I’m one of those kids that learns by doing. Who needs research when you can tie your legs together, jump into the lake, and try to swim like a mermaid? With nine books under my belt and four more in progress, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to do a little research on who my readers are. Hey, the lightbulb eventually turns on; it just might take a while!
I found some interesting data on Statista about readers and made a few charts. The survey was taken in 2015 with 2,273 US readers.
The survey asked readers to identify the type of books they’ve read in the last year by genre. (Note that this is a survey of interest not volume. So, someone who reads 20 romances and 1 fantasy novel will check both boxes “yes.”) As with all surveys, take this one with a pinch of salt).
% Readers who Reported Reading Fiction
% Readers who Reported Reading Non-Fiction
My genre, Sci-fi/Fantasy, is only read by about 25-26% of adult readers. Congrats to you Mystery/Thriller/Crime writers at 47%! This data won’t make me change my genre preference, but it intrigues me enough to explore the stylistic elements of that popular genre(s)!
The next chart looked at the same data divided by gender.
Reader Genre Preference by Gender
I was curious as to whether most of my readers are male or female and discovered that Fantasy is one genre that’s almost evenly matched. In this sample, Sci-fi is statistically read more by men.
The reason for this tidbit of research is my book Sunwielder – though women do enjoy the book, men seem to give it the best ratings. It’s a time-travel (sci-fi staple) fantasy with a strong historical-ish component. The slight sway toward male readers makes sense when I look at the charts above.
I don’t expect any of this to change the way I write, but I did find the info interesting. The world of books is as varied as the readers who inhabit it, which is one thing I love about writing.
As a reader, do these statistics apply to you?
As a writer, is there anything here that intrigues you?