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Monday, January 26, 2015

Pinkshirts killing SF/F

Publisher's Weekly reports on the growth or decline of various categories in 2014:

Adult Fiction (unit sales, in thousands)
Genre 2013 2014 % change
Classics 7,817 7,578 -3%
Fantasy 8,615 7,526 -13%
Graphic Novels 7,659 8,669 13%
Mystery/Detective 14,884 14,304 -4%
Science Fiction 4,448 4,142 -7%

Remember, science fiction was also down 21% in 2013, which means that science fiction unit sales have declined 1,488,000 in just two years. It's down more than one-quarter in two years and is now only half the size of the Graphic Novel market, which is not only growing, but is presently dominated by men writing and drawing for male customers.

The "women destroy science fiction" meme isn't even remotely ironic. Women, and the gamma males who cater to them, are literally destroying the adult science fiction and fantasy markets.

To put it in perspective, ONE edition of one of my games sold more copies than the ENTIRE science fiction market sold in print last year.

Labels:

51 Comments:

Anonymous Mike M. January 26, 2015 12:13 PM  

It would be interesting to see how this breaks down between Red and Pink writers. I'd give good odds that Red SF writers are doing fine...the Pinkos, not so well.

Anonymous Adolf January 26, 2015 12:15 PM  

Math is hard...

Blogger Salt January 26, 2015 12:17 PM  

I assume the next #Gate will come along toot suite.

Anonymous Randy January 26, 2015 12:17 PM  

Plus factor in the opportunity cost...

The demand for science fiction TV and movies have never been bigger.

The market wants SF -- just not the fake SJW stuff.

Blogger Josh January 26, 2015 12:21 PM  

How much of the graphic novel market is SFF?

Blogger lubertdas January 26, 2015 12:23 PM  

My own personal purchasing habits have moved against this trend. I've purchased more Science Fiction books in the last couple of years than the 5 previous years combined. None of my purchases were in the Pink SF area.

How did this happen? I discovered this website where I was brought into contact with authors like Tom Kratman, Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Brad Torgerson, and Steve Rzasa. I've purchased novels from all of these authors, and in the case of Tom and Larry, I've pretty much exhausted their back catalogs as well.

Do the figures quoted in this post include audiobook sales? I purchased Larry's Grimnoir Chronicles through Audible where I really enjoyed Bronson (Balki) Pinchot's reading.

Anonymous dh January 26, 2015 12:24 PM  

If you point out to the Pink SF fans that every sale they get is taking a sale away from another author, they get very upset. I pointed this out once that every book he sells is one book that a POC can't sell, and the response with very fierce and hard against from his crew, telling me the SF/F is expanding, it's growing, and that they are bringing in new fans. They will go to any length to discredit numbers showing the market is shrinking. They will do anything to make it seem that it's not a zero sum game (or worse).

It's also worth pointing out that all of the Y/A and juvenile books being sold are not being sold to kids and teens. A lot of it is being sold to adult readers. Every one of the major SJW SF/F bloggers posts their reading lists, and it's always got at least some Y/A title on it.

Anonymous eresh January 26, 2015 12:41 PM  

But... if you look at all the numbers at the site, you'll see that *all* adult fiction is down -8% on average. Science fiction doesn't seem to be doing significantly better or worse than any other genre of adult fiction. It looks like the decline we're seeing isn't unique to science fiction, but just a further manifestation of a broader decline in all book sales among adults.

...and if you look at the juvenile fiction section, scifi/fantasy/magic is up 38% this year, by far the largest single-year rise in the entire dataset.

Anonymous Edjamacator January 26, 2015 12:44 PM  

Whenever someone buys a Castalia House book, a SJW gets its horns.

I prefer just the *idea* of "blue SF" to the current tripe that I've purchased a number of books already. Haven't had the time to read them yet as I shower attention on my kid trying to be a good daddy, but they're there and waiting for when I do.

Anonymous Daniel January 26, 2015 12:44 PM  

When either of your genres starts underselling free old public domain books , you need to start impaling skulls on Hugos to appease those sorts of gods...

When both do, you need to start finding some virgins. No, Pinkies, all those dudes don't count.

Anonymous Edjamacator January 26, 2015 12:48 PM  

Whenever someone buys a Castalia House book, a SJW gets its horns.

I prefer just the *idea* of "blue SF" to the current tripe that I've purchased a number of books already. Haven't had the time to read them yet as I shower attention on my kid trying to be a good daddy, but they're there and waiting for when I do.

Anonymous Red Comet January 26, 2015 12:48 PM  

How much of the graphic novel market is SFF?

Just about all of it since super-heroes all have sci-fi or magic trappings. Despite this, slice-of-life and children's material produced by traditional publishers also see high sales. They tend to show up in normal bookstores as opposed to comic specialty shops.

Anonymous Nathan January 26, 2015 12:49 PM  

Just to play devil's advocate, how much of it is a decline, and how much of it is a transfer of people from SF and Fantasy to Juvenile and YA? For all intents and purposes, Juvenile SFF added the entire Fantasy market last year (almost twice the SF market), and you can't tell me that's any less Pink than the adult market. And the Juvenile SFF market is six times larger than the Fantasy market and 11 times larger than SF. Given writers like Sanderson and Card, who write in both the adult and juvenile markets, is it likely that there are new fans, but only at the YA level?

(I suspect the answer is no, but if the market is growing pink, it is also growing immature.)

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 26, 2015 12:58 PM  

One thing we tend to overlook here is just how badly the Pink crowd have damaged the fantasy market as well.

Look at the numbers. Fantasy took a worse beating than Science Fiction.

I

Blogger Pirran January 26, 2015 1:11 PM  

Are there any definitive studies on e-book sales in various categories to complete the picture?

Anonymous VD January 26, 2015 1:18 PM  

Science fiction doesn't seem to be doing significantly better or worse than any other genre of adult fiction.

Wrong. This year, it's not so bad, but it was down 21 percent the year before, the biggest decline of any category.

Just to play devil's advocate, how much of it is a decline, and how much of it is a transfer of people from SF and Fantasy to Juvenile and YA?

That's not devil's advocate, that's a different problem. If people are buying Hunger Games instead of adult SF, that doesn't help the writers of adult SF.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 26, 2015 1:45 PM  

I wonder what these publishers plan to do if they alienate Whites completely. Are there any books for Rachel Jeantel the illiterate HS Grad? I wonder what type of Sci Fi that Muslims enjoy? Maybe they can get the emerging Latino market by making Sci Fi and Fantasy featuring the Stars of Lucha Libre! Flash Mysterio meets the Martian Mummy! Two out of three falls for the mascara!

Anonymous Randy January 26, 2015 1:46 PM  

"Look at the numbers. Fantasy took a worse beating than Science Fiction."

Even worse, this happened as The Hobbit took in $600 million the last few weeks.

Toss in the success of Game of Thrones on HBO... and Pink Fantasy looks even worse.

Anonymous RandyBeck January 26, 2015 1:48 PM  

Note that it says, "at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan."

That excludes a lot of sales.

I'm just guessing here, but I think it's a good bet that SF readers are more likely to be part of the drift away from the conventional book market.

Anonymous Scintan January 26, 2015 1:51 PM  

With stupid things like female Thor, and the myriad other SJW inspired atrocities, the comics are at least as bad as SFF.

Anonymous eresh January 26, 2015 1:53 PM  

Wrong. This year, it's not so bad, but it was down 21 percent the year before, the biggest decline of any category.

Good point. I wonder, then, if the slow-down in rate of decline we're seeing is a statistical anomaly in an otherwise precipitous fall, or if it means we're approaching some baseline of hardcore SF consumers beyond which the overall numbers are unlikely to fall.

Blogger David-2 January 26, 2015 2:01 PM  

The article says this is print books. Presumably excluding ebooks, then.

I personally buy my SF in ebook form only, and have been ebook only for genres (SF, mystery) for several years, except for older SF that aren't in ebook form and can only be found as used paperbacks.

(I'm not disagreeing with your thesis "Pinkshirts destroy SF/F" ... the SF I _do_ buy these days are either new authors recommended here, or at Correila's site, etc., or really old (pre-1970) SF I haven't read yet.)

Anonymous VD January 26, 2015 2:03 PM  

The article says this is print books. Presumably excluding ebooks, then.

Yes, presumably that's why Romance is down so much. Romance dominates ebook sales.

Blogger JartStar January 26, 2015 2:33 PM  

From what I can find adult eBook sales are mostly flat so I don't think the loss in SFF print is being picked up in eBooks. More info on sales here.

Christian fiction has taken off in recent years.

Blogger Dave Freer January 26, 2015 2:36 PM  

Bookscan reports around 30% of my sales, and oddly that percentage has dropped lately- around 25% on the last. So, while I do think 'pink' sf/fantasy is shrinking - based on the metric of authors who are being dropped/cannot find publishers, I don't think this is an accurate measurement. It is GIGO, with sales losses due to a transfer in loyalty to ebooks, and the decline in sales by the reporting bookstores. That's not all bad news either, as the bias in sf extended right through publishing/distibution/retail (yes, I know this makes no sense, but do remember that bookstores, like publishing, were not where you went to get rich, but where you went for reasons of self or peer esteem. Some independent bookstores are still doing OK I gather.

Blogger Zaklog the Great January 26, 2015 2:39 PM  

Well, this doesn't really fix the print SF problem, but I'm pretty sure the SJWs will be destroying comic books relatively soon as well. I've seen enough storylines that spit in the eye of conservatives and serve no other purpose that I expect this kind of disgusting idiocy will continue to pour forth from them.

Blogger Thordaddy January 26, 2015 2:42 PM  

Vox...

Why use the label "women" when one is speaking of female liberationists and dykes?

Anonymous Jay January 26, 2015 2:50 PM  

I have a simple method of searching for new books. If the author has a female name, I move on. If the author has initials such as J.V. Smith, she is most likely a female. I move on.
Unless it is an author such as Sarah Hoyt, this is a simple filter that gets rid of a large percentage of SJW dreck.

Blogger tweell January 26, 2015 2:58 PM  

It makes sense that some SF&F readers have moved to the teen and YA market. Robot and alien rape porn is still frowned upon as teenage brain fodder, for one thing, and happy endings still happen occasionally.

Blogger Shibes Meadow January 26, 2015 3:01 PM  

What's really going to freak out the Pinks is when an open, unashamedly White Nationalist SF book (such as the one I'm writing now under another name) becomes a big seller. "Wow. Just Wow. To think that a piece of racist, cishet propaganda like White Shines the Milky Way could top the Amazon rankings in SF! No one I know buys that dudebro crap! Maybe the Nazis were right after all -- some books deserve to be burned!"

The real fun happens when the racist, cishet author nails the Big Bucks Option Deal. SJW eyeballs will be popping from heads like champagne corks. I can hear his Hugo acceptance speech now. Its opening line: "What are your names, wayfarers?"

May that day come soon.

Anonymous Daniel January 26, 2015 3:04 PM  

Well, this doesn't really fix the print SF problem, but I'm pretty sure the SJWs will be destroying comic books relatively soon as well. I've seen enough storylines that spit in the eye of conservatives and serve no other purpose that I expect this kind of disgusting idiocy will continue to pour forth from them.

You need to differentiate: the SJWs have long-since destroyed the comic book market. The growth of graphic novels, however, is not occurring in the comic book market...

Anonymous Noah B. January 26, 2015 3:23 PM  

Yes, presumably that's why Romance is down so much. Romance dominates ebook sales.

Isn't "romance" in this context really just a euphemism for soft core porn?

Blogger Bogey January 26, 2015 3:24 PM  

http://goo.gl/PMBnTt

The majority is Superhero stuff, yet the very top sellers are Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Saga) and Horror (Walking Dead).

Hollywood turning towards Graphic Novels for new SFF projects has only increased, Mark Millar seems to come up with the most cinematic stuff, his Kingsman is coming out in theaters in a few weeks.

Blogger Josh January 26, 2015 3:27 PM  

Isn't "romance" in this context really just a euphemism for soft core porn?

Yes

Blogger Josh January 26, 2015 3:45 PM  

an open, unashamedly White Nationalist SF book (such as the one I'm writing now under another name)

Nazis in spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

Anonymous WaterBoy January 26, 2015 3:51 PM  

Josh: "Nazis in spaaaaaaaaaaaace!"

Isn't that the one with the secret base on the Dark Side of the Moon?

Anonymous Noah B. January 26, 2015 4:06 PM  

So I need some writing advice. Which is better:

Slowly and subtlely, her slippery tentacle slithered southwards, and the selkie squealed in sublime surprise.

OR

Slowly and subtlely, her slippery tentacle slithered southwards, and the selkie squealed in satisfied surprise.

Anonymous Student in Blue January 26, 2015 4:18 PM  

@Noah B.

I'd suggest using "sublime". It adds class.

Anonymous Heh January 26, 2015 4:50 PM  

"ONE edition of one of my games sold more copies than the ENTIRE science fiction market sold last year."

Not bad for the Epitome of Loser.

Anonymous Stephen J. January 26, 2015 5:23 PM  

@Noah B:

I too would recommend "sublime". "Satisfied" suggests that the selkie was expecting the tentacle, and contradicts the "surprise" afterwards. (Or you could change "surprise" to "spasms of sizzlation", to give the sentence a different ending.)

(It worries me that the editor in my brain is apparently capable of working with literally any material.)

Anonymous Eric Ashley January 26, 2015 5:26 PM  

Tweel is right. The shift to YA is part of a flight from Pink, or at least some manifestations of Pink.

Anonymous Rhys January 26, 2015 5:36 PM  

Isn't "romance" in this context really just a euphemism for soft core porn?

Its not all soft core...

Blogger JCclimber January 26, 2015 5:47 PM  

I had an hour to kill before a meeting in another town, visiting the B&N bookstore. Haven't been in one for a couple years. On my way to read the latest motorcycle mags, i noticed the Juvenile/YA section is HUGE! I didn't read through much of it, after glancing at the people browsing in there I knew I wouldn't find much anyway.

I believe the Pink SF&F people in power depend a lot on physical book sales. They seem to be very opposed to independent publishing and seem to be at odds with Amazon. My expectation is that this decline in physical books is hammering their bottom line much, much harder than the growing Blue authors.

Anonymous Red Comet January 26, 2015 5:57 PM  

Here's some more info on comic/graphic novel sales that may be of interest:

Most comics in the US and Canada are distributed by Diamond Comics Distributors who operate a quasi-monopoly on comic distribution. Diamond is not covered by Nielsen Bookscan.

However, you can go to websites like ICv2 or Comics Chronicles to find sales data from Diamond. The graphic novel section is thus very likely closer to 15 million in sales than the 8.6 reported based on some quick calculations.

That calculation does not include monthly single issue sales as most bookstores no longer carry them and so they aren't on Bookscan. Comic Chronicles reports that in 2014 Diamond moved around 83 million single issues.

Digital is bit hard to pin down for comics as the companies involved don't like to release sales data. The current consensus, based on various interviews and brag reports, is that a comic's digital sales will be 10%-20% of its print sales.

Blogger Azimus January 26, 2015 6:22 PM  

So is it that adults are reading less and juveniles' interest in reading is exploding, or that adults are reading juvenile books?

Anonymous Steve January 26, 2015 7:07 PM  

Lubertdas - I've purchased more Science Fiction books in the last couple of years than the 5 previous years combined

Me too.

It was all down to my wife getting me a Kindle. I didn't even want a Kindle.

I started off buying a couple of recent Stephen King books. I've been a fan of his since discovering the Dark Tower back in the 80's. Then a few modern classics: A Confederacy of Dunces, The Road, Atlas Shrugged, and The Fountainhead.

When casting around for new books to read, I remembered how much I used to enjoy science fiction when I was a boy. I used to scour the school and municipal library for everything I could get my hands on by Clarke, Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, and to a lesser extent, Farmer, Bear and Baxter. I did try some Gibson and a bit of Le Guin once but I didn't inhale.

So I thought "there must be a ton of great sci fi books I've missed over the past 20 years!" And I started reading some recent Hugo and Nebula Best Novels and nominees. Because... best novels, right?

The results were... mixed. I've said it before, "Old Man's War" is a good book. Its sequels became rapidly less good. "Spin" was brilliant. "Blindsight" was very impressive and I'll read "Echopraxia" at some point.

Some of the other stuff was just inexplicably (or so I thought) poor. Joe Haldeman's "Forever Peace" (Hugo best novel of 1998) was a wan shadow of the great "Forever War". "Redshirts" was embarrassing. China Mielville's efforts are masturbatory PoMo dreck. According to the readers' reviews, a lot of the other "best novel" nominees of recent years are mediocre at best.

I was starting to wonder if maybe I'd outgrown the genre. But I still enjoyed reading older works by the likes of Heinlein. So maybe the genre had outgrown me: mutated into some weird and hideous new form of consciousness like those poor children in "Childhood's End".

I happened across a story in the Guardian which declared that "the future of sci fi is queer", which I thought maybe explained why so much of it didn't interest me. It mentioned this awful, awful man called Larry Correia, so I googled him, and he had some very interesting and intelligent and funny things to say about that dribble in the Guardian.

Since then, I've read all of Correia's books, and greatly enjoyed them. Will buy anything that man publishes. I bought about a dozen of Larry's book bombs too - every one of them was worth the money. I've read all the Freehold books I can find on the UK Kindle store. I've just finished the latest in the Carrera series by Tom Kratman, very much looking forward to the next.

Dunno if he counts as "pink" or "blue" but I've also read every single Dresden Files book to date. And "Wool", "The Martian" and many others.

I heard good things about John Ringo, so I picked up the first Legacy of the Aldenata book the other day, I'm liking it so far.

TL;DR - when I didn't know any better, when I thought Hugos and Nebulas still denoted the best of what science fiction has to offer, I was close to never buying another book in the genre again. This site and Larry's blog made me aware of a bunch of great writers I probably would never have heard of.

And it's all thanks to some pipsqueak in the Guardian.

Anonymous T January 26, 2015 7:17 PM  

Kallypso Masters needs a Hugo nomination.

Anonymous Jack Hanson January 26, 2015 8:05 PM  

Dh,

Ive noticed the same thing you have. As if there is an infinite amount of fans with an infinite amount of money and time. The pinkshirts get very upset if you claim otherwise. I imagine because it ruins their make believe world of "community"/drum circle they think the industry is.

More r/k selection at work.

Anonymous A Reader January 26, 2015 10:17 PM  

A major factor to declining book sales are editors and literary agents. Most editors and literary agents are English majors. They look down on adventure fiction. As evidence for their disdain of adventure fiction, an encyclopedia of English literature did not have an entry for Robert Louis Stevenson, for many years. This also ties in with their lack of business sense, for it is adventure plots that popular with the public.
The James Bond movies. Star Wars. The Lord of the Rings.



Anonymous Trimegistus January 26, 2015 10:36 PM  

To me the most astonishing fact in the PW chart is that Westerns are actually increasing in sales.

Anonymous Feh January 26, 2015 10:41 PM  

"To me the most astonishing fact in the PW chart is that Westerns are actually increasing in sales."

Especially with all that homo Brokeback Mountain stuff in them.

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