Monday, April 23, 2012

Romance Readers

Sorry, I missed posting last week.

I found some statistics about Romance Readers and thought I'd share. The full report of the statistics can be read by clicking here.
  •         Women make up 91% of the romance book buyers, men make up 9%

 That's not really surprising to me, more women than men read romance.  But it is nice to know that men are buying the books.
  •      The U.S. romance book buyer is most likely to be aged between 30 and 54 years

I wonder what age is prevalent in other countries.  But the key words I saw was "most likely". 

  •          Mean age for print romance book buyer: 49
  •          Mean age for e-book romance buyer: 42

Not that big of difference, which I must say surprised me.  Usually the younger generation is more comfortable with technology and uses it more often.  This tells me that e-readers on the market are getting easier to use, which is great.

  •          Top overall decision factors in buying a romance:

o   The story
o   The author
o   It's part of a series
o   Back cover copy

These were all very interesting to me both as a author and as a reader.  It shows that story really does matter.  Readers want a really good story and while an author's name or being part of a series still sells the book, story is the most important.

  •          1/3 or romance book buyers (31%) surveyed currently read e-books, while 69% do not
  •          Of those e-book readers, 9 out of 10 are actually using an e-reading device to read romance e-books in particular.

 What this didn't tell me is how many readers actually read both print and e-books.  I'm really interested in that statistic.  Because I hear from readers, they actually like both.

  •          E-books vs Print in Romance subgenres

o   Romantic suspense e-book 54% print 58%
o   Contemporary e-book 48% print 50%
o   Historical e-book 44%  print 44%
o   Erotic romance e-book 32% print 15%
o   Paranormal e-book 30% print 21%
o   Young adult e-book 19% print 15%
o   Christian e-book 13% print 19%

In most cases, the e-book is very close to the print percentage, there are some exceptions.  Mainly with erotic romance and paranormal, the break down give a good showing of what is selling and what isn't.

·         E-book pricing, this assumed there is a print mass market available for $9 and a digital copy of the same book; and a second assumption is where only the e-book is available.  This is how readers determined how much they would pay:

$9 paperback is available
Only e-book available
E-book too expensive
E-book high priced but still reasonable


E-book fairest price
E-book floor price (would question quality)



This was very interesting to me and it helps me understand the readers issues with the e-book being priced higher than a print book.  The one question that no one asked is how the readers feel about a $9 mass market paperback.  Most today don't go much over $7.99 so would a reader really buy a $9 book?

     ·         Activities that do or do not interest the romance buyer, here are the top, already done answers:
o   Visited author website 41%
o   Saw a promotional book trailer or bought the full book 18%
o   Read an author blog 16%
o   Followed an author on Facebook 13%
o   Gone to a live author event 12%

The rest of the answers were all below this, they include entering an online contest, watching a YouTube video, following the author on Twitter and some others.

This was interesting to me because it does show that readers go to authors websites.  While social media still play a roll (blogs, facebook, twitter) it's not a big as some have believed it is.

Next week I'll start talking about the self-publishing craze.

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