Commercial vs Upmarket vs Literary Fiction

The other day I had to do a google search on the differences between commercial, upmarket, and literary fiction. Like, I could tell you which category a book goes into, but I couldn’t tell you why.

My search was very profitable. Check out this great infographic from Carly Watters that explains the differences.

I read commercial fiction when I want to be entertained and I’m tired (mostly on the weekends).

I make an effort to read literary fiction. It’s like exercise—I know it’s important, it’s good for me, and there is some form of pleasure in it, but it does take effort and willpower.

My favorite books usually fall into the upmarket fiction category. Quality yet accessible writing, perfect for discussion (and thinking and journaling and blogging), universal themes, and a combo of literary + commercial all make sense as to why I like this category best. The Book Thief, The Night Circus, The Help, The Hundred Secret Senses… Love em.

Which category is your favorite?

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