Thursday, August 28, 2014

IT’S THURSDAY, DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR READER IS?

Just came out of Sales Conference, a full two days of talking about our books, our authors, our PR/marketing plans, our cover designs and looking at lots of data

As I think about the data, it reminds me of  conversations I’ve had lately with authors, both Sourcebooks' authors and many others I meet at conferences, along the lines of “you are not your reader.”

Now, it’s probably obvious that authors are also voracious readers. But authors are not necessarily the demographic of their readership.


So here’s a quiz, and as I look at your posts and answers (feel free to pose questions too) today, I’m going to share some of the data I have about who the romance reader is, and what I know about her (yes, she’s predominantly a “she”).

PLEASE ALSO POSE QUESTIONS—I THINK THIS IS A REALLY USEFUL CONVERSATION FOR AUTHORS TO HAVE, AND QUESTIONS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS ANSWERS SOMETIMES.

1  (Yes or NO) Do you think you and your core readership match in:
a        Age within 10 years? YES or NO
b       Household income within $5K? YES or NO
c        National Region? (South, Midwest, Northeast, Southwest, Northwest) YES or NO
d       Regional type? (Urban, Suburban, Rural) YES or NO
e       Education level? (Nongraduate, High school graduate, College graduate, Advanced degree) YES or NO

2   Have you ever asked your readers for their demographic information?



3  (Multiple choice—one answer only—your main answer to this question) Would you say you are writing:
a      the books you want to read?
b     Books you believe the majority of romance readers want to read?
c     The books you want to write (the book of your heart)?
d     I’ve never thought about it this way                                                                                                           
        I don’t know

4 What is the median age of the romance reader?

5 What is the household income of the majority of romance readers?

6 What is the education level of the majority of romance readers?

7 In what region does the highest percentage of romance readers live?

8 In what region does the second highest percentage of romance readers live?

9 Where do the majority of romance readers buy their books?

1 Where do the majority of romance readers discover new authors?

11 comments:

  1. Deb: I hope your 're posting answers to all those interesting questions!!! The only one I could answer was multiple choice (I write what I like to read). Can't wait to be enlightened.

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  2. Deb, please post the answers! I am fascinated! I have never thought about my readers this way. Now I want to know...all of it :)

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  3. What great questions - I never knew it mattered for authors to know much about their readers besides what they like to read. I grew up, before the social media age obviously, finding my new authors just by roaming the aisles of the romance section reading back blurbs. I kinda admit that was more fun than just seeing things on Amazon. Maybe I like my hands on experience!

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  4. Terrific question. Now you've got me thinking . . .

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  5. Some interesting stats here: http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582

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  6. I've thought about this, but have never asked readers for demographic information. Fascinating. My question is: how can we attract younger readers/newer romance readers to historical romance?

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    Replies
    1. Madeline Hunter started an author yahoo loop to address that question (or more generally, how historical can recover lost ground), and it currently boasts 200 members. They're working on everything from excerpt booklets, to trailers, to college dorm outreach initiatives, to multiple reader surveys. The group includes the veteran trad list makers and the tryo indies and has a lot of energy and ideas. If you'd like to join, you can contact Madeline at: madeline@madelinehunter.com.

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    2. I tried to join this group and never heard back. Maybe I will go out and try again.

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  7. Now I'm very curious about the answers. I've always assumed the average age of a romance reader was between her early twenties to mid fifties. But I've never thought about pinning it down based on region. Interesting.

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  8. Taking a stab
    4. 40ish
    5. $45,000
    6. some college
    7. the South
    8. the Midwest
    9. online
    10. personal recommendations

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