A manuscript wishlist for 2021 from a professional publisher

Genres that will be popular in 2021

2020 has brought unexpected and strange challenges to the creative industries, and the publishing world is no different. Many are hoping that 2021 will be a fresh start, and while writing a book seems like the last thing one should be worrying about, it may be the one endeavor that increases creativity and quenches the book lover’s thirst for a new reality.

This year saw interesting changes in the publishing industry. As physical books became difficult to procure, publishing shifted toward digital books or eBooks, as well as an increase in self-publishing and hybrid publishing. Additionally, the most-read genres changed among readers, reflecting the uncertainty throughout the year.

According to Izzard Ink Publishing, nonfiction novels aimed at younger audiences have gained the most attention, most likely as a result of education being moved into the home. Books on games, activities, and hobbies also gained popularity as book buyers spent more time in isolation. This year also saw the rise of literature on social justice issues, and in the fiction realm, the dystopian (with an apocalyptic focus), thriller, and sci-fi genres garnered attention as readers sought positive outlets to make sense of what was happening in the world.

Infographic courtesy of Nicholas C. Rossis

What books do publishers want?

It’s likely these trends will continue into the new year, at least to some degree. Titles like One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour, and Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas will answer the call for more diverse voices in the publishing industry, while other books like You Have a Match by Emma Lord, Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida, and Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibanez will continue to provide lighthearted escapism.

10 Anticipated Popular Genres in 2021:

  1. Social issues/social justice
  2. Romance/romantic comedies
  3. Memoirs/biographies
  4. Young adult
  5. Science-fiction/fantasy
  6. (Psychological) Thriller/mystery
  7. Contemporary
  8. Crime thrillers
  9. Literary, likely with delicate approaches to death, grief, and loss
  10. Travel books

In an industry that’s already undergoing rapid changes, it’s important for both emerging and established authors to stay on top of the market trends when looking to publish their manuscripts in 2021.

Here is a list of some of the most anticipated books being released in 2021. We’re not only excited to dive into these reads, but to also continue nurturing a reading and writing community that has proved to be both an escape and an exploration of the world around us.

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