News for Authors

Moments: Publishing Trends and Key Occasions for Fall 2021

by Grant Griglak |September, 2021

At Penguin Random House, direct communication and relationships with readers are key to marketplace success, and strong consumer marketing and outreach begin with understanding our audience. Penguin Random House Consumer Insights is excited to present Moments Fall 2021, a report that predicts consumer sentiment and behaviors during the coming quarter.

This fall marks the first time we can bet on things being back to some version of “normal,” with lots of energy and enthusiasm about having fun, seeing friends, stopping and starting relationships, and getting back together for holiday gatherings.

Moments Fall 2021 explored a few key themes:

  • We All Just Wanna Have Fun: After more than a year of being cooped up at home, separated from friends, and dealing with compounding stressors, we’re collectively ready for some fun.
  • A Cuffing Season Like No Other: After all this time stuck at home, the fall will bring a more relationship-focused chapter for many folks. Whether that means pairing up or reevaluating relationships after a year in lockdown, relationships with our significant others (or future ones) will take center stage.
  • Disability Visibility: In the United States, 61 million adults (1 in 4) live with a disability (CDC), and brands are catching on to the fact that ease of use is essential for mainstream adoption. Although efforts towards inclusivity are not new, these milestones remind us of our responsibility to share space with people with cognitive and physical disabilities, who often find themselves underrepresented by standard products and services.
  • The New Storytelling Frontier: After more than a year of at-home events, virtual hangouts, and Zoom delight and fatigue, consumers are looking to take the best of the virtual and accessible from the recent past and merge it with the best of the future. How can brands and books help meet the moment of the “new” storytelling frontier?

The report also highlights fall occasions like:

  • Back to School: After a bumpy 2020–21 school year, parents and kids alike are bracing for the upcoming back-to-school season and expect a range of emotions, including the need to play catch-up after a year or more of compromised learning. While reopening will bring relief, if not joy, for some, others are stressed about the idea of getting back to class. They’re also dealing with the conversations that a racial reckoning has unleashed.
  • Hispanic Heritage Month: “This year’s theme—Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future—invites Hispanics to embrace their backgrounds, to be proud of who they are and where they came from” (NRCS).
  • Halloween: While Halloween participation fell from 70 percent to 58 percent in 2020, 148 million people still celebrated and spent approximately eight billion U.S. dollars on the Halloween season (Statista). 74 percent of millennial moms and young parents said that Halloween 2020 was more important than ever (The Harris Poll, NRF).
  • Thanksgiving: This year will be marked as a season of gratitude. Thanksgiving 2020 was weeks after a stressful election, in the midst of yet another surge of Covid across the country. While some traveled (spurring even more spikes), most stayed home or celebrated virtually. This year, it’s all about saying thanks to the people you love IRL!
  • Holiday Gifting: Gifting this year might mean lots of different things based on economic factors, people’s relationships with the pandemic, and how eager they are to celebrate again.


If you have a current or backlist title that aligns with one or more of these trends, contact your marketing team for suggestions about ways to reach and engage consumers with relevant content from your book.

Grant Griglak is Director, Consumer & Marketplace Insights at Penguin Random House.