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This is an overview of the top 20 genres that are most successful in terms of creating bestseller books, touching on their key characteristics and popular subgenres. This overview will offer insights into the diverse world of publishing and what makes these genres particularly appealing to readers and successful in the market.


1. Romance

  • Subgenres: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Fantasy, Erotic

  • Appeal: Focuses on relationships and emotional connections, offering escapism and happy endings.


2. Mystery/Thriller

  • Subgenres: Crime, Police Procedural, Cozy Mystery, Psychological Thriller

  • Appeal: Provides suspense, intrigue, and excitement, keeping readers hooked with twists and turns.


3. Fantasy

  • Subgenres: High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

  • Appeal: Builds elaborate worlds and magical systems, offering complete immersion in the fantastical.


4. Science Fiction

  • Subgenres: Hard Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Cyberpunk, Dystopian

  • Appeal: Explores futuristic concepts and technologies, questioning humanity's role in the universe.


5. Young Adult (YA)

  • Subgenres: YA Romance, YA Fantasy, YA Dystopian, YA Contemporary

  • Appeal: Addresses the challenges and experiences of adolescence, resonating with both teen and adult readers.


6. Children’s Fiction

  • Subgenres: Picture Books, Middle Grade, Chapter Books, Educational

  • Appeal: Offers stories that educate, entertain, and foster a love of reading from an early age.


7. Historical Fiction

  • Subgenres: Period Fiction, Biographical, War, Adventure

  • Appeal: Merges factual historical context with compelling storytelling, bringing history to life.


8. Horror

  • Subgenres: Supernatural, Psychological Horror, Gothic, Monster Fiction

  • Appeal: Evokes fear and suspense, exploring the darker aspects of the human psyche and supernatural.


9. Self-Help

  • Subgenres: Personal Development, Motivational, Health and Wellness, Psychology

  • Appeal: Provides guidance and strategies for improving one's life, health, and wellbeing.


10. Biography/Autobiography

  • Subgenres: Memoir, True Crime, Historical, Celebrity

  • Appeal: Offers insightful looks into the lives of fascinating individuals, providing inspiration and learning.


11. Cooking/Food

  • Subgenres: Cookbooks, Food History, Diet & Nutrition, Food Science

  • Appeal: Explores culinary arts and nutrition, providing recipes, techniques, and food-related knowledge.


12. Health & Fitness

  • Subgenres: Exercise, Dieting, Mental Health, Alternative Medicine

  • Appeal: Focuses on physical and mental health practices, offering advice for a healthier lifestyle.


13. Business & Economics

  • Subgenres: Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Leadership

  • Appeal: Provides insights into the business world, offering strategies for success and financial growth.  

14. Travel

  • Subgenres: Travel Guides, Adventure Travel, Cultural Exploration, Memoirs

  • Appeal: Offers exploration and adventure from the comfort of home, inspiring future journeys.


15. Religion & Spirituality

  • Subgenres: Inspirational, Biblical Studies, New Age, World Religions

  • Appeal: Explores faith, belief systems, and spirituality, offering guidance and comfort.


16. Humour

  • Subgenres: Satire, Parody, Anecdotes, Comedy

  • Appeal: Provides laughter and entertainment, exploring the lighter side of life.


17. True Crime

  • Subgenres: Investigative, Legal, Serial Killers, Heists

  • Appeal: Delves into real-life crimes, offering suspenseful and detailed explorations of criminal acts.


18. Graphic Novels/Comics

  • Subgenres: Superheroes, Manga, Literary, Fantasy

  • Appeal: Combines visual art with storytelling, offering a unique reading experience across various themes.


19. Poetry

  • Subgenres: Lyric, Epic, Contemporary, Spoken Word

  • Appeal: Expresses emotions and ideas through verse, providing a deep and reflective reading experience.


20. Education & Reference

  • Subgenres: Textbooks, Language Learning, Encyclopedias, Study Guides

  • Appeal: Offers knowledge and learning resources across various fields and interests.


Each of these genres and their subgenres caters to specific reader interests, offering unique opportunities for authors to connect with their audience. Success in these genres often depends on understanding market trends, reader expectations, and the fundamental elements that make stories within these categories resonate with readers. By honing their craft and focusing on quality, authors can navigate these genres to create best-selling books that captivate and engage. This is just a list of genres and is not arranged in any particular order.


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