Catapulting Cozies: Analyzing the Anecdote Linking Cozy Sales to Bestselling Thrillers and the Popularity of Cozies in Today’s Marketplace

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Publishers and publishing, Cozy mysteries -- Forecasts and trends


This paper investigates the common anecdote linking cozies and thrillers by quantitatively analyzing a corpus of end-of-year sales of bestselling cozies and thrillers from 2009 to 2018, as well as the reasons behind the rise in popularity of cozies. While this has some limitations due to its being a convenience sample acquired from NPD BookScan, statistical analysis reveals no association between end-of-year sales of cozies and thrillers. Instead, the consistent and steady popularity of cozies is contextualized using previous research in the fields of feminism, sociology, and market research and consumer behavior. Specifically, the concepts of female amateur sleuth protagonists as embodying signs of female empowerment, agenthood, and representation; consumer taste and popularity’s link to feelings of security and thrill; and the marketability of nostalgia, familiarity, and escapism are discussed. These findings encourage cozy authors and publishers to claim their own efforts for their success. Further research analyzing the factors influencing end-of-year sales for cozies is necessary. Finally, cozies should be acknowledged as a serious subgenre worthy of study by the publishing industry and academia.


Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Writing: Book Publishing.

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