Crime novels are the new black


Crime and thriller novels triumph in a boom and recession. That's the good news for crime writers and readers and it comes from a recent survey commissioned by The Bookseller magazine and conducted by The Next Big Thing.

Despite tightening purse strings people still enjoy a good crime novel, me included.

The survey throws up some interesting data and although should not be taken as gospel it provides a snapshot into the reading and buying habits in the UK. You can read about the findings at http://www.thebookseller.com/in-depth/feature/88461-reading-the-future.html but here are a couple of juicy bits that particularly concern crime writers like myself.

"3,159 people responded (just over 1,000 were surveyed in 2008 and all in face-to-face street interviews). They came from across all regions of the country, included a broad spread of adult age groups, a representative spread of all socio-economic groups, and an equal number of men and women."

In 2009 interviews were conducted on line, which of course could slew some of the findings, but nevertheless there are some interesting findings.

"The overall favoured genres and the most popular genre in the downturn is the same as in the better economic climate: crime/thriller novels. "

"Crime/thrillers and science-fiction fans are the two categories that are more likely than average to continue to buy books at the same rate, at 45.5% and 41% respectively."

"The crime/thriller genre is most popular with the over-40s"

The survey also highlights the shift to online buying over other channels such as bookshops and supermarkets, which probably comes as no surprise to most of us. (This answer could be slewed because the survey was conducted on line.).

And although crime novels came out tops that doesn't mean writers of other genres or readers need despair. Sci fi was also a popular choice and the popularity of literary fiction appears to have risen. "In 2008 it was behind romance but in 2009 it is on a par."

There is a lot more in the survey about buying patterns and e book readers so if you're interested take a look at http://www.thebookseller.com/in-depth/feature/89074-reading-the-future-2.html

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