This makes me kinda sad...

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This makes me kinda sad...

Post by kurtnewton on Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:51 am

I saw this on HorrorScope (the blog for the Australian Horror Writers Association). Dymocks is the B&N of Australia.

Dymocks Southland Bestselling Horror Titles for May 2010


1. Sookie Stackhouse (Books #1-8) - Charlaine Harris
2. Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) - Richelle Mead
3. Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse) - Charlaine Harris
4. The Zombie Survival Guide - Max Brooks
5. World War Z - Max Brooks
6. Patient Zero - Jonathan Maberry
7. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies - Austen / Graeme-Smith
8. Breathers - S. G. Browne
9. Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry Dead - John Skipp, ed.
10. Wings - Aprilynne Pike
11. Zombie CSU - Jonathan Maberry
10. Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead - Christopher Golden, ed.
11. Vampire Academy (Books #1-4) - Richelle Mead
12. Zombies for Zombies - David P. Murphy
13. Blue Bloods (Series) - Melissa de la Cruz
14. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
15. Twilight (Series) - Stephenie Meyer
16. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
17. Soulless - Christopher Golden
18. Generation Dead - Daniel Waters
19. Handling the Undead - John Ajvide Lindqvist
20. The Vampire Diaries (Series) - L.J. Smith

Vampires and zombies--is that all readers are interested in??? Even the smaller names you might recognize: Christopher Golden's Soulless--a zombie novel; Jonathan Maberry's Patient Zero--"Night of the Living Dead meets Michael Crichton." Two classics are on the list: Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Frankenstein could be considered an undead novel (after all, the monster is dead parts brought back to life), and in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian never ages--so he's kinda like an undead (his soul is dead). So that leaves Aprilynne Pike's Wings, the only non-vampire/zombie novel on the list. Wings is about faeries. It's part of a YA series. It's been optioned by Disney. Originally, there was talk of Miley Cyrus playing the role of the "seemingly ordinary girl named Laurel who discovers she is a faerie, sent among humans to protect the gateway to Avalon," but (what with Miley's recent "adult" status promotion) I don't think that would fly. (Get it? Fly?)

So, what is this telling us? If you don't do vampires or zombies you're basically SOL as far as readers actually buying your novel? My take is the majority of readers like the tried and true. If they're going to spend their money (and books aren't cheap), they want something they're familiar with and yet might surprise them along the way with one little "sparkly" glint of originality. Seven of the top twenty sellers are parts of series--which makes the familiarity all the more familiar. I'm sure a lot of the books on this list contain good writing and are good reads. What gets me is the narrow focus the book-buying genre readers seem to have. It's like eating the same meal or drinking the same drink, over and over again. Vampires and zombies are the burgers and the readers are lining up at the drive-thru. Comfort food--that's all it is. It might pass the hours but does it really feed the soul?


Last edited by kurtnewton on Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : formatting)

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by Shiney on Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:26 pm

Nice rant, Sir...and sadly spot on.

It is good to see some classics still rpesent..."Picture of Dorian Gray" for one....and "Frankenstein" which I guess IS a zombie novel....

Still....sad.

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by Brian Sammons on Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:51 pm

Horror goes in cycles I think. A couple of years back anything supernatural was out and it was all psycho killers. Iím glad to see the supernatural is back, but yeah, something other than Vs & Zs would be swell.

On a side note, as a guy who reviews books for a number of publishers, I get quite a few books sent to me. Out of the last 7, 5 of them were about zombies. Now I love zombies, I really, really do. I always have. I was a zombie guy when it wasnít cool to be a zombie guy. But DDDDAAAAMMMMNNNNN, even Iím starting to get sick of zombies.

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by EffieCollins on Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:57 pm

*shakes head* Sheesh.

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by Shiney on Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:47 pm

Brian Sammons wrote:Horror goes in cycles I think. A couple of years back anything supernatural was out and it was all psycho killers. Iím glad to see the supernatural is back, but yeah, something other than Vs & Zs would be swell.

On a side note, as a guy who reviews books for a number of publishers, I get quite a few books sent to me. Out of the last 7, 5 of them were about zombies. Now I love zombies, I really, really do. I always have. I was a zombie guy when it wasnít cool to be a zombie guy. But DDDDAAAAMMMMNNNNN, even Iím starting to get sick of zombies.


"You were Zombie....when Zombie wasn't cool"......

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by Tall Tyrion on Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:51 pm

This is why boy bands sell lots of records and McDonalds sells lots of hamburgers. People are lame... count on it.

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by Natalie L. Sin on Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:28 pm


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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by Rabid on Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:17 pm

With charts like this, I always wonder about books that really are horror that are omitted, because they're considered literary or "saved" by classification in another genre.

It would be disheartening to think the horror world is only ravenous for vamps and zoms.

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

Post by Shiney on Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:24 pm

There are alot of books I'd consider horror that most would not...it's all so interpretive.

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Re: This makes me kinda sad...

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