Non-fiction has become a leader among bestsellers in Russia.

Non-fiction has become a leader among bestsellers in Russia.


Non-fiction has become a leader among bestsellers in Russia. Books in this genre took up the majority of positions in the list of best-selling books in 2023. Their share was 54% in the top 50 of the All-Russian Book Rating. Fiction accounted for 32% of the books on the list, and children’s books accounted for 14%. The total sales of all bestsellers on this list amounted to about 1 billion rubles.

What is the reason for the increased demand for non-fiction? Book reviewer Valery Shabashov sees several reasons, one of which is the shortage of interesting fiction: “On the one hand, the authors have learned to write very interesting non-fiction. On the other hand, a number of authors have left, and so far there is no adequate mass flow of interesting foreign fiction. That is, it exists, books are published, but it is impossible to say that it is all the same as before.

Well, the third reason is that the topics that are now addressed in non-fiction literature resonate with the expectations of society, that is, non-fiction provides a faster response to readers’ requests. If in fiction you still need to guess what this book is about, read the annotation, reviews and understand whether the book answers the question that the reader wants to know here and now or not. With non-fiction it’s a little easier, the topic is already there, the answer to the question is revealed in the content.”

Today, in the non-fiction genre, the humanitarian direction is in great demand, Olga Kiseleva, head of the editorial groups of the MIF publishing house, noted in an interview with Kommersant FM: “A huge number of publishers re-publish classic literature in a variety of designs, and a variety of publications are doing well. Non-fiction is now growing due to two categories, the first is psychology. The second important direction that really influences the book market in Russia is humanitarian non-fiction, interest in it has returned for the first time in 20 years, these are books closer to scientific pop, but, accordingly, on humanitarian topics.

Naturally, there is not demand for everything; it cannot be said that interest in history or culture has simply grown. Interest in certain areas has grown, for example, mythology and folklore are doing well. We have a huge series that began with the myths of foreign peoples, Scandinavians, Celts, Japanese and so on. And 2023 has become a renaissance of the myths of the regions of Russia; initial editions of 20 thousand or more copies are sold out in literally two to three months. All these books are prepared by scientists and specialists, and they achieve high sales.”

According to the Eksmo-AST publishing group, the paper book market in Russia in 2023 reached 94 billion rubles, and digital books – 2.5 billion rubles.

Everything is clear with us – Telegram channel “Kommersant FM”.

Dennis Bespalov


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