Tuesday, June 16, 2009

See who's reading romance: The 2009 RWA Reader Survey

Romance Writers of America recently posted its (May) 2009 Reader Survey, a web-based survey of romance fiction readers. Here are some facts uncovered by the survey on our favorite genre's current readership:

74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008.

The core of the romance fiction market is 29 million regular readers.

24.6 percent of all American [sic] read a romance novel in 2008, versus 21.8 percent in 2005.

29 percent of Americans over the age of 13 read a romance novel in 2008.

Women make up 90.5 percent of the romance readership, and men make up 9.5 percent.

The heart of the U.S. romance novel readership is women aged 31–49 who are currently in a romantic relationship.

Pop over to the Readership Statistics page of the RWA website for more information on today's romance readers, including purchase behavior and some surprising tidbits like this:

45.1 percent [of survey respondents] were not aware that authors receive no royalty payment for the purchase of used books.


Anonymous said...

So, speaking of reading romance novels... When can we look forward to an update on your next project? Or am I doofus and missed it? Anxiously awaiting your next book....:-)

Anonymous said...

I learned recently about the royalty issue from an author of paranormal romance books. She said she preferred readers to borrow from libraries. I know my library will make purchases based on interlibrary loan requests...

Project Journal said...

I agree with Laurel! When can we expect to at least hear about another new book!?

Brenda Coulter said...

Laurel and Hannah, thanks so much for asking. I was ready to send a project to my editor months ago, but was slowed down by a heartbreaking illness and subsequent death in the family. After that, I decided to rewrite the manuscript. I'm almost finished now. (I prefer to write whole novels rather than the standard three-chapter proposal, so it takes me a while to get a submission ready.)

Becca, my library--like most others, I believe--earmarks money for purchasing materials that patrons request. So people should speak up when their favorite books and authors aren't carried by their libraries.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Brenda - I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I pray God's peace on your and your family. I am looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming project.