So every now and then I get this wild hair and I have to do surveys. They are mostly done out of curiosity, but I also do them in hopes of helping authors and writers gather information about what readers are interested in. Sometimes this helps them with what they're writing or what they may want to write in the future.
As authors, it is our duty to write what's in our hearts. But I don't think it hurts to know what captures the most interest - so here are the results from the survey we recently did.
IABB READER SURVEY - FEBRUARY
This survey had over 300 participants - thank you!
My questions were really random, so please bear with me.
The first question - Do you like to read books that contain cheating?
Yes - 60%
No - 40%
As a follow-up question, do you feel you can forgive the 'cheater' as long as he/she rights his/her wrongs by the end of the book?
Yes - 62%
No - 38%
Do you prefer having a small warning, whether in the blurb or the beginning of the book, if a book contains a trigger? [Rape, Suicide, Abuse, etc]
Yes - 45%
It doesn't matter to me - 45%
No - 10%
Do you like reading M/M [Man on Man Loving] books?
Yes - 56%
No - 44%
Do you like reading F/F [Woman on Woman Loving] books?
Yes - 40%
No - 60%
Do you like reading books that contain M/M/F F/F/M [2 men, 1 woman or 2 women, 1 man] in a romantic relationship?
Yes - 67%
No - 33%
Do Cliffhangers bother you?
Yes - 34%
No - 66%
Do you feel a guaranteed HEA [Happily Ever After] is important to enjoy a book?
Yes - 17%
No - 38%
I'm fine with a "Happy For Now" Ending - 45%
What do you read more of?
Independently Published - 28%
Traditionally Published - 4%
A good deal of both - 68%
Do you like reading interracial romance?
Yes - 84%
No - 16%
Do you like reading interspecies romance? [Humans/Aliens, Vampires/Humans, etc]
Yes - 74%
No - 26%
What is your absolute favorite genre of all time?
The answers we received based on popularity:
Other responses received that got a little more technical included "Billionaire Romance", "Romance with baby", "Biker Romance", "Romance with no more than three sex scenes", "Stephen King" (I agree), "Stepbrother", " Rockstar Romance", "Boy Meets Girl", "Vampires please", "I like them all", "Cheesy Romances", "Alpha Males", "Jock loves Nerd", and my personal favorite, "ALL THE ONES".
How many books do you read per month?
The average response was 5, but there were about 20 responses that stated they read at least 30 a month. (GO YOU!)
And my favorite response to this question: Hahaha.
Getting down to the nitty gritty about our participants, here's some information about the 300+ readers who took our survey:
Under 20 - 1%
20's - 22%
30's - 40%
40's - 26%
50's - 9%
60+ - 2%
Female - 98%
Male - 1%
Gender fluid - 1%
Straight - 89%
Gay - 2%
Bisexual - 6%
Other - 3%
Based on all this information....
First off, as a writer I want to say to write whatever the hell you want. You can take these numbers however you want, but at the end of the day you have to write for you. If these numbers help you at all, by all means please take them and run.
But if I have learned anything since starting my career as an author, it is this: Always write what's in your heart and love it completely - or no one else will.
Secondly, I am very curious about the last question I asked. Is it just that straight people *really* like reading about M/M and F/F romances? Does it give you a secret thrill? Butterflies? I am just genuinely curious. Some people like reading about things they will never do, and it's no secret that most of the M/M audience consists of straight women. There's just something about the idea of two men and passion...
As for the F/F writers out there, don't give up. Don't you dare. F/F's time is coming. I've felt it in my bones for quite some time now. Just you wait and see. So please write that story. Get it out there because someone needs it. I foresee a spike in popularity for F/F romances in the future. ;)
NOTE- There were a lot of people who participated who wished there'd been a "I haven't read it, but I'm open to it" option. I'll be sure to include one in the future.
As always, pretty much anything romance is in the lead when it comes to favorite genre. Paranormal Romance has already made its comeback, but those regular old human romances don't fall close behind! On a personal note, I hope vampires do make a comeback. Those are some great creatures.
GOOD NEWS, INDIES. People really like you. As you can see, they like reading both traditional *and* independently published books equally. That's awesome, yeah? I think so, too.
CHEATING seemed to be a hot issue last year, at least to me. But it looks like people don't mind so much thees days.
WARNINGS are still iffy. While most people don't seem to mind either way, there are still a lot who like to have a small warning if at all possible. I get it - I really do. I don't like diving into a book and being traumatized either (*cough* certain time travel book *cough*). But again, this is completely up to the author. They can do whatever they want, and as readers, we have to respect their decision in the end.
CLIFFHANGERS AREN'T THE END OF THE WORLD - I was honestly surprised by the outcome. So many people complain about cliffhangers in reviews (I've seen this so many times), but it seems like people really don't mind them anymore. So that's great news for the cliffy kings and queens out there.
Please understand that this survey was taken by about 330 people. That's not even the tip of the iceberg as far as the reading population goes. There are millions of readers out there and they are all different.
And that also means there are plenty of readers for everyone, right? ;)
I hope this post helps a little. If anything, I hope it sates curiosity for inquiring minds all around.
We'll try really hard to make a new survey every month.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in this survey. It is super appreciated.