“My poetry books aren’t selling. What should I be writing instead?”

“My poetry books aren’t selling. What should I be writing instead?”

Q –


I’ve been writing and publishing poetry books for years and I hate to admit it but they aren’t selling. While I love writing poetry, I want and need to earn money writing books. I know now that poetry was a very bad idea. What should I be writing that will give me the greatest chance of actually making money?

Thank you,


A –

I agree with you that poetry is not a great genre if you’re wanting to earn a living writing books. Lots of people write poetry for therapy, and even to entertain, but it’s not something a lot of people buy.

If someone can spin a really good yarn, there’s no reason he or she can’t branch out to another genre. However, simply publishing a book in a best-selling genre isn’t going to guarantee sales. You will need to spend even more time promoting your books after they are released.

There are lots of statistics online about best-selling genres and some of them give conflicting information. I found a list on MasterClass.com that I agree with:

1. Romance
2. Mystery
3. Fantasy and Science Fiction
4. Thrillers and Horror
5. Young Adult
6. Children’s Fiction
7. Inspirations, Self-help, Religion
8. Biography, Autobiography, Memoir

There are, of course, sub-genres under those major ones. I encourage you to read the article at the link above, and to do some research into best selling books in those genres to learn what made them popular.


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