Hot Trends: Fantasy Jan 2021

Fantasy is always a hot genre, but hitting it isn’t always easy. After studying this genre for over three years, I have to say that you need to:

  1. Watch the headlines, politics, social environment

  2. Grow your brand and nurture your fanbase

  3. Hop on the trope trains if it meets your brand. If it doesn’t, leave it.

Epic Fantasy $866K

Indies have severely fallen out of the epic fantasy game. We stayed in it for a good long while with the LitRPG and the girl-with-the-sword tropes, but we’re out now. The only ones on the epic fantasy best selling lists right now are the big authors who are always there.

Does this mean this genre is out for us?

Heck no! It just means that if you want to delve into this genre, tread carefully, write exceptionally, and cultivate your fanbase.

Urban Fantasy - $2.3M

Urban fantasy is that solid constant for a lot of us. I know it’s my bread and butter and I’m not even on the best seller list. Yet.

Remain loyal to your fans, but dare to push the envelope a little. It’s okay. Right now, the successful indie authors who are writing in urban fantasy are destroying their worlds in order to give their characters more room to play. Be unafraid as you move forward. But be consistent with your delivery. Readers in fantasy are looking for higher quality.

Tropes For This Genre

  • Rejecting true mate

  • Vengeance

  • Seriously tough heroine who is sometimes the alpha, almost always the leader, and doesn’t need a man or a lover (LGBT is on the rise, but is not a main focus. If it happens, it’s because it’s just who they are, not because it’s a flag that needs flown. So… be a true ally. Don’t make a big issue out of your heroine having a girlfriend instead of a boyfriend.)

  • Antihero

  • Shifters

  • Villains as the MC

  • Slight dystopian world

  • Wizards

  • Save the world

  • New takes on beasts and lore

  • Monsters

Elements Dropping In Viability

  • Prison

  • Reverse harem

  • Vampires

Elements On the Rise

  • Women’s fiction

  • Empowering women

  • Sexuality fluidity (they don’t all have to be cis)


  • 1st or Deep 3rd

  • Past


I’ll keep watching the trends in fantasy and will let you know each month how they shift.

Next week: Women’s Fiction

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