What happened to Steampunk?

I’ll have to admit, I’m a bit perplexed. A few years ago, Steampunk was all the rage. Seemed everyone was reading and talking about Steampunk. Several authors were very big into the genre and the spotlight shone bright on those who wrote in that area.

Why am I curious about this today?

Because I’m running a sale on my Steampunk Western trilogy. I’ve only given away 2 copies of book 1 and it was #50 on the free chart. Meaning it’s not difficult to get onto that chart and stay there. Meaning…Steampunk isn’t selling?

This struck me as odd given it’s popularity just a short time ago. I’m looking at other books on the free list and most were published at least 2 years ago if not more. One of the more popular free titles was published in 2015. So I kept digging.

Though I was spot checking and didn’t click every single title, none were published in 2020 or 2021.

This led me to question, has Steampunk time come and gone already? Is this a genre that’s gone to die an untimely death?

I realize the pandemic may have had an adverse effect on those writing into the genre, but it didn’t have that big of an impact on other genres in the way steampunk seemed to suffer. Epic Fantasy has been considered an evergreen field to write and it’s doing quite well. Space Opera? So many new books. Mystery? Thriller? All doing well.

Looking online, you can still see interest in steampunk fashion. Girl Genius is still going strong after all these years. Maybe that’s the trouble with writing in this genre. Steampunk has become a more visual form of entertainment. The written word doesn’t convey the grandeur of the genre. There are also no current movies out that would re-spark interest.

That said, no, I won’t stop (for now) writing or enjoying the genre. I do enjoy the freedom it offers and the alternate histories that can be written with it. But being that I’m having a difficult time even giving away books for steampunk leads me to wonder just what happened and how it feel off after burning so brightly.

What are your thoughts?

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Posted on September 1, 2021, in Blog Post. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I say just keep writing what you love. Popularity will come and go, and come back again, so as long as you’re happy with your stories, other people will be too.

    • MIRANDA! Thank you for stopping by and liking posts so often. That is my goal to keep on writing what I love, and prefer to write. I doubt I’ll ever be a “write to market” type of author. If I’m not having fun, my readers will know straightaway.

      Stay Awesome!

  2. Back in 2008 when I started writing my steampunk novel, people would say “Steampunk? What’s that?” Then in 2014, when I wanted to sell it, I’d get, “Steampunk? Not again.” Now I’m hearing the same about urban fantasy. As Miranda said, it comes and goes. I keep reading and writing it because I love it.

    • I’ve also followed the same path. I write what strikes me. Just curious that SteamPunk had a huge flare up and seemed to completely die off. I’m hoping for a resurgence. πŸ™‚

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