Monday, October 08, 2018

Writers and Genre Popluarity

Last week, I read an interesting article on The Passive Voice. It was about a study conducted by The Writing Cooperative, which develops software for writers. They surveyed 740 writers who use their products. I don't know how representative this sample is of all writers, so these answers may not be strictly accurate. Nevertheless, I was struck by one result: according to this survey, the most popular genre was science fiction and fantasy, with 34% of writers saying that was the genre they tended to write in. This is especially surprising when you realize, as one Passive Voice commenter did, that romance is the most widely read genre, so you'd expect more writers to write that. Only 8.5% of authors in this survey reported writing romance, which was the second most popular genre. Perhaps this genre breakdown is an artifact of the small survey group, or it could have something to do with some genre writers preferring other methods of producing their work.

As a science fiction/fantasy writer myself, I have mixed feelings about this result. If there is such a large group of writers in my field out there, then that means I have a lot of other writers to exchange ideas with and potentially become friends with. On the other hand, it may be harder to come up with unique ideas, and there's more competition for markets. Most of the conventions and other writing groups I participate in are genre-focused, so I have less contact with writers outside my genre.

What do you think about these survey results? Do you think they hold up when you consider larger groups of writers? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Considering we aren't in a very popular genre, that's ironic so many of us write it. Maybe it's more competition and maybe it's not. Certainly not a dent on ideas though. Our genre has the widest playing field!

James Pailly said...

That kind of surprises me. Whenever I hang out with other writers, I definitely feel like the oddball of the group. Then again, maybe the people I hang out with are not representative of the writing community as a whole. Who knows?

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