1. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    How many adults will read a supernatural novel?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by TheApprentice, Sep 17, 2014.

    I am working on a novel set in a world like ours but where it is possible to learn the secrets of magic, and supernatural creatures hide from the eye of common people, but exist. The world I am attempting though will have a reality like ours though, still, meaning there are still mature things. My story has lots of cursing, drug and alcohol abuse, sex, and other mature things. There will also be content which will be perhaps offensive to certain religious people. Long story short, it won't be meant for children, definitely not. But how man adults would want to read a supernatural story?

    And to answer the question of "How supernatural?" there is a bit of a kitchen sink of creatures. Mages, demons, vampires, zombies, werewolves, and even obscure creatures like nucklavee to name a few. The magic doesn't require wands or staves, and it takes concentration and skill to do.
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    That's called Urban Fantasy and it's growing to be one of the most popular genre's of the decade.
     
  3. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    Mmm. Personally, unless this is heavily accented on the sex part, I'd say this could even be straight forward fantasy, ala China Mieville, Clive Barker, Stephen King?

    But even then, I'd be wary of being hung up on the genre, or even the sub-genre. Genre is a guide that publishers give their readers, not necessarily a guide for writers unless they are are solely looking at commercial reasons to write. Yes, there are the supernatural tropes in your idea, but I wouldn't worry about that unless you are self-publishing and are already thinking about how to market the book yourself.

    For example:
    There's this book about two ancient magicians who begin a contest to see who is the better, but instead of pitting their own skills against each other's, they use disciples, a daughter and an orphan to fight for them. Their battleground is a fantastical circus where miracles are common, and drawn into this battle are the strange, the enigmatic, and the common-place, people who are about to have their worlds turned upside down in a duel unlike any other. And in the midst of this duel, the magicians cannot have foreseen that their two champions would one day meet, and instead of fighting it out ... they fall in love...

    Now, the above sounds like fantasy, right? Hell, under Jack's comment, you might even call it Urban Fantasy, as it is an adult novel. And maybe that's what the author was aiming at (maybe not), but in the end Erin Morgenstern's book, The Night Circus, was published for the literary market. In the UK you won't find it under urban fantasy; you won't find it in the fantasy section either, you'll find it with the other literary pieces, because it has found it's home there, either by design or due to success.

    If you write a good book, and the tropes of genre aren't slapped on with a big spoon, I wouldn't worry about it being supernatural at all. I'd just worry about it being a good book. Because that's what adults do ... they read good books. Even ones with supernatural creatures, and spirits etc. Just look at Stephen King for example, one of the most successful writers of the last fifty years. How can millions of dollars be wrong?
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I've made this point before and I'll make it again. Genres exist to bring people to the stories that they want to read. If I'm looking for Urban Fantasy I'm not going to wander into the Literary section to find it.
     
  5. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    No one disputes that. If you want to read Urban Fantasy, you'll do that, you'll go straight to that section, that in most bookshops is actually separate from where they keep the science fiction and fantasy, let alone literary books.
    But is the OP wanting to write an Urban Fantasy novel? Was that their question? They are asking if people read books with supernatural tropes in, not a particular genre. The Night Circus is proof that you can write particular books that can be read outside genre, if a publisher, or even the writer wishes it. Judging by the OPs worry that people even read this kind of book, I'd guess they don't know huge amounts about Urban Fantasy, let alone be writing a book for that market, would you?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    According to a recent study by the Oxford University English department, they calculated that the total readership pool of literate adults in the English language that would want to read a supernatural story is exactly 143 637. This is reduced to 76 291 when changing the parameters to how many would actually go ahead and follow up on that desire.
     
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  7. Devlin Blake
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    Devlin Blake Member

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    That seems inaccurate, can you post the link?
    Universities usually conduct studies by interviewing a 'pool' of people . This gives them numbers expressed in percentages, or generics, such '1 in 12' . I've never heard of a genuine study giving an exact number like that.What are these numbers based on?
     
  8. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Most of the information was based primarily on sarcasm, with a little bit of humour and a small percentage of wit used in the calculations.
     
  9. Devlin Blake
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    Devlin Blake Member

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    Sorry, I don't always recognize sarcasm. ;)
     
  10. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    This is a popular genre. Just look at the number of books, movies, and TV shows that have similar themes to what you propose.
     

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