Reading time for fantasy Wattpad stories tagged #Diversity grew by 125% across 2019.
Aron Levitz, Head of Wattpad Studios, foresees better representation and increased diversity across the industry in 2020.
“The Wattpad community is leading the charge in increasing diversity and representation in literature – our community is using storytelling to engage with real world issues and elevate diverse voices,” he says. “This is something that will only increase in 2020, with new takes on traditional genres driven by new voices in storytelling.”
The news lines up with a recent year-in-review report from Wattpad, which found an increase of interest in diversity, particularly in genre fiction. Reading time for fantasy stories tagged #Diversity grew by 125% across 2019, while #Diverse tags in sci-fi stories saw an impressive 269% boost in read times, and the #Diversity tag saw 73% growth in horror.
These new authors and readers will hail from locations as diverse as their perspectives, too, according to a complementary prediction from Trip Adler, CEO of ebook and audiobook subscription service Scribd.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in readers coming to Scribd from outside the US,” Adler says, “and have been exploring new partnerships with publishers to build a more robust and diverse catalog of high-quality content. So far the response from both readers and publishers has been overwhelmingly positive.”
The upshot for publishers around the globe? Greater benefits from teaming up and expanding their customer base. “My prediction is that more publishers in markets outside of the U.S will increasingly adopt the subscription model and partner with services like Scribd,” adds Adler.
Using data gleaned from the past year of trends in Wattpad writing, Levitz gets even more specific with his predictions for which genres and tropes will thrive in the new year.
“We’ve seen a demand on our platform for Muslim romance, people of color in all types of genre fiction, and women taking over action stories as kickass boxers and streetfighters,” he says. “These are the types of diversified genres and new perspectives you’ll see in 2020 and beyond.”