So, you’ve decided to write a book! Now it’s time to figure out what book genre is the best for you. For some writers, this is obvious. You might already have an idea that fits into one genre. For others, it can be a challenge to figure out.

Sometimes the book you want to write fits into multiple book genres—or doesn’t fit into any genre! If you’re stuck, you can consider writing in one of the most popular genres listed below.

We’ve compiled a list of book genres to inspire you!

Most Popular Book Genres in 2022

According to data provided by the Alliance of Independent Authors in 2022, book sales are on the upswing. In 2021, book sales of 825.7 million units tallied a whopping $26 billion at the cash register, representing an 8.9% bump over 2020. Interestingly, print sales outsold eBooks at a rate of four to one, further highlighting the 8% decline in eBook sales year over year.

So, what is the most popular book genre? It’s interesting to note the difference between most “popular” book genres and most profitable book genres. For example, children’s books continue to garner the largest slice of the fiction genre pie, dominating the field with 39% percent of the books sold.

However, when it comes to the most profitable book genre in the fiction category, the prize goes to romance/erotica. To make sense of this, consider that the retail price of a children’s fiction book is a fraction of the romance novel’s price tag.

Below, see the best-selling genres in both the non-fiction and fiction categories:

Bestselling fiction genres:

  • Children’s fiction
  • Modern literary fiction
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Classic literary fiction
  • Mystery fiction

Bestselling non-fiction genres:

  • Memoirs & biographies
  • Self-help books
  • Spiritual & Religious books
  • Health, fitness, and dieting
  • Politics and social sciences

Here’s a closer look at what genres land on the most bestseller lists!


Romance books are easily the most profitable genre, with no sign of slowing down. The most recent data confirms that this genre pulled in $1.44 billion in sales in 2021. This genre is easy to write because romance books usually follow a pretty simple formula.

The book starts with a protagonist and a love interest, but a conflict prevents them from immediately being together. The two characters work to overcome the conflict, and the story closes with a happily ever after.

Of course, not all romance books do or will follow this formula. Instead, it’s up to the author to make the formula feel original or change it to work best for their story.

Romance books sell exceptionally well in eBook format, too.

Children’s Books

Children’s books have very strong sales but usually sell for a lower price, coming in at a cool $1 billion in sales. This genre is a good choice if you want to include illustrations or have a young audience in mind.

Keep in mind that picture books sell better in print, however. So, if you plan to publish eBooks, children’s picture books may not be the best genre for you. Middle-grade books sell well as eBooks and might be a better alternative.

Writing and publishing children’s books requires you to understand what kids are currently reading. You must be able to write at a level that children can understand and enjoy. Avoid the children’s book genre if you want to write something with complicated language.

Some sub-genres that are popular among children’s books include:

  • Adventure
  • Fantasy
  • Contemporary/Realistic Fiction

Thriller, Crime, & Mystery Books

These are the most popular book genres that sell in print, with sales of $299 million in 2021. So, if your goal is to focus on publishing print books, the mystery, thriller, and crime genres are great choices.

The appeal of these genres is that they all have a puzzle to solve by the end of the book. These genres have readers on the edges of their seats. Keep your readers turning the pages with a maze of a plot.

The mystery/thriller/crime genres are great for writing series! If you want to write a series, consider one of these page-turning genres.

Young Adult

Young adult is more an age category than a book genre, and the target audience is teenagers. Young adult books represent about 3% of the fiction genre sales.

Writing for young adults can be a lot of fun because so many genres are selling well. If you’re lucky, the subject or subgenre you write in might become one of the latest trends.

You are likely familiar with the vampire and dystopia trends in the YA market. Bestselling books like Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent are all popular movie adaptations from the past few years.

Many young adult books have high selling potential. Even better? Your book could have a good chance of being adapted to film.

YA readers often read on their phones or tablets. So, eBooks are a hit in this market, but print books still sell well.


Are you super creative? Do you love building new worlds? If yes, then fantasy might be the best pick for you!

Create your world by diving into the fantasy genre, which commands 13% of the fiction genre pie. This genre can be applied to children’s, young adult, or adult categories. Fantasy is successful for all age groups.

Most Profitable Book Genres in 2022

Whether you prefer romcoms or serious historical romance, the romance genre can provide excellent earning potential. However, while romance and erotica take the top prize as the most profitable book genre and sell well in both print and eBook formats, there are still plenty of other options to consider if romance is not your thing.

Publisher’s Weekly provides a plethora of specific sales data for the publishing industry, comparing book sales in 2020 to those in 2021. The takeaway is that there is a broad range of genres to consider when looking at the business aspects of authorship.

For example, if you’re gifted with a vivid imagination, consider fantasy fiction or sci-fi, which accounted for sales of $590 million. If you love intrigue and weaving a complex tale, why not try your hand at a mystery or thriller, a genre that pulled in almost $80 million.

Maybe you excel in a specific field, have deep knowledge about a historical figure, or are an expert communicator—if so, give non-fiction a go, as there is abundant money to be made in those genres. In fact, more than 400 million non-fiction books were sold in 2021, representing a 4.4% increase over 2020. Within that category, there were some rock stars in 2021. Non-fiction business/economic book sales were up 19%, and travel-related books were up even more with an astounding 23.3% increase.

What Genre Should I Write?

Deciding which genre to write your next book in is not as much a financial decision as it is a practical one. After all, if you don’t know a lick about finance, you probably won’t be penning a best-selling non-fiction business book. It is always best to gravitate toward a genre you not only enjoy reading but that you also have a particular skill set or talent for.

If you happen to be a diverse writing savant and can adapt chameleon-like to a range of different genres, then, by all means, take a look at the sales trends before homing in on your target.

Another thing to consider when asking yourself, “What genre should I write?” is whether you are planning to create a book series. A book series is well suited to the mystery, young adult, and fantasy genres, which may help guide your decision.

Work With Gatekeeper Press to Publish Your Book

You can be successful with any genre. Consider writing in your favorite genre. Or try writing a book and seeing where it ends up. Maybe your book will turn out to be a successful cross-genre masterpiece.

Write the best book you possibly can. Pick the genre that feels right. With hard work and a dedicated professional publishing team, any book can be a bestseller.

Get a quote or free consultation from Gatekeeper Press. Regardless of your chosen genre, we can help you successfully publish your book.

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