profitable a genre as others. The overwhelming majority of horror fans are male (this, of course, is changing) and mostly 18-35 years old. Not in the highest percentage of book buyers there.
So I firmly believe the major contributer to genre popularity will be found in those elements of society that most influence the opinions of women. I know the average reader is most strongly influenced by word of mouth — but that, I believe, would only hold true on specific titles, and not genres. I believe genre (be it for books, movies, music, etc.) is most strongly influenced by environment. This includes upbringing, social and educational circles… you get the idea.
So, with that in mind… Grab your favorite caffeinated beverage and talk amongst yourselves.