In the publishing world, there are two main genres, fiction, and non-fiction. Both genres have massive sub-genre categories. In fact, there are so many that they can be potentially endless. As such, it can be hard to figure out which is which. Nevertheless, there is a clear distinction when it comes to sales. Generally speaking, fiction sells nearly twice as much as non-fiction. That is why we are going to explore the three main reasons why fiction sells more than non-fiction on average.
On the whole, fiction has a broader appeal than non-fiction. Non-fiction titles tend to be rather specialized, thereby serving a niche market. On the flip side, fiction tends to have a much more cross-cutting appeal age, gender, and social status. While there are highly specific niche topics in the fiction domain, broader fiction genres tend to do very well. For example, romance novels tend to be very popular with female audiences regardless of age or status. Also, thrillers and horror novels are quite popular with all age groups and genders. As such, fiction provides a great opportunity to reach a much larger audience.
Fiction titles generally have a steady demand. After all, readers are always looking to find new stories to discover. This isn’t quite the same with non-fiction. In the non-fiction domain, demand tends to be cyclical. For example, books on holiday decoration are quite seasonal. Of course, the so-called “evergreen” topics sell year-round, most non-fiction titles fluctuate in sales.
Publishers looking to build steady income streams find that fiction titles do the job very well. Average quality works tend to sell perfectly fine, while great works can generate significant revenue. At the end of the day, it’s a question of finding that sweet spot in your publishing approach. Some publishers like to specialize in one type of fiction subgenre while others prefer to cast a wider net. Ultimately, this decision will depend on your particular preference and the writers working for you.
There are endless possibilities in the world of fiction. Stories have the potential to go on infinitely while characters can grow and be replaced as needed. Also, if one storyline dies out, another can be created quite easily.
This is something that can’t be said about non-fiction topics. Non-fiction topics tend to be highly restrictive. As such, publishers constantly need to find new angles on current topics. Many times, topics tend to become exhausted. This means that you can only write so much about it.
A strategic way of looking at fiction is to create an entire universe that you can segment with each book. As you break your universe down, you can zoom in or out depending on the needs and expectations of your audience. Plus, you can give your audience control over the direction the story goes. In the end, there are limits to what can be done within the fiction domain. All you need to do is use your imagination.