The Orbit study I discussed Friday looked at fantasy titles in the general market, and I was interested to see how the Christian market compared. I looked at all 2010-2011 fantasy novels (strictly fantasy, no science fiction or general speculative) from Marcher Lord Press, Splashdown Books, Living Ink/AMG, Bethany House, David C. Cook, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, and Waterbrook Press. And here are the results:
Several things immediately jumped out at me:
- Darkness is the most commonly used word in Christian fantasy titles, which I wasn’t expecting. Dark shows up high on the general market list, but certainly isn’t the most common.
- Dragons placed high on both lists, indicating their steady popularity in both Christian and general markets.
- In Christian fantasy titles, angels take the place of demons–perhaps not a surprising shift.
- There seems to be a wider variety in Christian fantasy titles, with fewer keywords emerging. We still see some of the common fantasy elements–sword, king, map, and so forth–but they don’t have the same prominence in the general market. This may be because of a smaller sampling of novels, but I do wonder if titles in the Christian market are less uniform in general.
In the process of conducting this survey, I noticed something else interesting. The number of fantasy novels released by the publishers I looked at more than doubled between 2010 and 2011. The numbers are still small, but it’s an encouraging trend.
Any other thoughts or observations?