Top 10 Fantasy Book Trends of 2010

Most Weeks in Top 5 (novel)

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer spent an astonishing 41 weeks in the top five in 2010. Dead in the Family spent 36 total, and Towers of Midnight rounds out the top 3 in this category with 19 weeks.

Most Weeks in Top 5 (author)

Stephanie Meyer ranks first with 41 weeks with a novel in the top 5, Charlaine Harris second with 36, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson each with 19 weeks, and Jim Butcher rounding out the top 5 in this category with 15 weeks in the top 5.

Total Books in Top 5 (author)

Brandon Sanderson tops this list with 4 books total ranking in the top 5 at some point in 2010: Towers of Midnight, The Gathering Storm, The Way of Kings, and Distinctions: Towers of Midnight Prologue. Charlaine Harris, Stephanie Meyer and Karen Marie Moning each had 3 books apiece that appeared in the top 5 in 2010. The following authors had 2 books each: Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Naomi Novik, J.R.R. Tolkien and J.R. Rain.

Same Book in Top 5 in Same Week, Different Formats

This is an interesting category: authors who had a single book that appeared in the top 5 in different formats (so both Kindle and hardcover editions, for example) in the same week. This happened 4 times in 2010, first with The Way of Kings placing in 2nd and 5th on September 5, and then again the following week for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s No Mercy. On December 5 Stephanie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn appeared in 2nd and 5th place, and again the next week in 2nd and 4th place.

Author With Multiple Books in Top 5, Same Week

Another interesting category: authors who had 2 or even 3 titles appearing in the top 5 in the same week. Charlaine Harris absolutely dominated this category, with 17 weeks with more than 1 book in the top 5, and 3 of those weeks being weeks where 3 of the top 5 books were Harris’ works. That made for a Harris sandwich on many a week. Sanderson placed second here, with 5 weeks, J.R. Rain with 4 weeks, and a tie for 4th with Karen Marie Moning and Stephanie Meyer with 3 weeks each. I should note that of those 3 weeks for Meyer, 2 of them were weeks in which Eclipse, New Moon and Breaking Dawn all appeared in the same week.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed my analysis of the fantasy novel industry for 2010. If you’re interested, I have the data in raw format in a spreadsheet, and can email it to anyone who would like it.

Categories: Top 10, Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Top 10 Fantasy Book Trends of 2010

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Fantasy Books of 2010 | Fantasy Book News

  2. That’s one impressive list! I’m a little saddened epic fantasy lost out to urban fantasy, as well as the popularity streak of paranormal romances, though it’s good to see ToM doing so well.

  3. Agreed Jamie, I’m in the same boat. It will be interesting to see how urban fantasy fairs in 2011, and how Kindle sales do in 2011 as well.

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Fantasy Books for 2011 | Fantasy Book News

  5. Ian Oliver

    Epic fantasy will have higher sales this year because a lot of the good stuff will be released this year, A dance with dragons will be one of them. 😀

  6. Does Urban Fantasy novels mean vampire novels? If so it is no surprise that urban beat epic so bad. True Blood and Twilight is too popular right now. Hopefully A Game of Thrones can tilt the scale in our favor. Go Martin!

    • Yes, Urban Fantasy includes novels by writers like Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher. Martin’s been rocking the top 5 so far in 2011.

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