Recession Increases Demand for Romance and Fantasy Fiction

November 22, 2009 by  

amazon-com--sookie-stackhouse--books-1-7--charlain-lrgPeople may be continuing to struggle in the bad economy, but Sookie is doing just fine. According to Publishers Weekly, books like Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series are even more popular during these hard times.

It’s an interesting psychological observation, but it makes sense–people turn to comfort reading as a way of dealing with life. It costs less to buy a mass market paperback like one of the Sookie novels or some romance book, than to go to see a movie at the theater, and you get hours of enjoyment out of it with a guaranteed happy ending. According to an editor at a publishing company,

“For people worried about finances and job security, delving into a romance can be a great way to escape that stress for a little while.”

Paranormal stories have been especially successful. Variety reported that about 12.4 million people were watching each episode of True Blood during its second season. Twilight was breaking box office records before it even opened this weekend.

Fantasy authors are gaining new fans all the time, whether they are established like Charlaine Harris with the Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connelly books, and Sherrilyn Kenyon of the Dark Hunter series, or newcomers to the genre. In addition to vampires and werewolves, tales of other supernatural creatures like angels, demons, zombies, and succubi are starting to enchant readers.

We may be in the midst of a financial crisis, but imagination will never go bankrupt or lose its job. Thankfully, we have a lot of creativity and good writing to escape to when we need to get away from reality for a little while.


(Photo credit:

  • Agree, comfort reading is like comfort eating – but not so hard on the diet!

    I believe that in times of difficulty people do try to escape into a fantasy world for a while. There are some great new books out and, at the risk of boasting, my recent publication, Randolph’s Challenge Book One – The Pendulum Swings is an ideal way of shifting your head into a different, but very acceptable and recognisable, world of adventure fantasy.

    Chris Warren
    Author and Freelance Writer
    Randolph’s Challenge Book One – The pendulum Swings

  • I don’t know if any of this, has any thing to do with a recession?! Some people just like to read…..maybe that’s escaping in some form? Me I watch t.v…..I like it…that’s mine.And it doesn’t hurt, with a show like “True Blood” which is sexy and fun and scary..Even if there wasn’t a recession, people would still be reading, watching t.v., playing games, ect….It’s all a form of escapism ….To some extent, isn’t it?! That’s why we do it….

  • The recession is creating both hardship and opportunity. Those who recognize the opportunity will use this time of uncertainty and high unemployment to improve their marketability. Our collective brainpower is a huge untapped resource, especially the minority members. Perhaps with a minority President, who is well educated, other minorities will begin to do what it takes to get the education the best jobs of the future will demand. Richard Provance,

  • Thank you for mentioning Sherrilyn Kenyon, Official QUEEN of the vampire genre! (Anne Rice gave the position to her!)