Most Popular Audiobook Categories for 2021

If you’re thinking of releasing an audiobook sometime soon, it helps to know what are some of the most popular audiobook categories and genres.

Having this information will help you better categorize your book, enabling you to achieve maximum exposure.

Because when you’re in a popular category, it means more readers – or should I say listeners – are interested in this genre. Once they’ve completed an audiobook by a well-known author, they’ll probably look for another audiobook – yours can fill this space.

Autobiographies & Memoirs

Autobiographies and memoirs always manage to reach bestselling lists. At the moment, it’s Matthew McConaughey’s Green Lights – and a staple on best selling lists – Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Both of these books are self-narrated.

Unfortunately for most authors, choosing to publish an autobiography or memoir isn’t going to have any significant impact on sales. Because what all best selling authors have in these genres is fame or infamy.


Mysteries will always fascinate the public. Even true crime is based on the genre. Therefore it’s not surprising that audiences consume mystery-themed content in a variety of ways. But, when it comes to audiobooks, Mystery is only surpassed by Thrillers and Suspense. Although Mystery satisfies readers’ desire for a gratifying conclusion, Thriller’s continued momentum and suspense throughout the narration are ultimately more captivating.

Thriller or Suspense

When you think thriller or suspense, you can probably list many authors who you enjoy reading. Authors like John Grisham, Dan Brown, James Patterson, and Danielle Steel. Thriller and suspense have to be one of the best genres to listen to, as the story builds up momentum and keeps you engaged in the plot. 


Fantasy is a difficult genre to perfect because you need to establish your universe and then create appealing characters. But if you can do this in print books, listeners will enjoy hearing a narrator read a gripping fantasy. They now get to experience the elements the author describes and get to envision what is being narrated. When it comes to escapism or wanting to relax or unwind with an audiobook, fantasy offers listeners everything they need.

Science Fiction

Most of the most popular science fiction audiobooks are books that have been in existence for years. But this doesn’t stop avid readers from listening to the audiobook. Besides, when readers are busy at work, at the gym, or driving, listening to their favorite science fiction novel is ideal.

If you write in a similar style or about similar topics as some of the Science Fiction greats like Frank Herbert or Orson Scott Card, your audiobook may get traction with Fantasy fanatics.

Business and Money

Business and money aren’t as popular as you would think in audiobooks, but the category does considerably well, especially for unknown authors. An intriguing title, claim, or idea makes books in this category become best sellers. When you combine that with a book rich in information, it’s easy to see why professionals looking to excel would like to listen to this genre during their busy schedules.

Noticeable genres missing from popular audiobooks categories are romance, children’s books, and young adult fiction. The reason for this could vary, but it likely has to do with readers preferring holding a hard copy version or taking time out of their day to read or interact with the book. While these categories could do well for you, they’re not making the best selling lists often enough to warrant a feature on this list.

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