Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Surprising Results of Last Week’s Survey on What Readers Want

Okay, the results are in on what readers want, and it's very fascinating!  There was a large response, and I've summed up the results.  Take a look:

  1. Do you know the difference between sweet romance and clean?  The majority said yes, but 40% said they didn’t know.  I didn’t know for many years.  Sweet romance means there’s no bedroom scenes or offensive language.  A clean romance means no bedroom scenes but there is some level of language.
  2. Do you only read one genre of romance?  80% percent said no.  The most read genre tended to be romantic suspense.
  3. Do you prefer a romance book with a down-to-earth hero or a hero with money, confidence and no character flaws?  Our down-to-earth heroes won by an impressive 98%.  The comments were that these heroes were more believable, like someone you’d really meet.
  4. Does a contemporary book with incorrect facts stop you from finishing the book?  35% of the readers said it did.  Add that to the 46% that said sometimes, and authors better start working harder on their research.
  5. Do punctuation or grammatical errors stop you from finishing a book?  47% of the readers said that sometimes it did, but only 23% said it would definitely stop them. That’s a little better than the incorrect facts, folks.
  6. Are you wary of self-published books?  The answer to this was pretty much a tie with yes slightly ahead. The general comment was that you read a lot of bad but often find a gem.
  7. Do you read to escape and like happily-ever-after endings?  A resounding 64% said they did read to escape and preferred HEA because there is so much bad going on in the world.
  8.  Which do you prefer: ebooks or print books? Both was clearly the winner and from the comments, both obviously have their merits.  But between ebooks and print books, readers preferred print 39% to only 9% ebooks.  Very interesting!
  9. What makes you choose a book?  I have to admit, I was surprised by the results of this one. Jacket blurb took the lead at 73%.  Word-or-mouth was second at 55%. I expected cover art to be the clear winner.

There you have it!  I hope this little survey shed some light on the subject of what readers want.  It sure has for me. 

Let me know if you won the $100 Amazon Gift Card and have a great week!

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Comedy, Suspense…and Dogs!
Fly into a good book today at:  http://www.dragonflyromance.com


  1. This is an awesome post, Cindy. Thank you for your input about this important theme.
    Anna del C.
    Author of "The Silent Warrior Trilogy"

  2. Hi Cindy. I enjoyed the survey. I thought it would be closer between preferences of either print or e-books. And I thought "Title" and book cover would win out over blurb.

    This is enlightening. I'll give it some thought.

    BTW, did you comment on my blog "What makes a book memorable?" I can't remember. If you didn't I'd like your input. This is something I REALLY would like to know. It would guide authors on what to write.

    It's not my last post on my blog, but the one below it. http://laureanslore.blogspot.com/

  3. Very interesting post, Cindy. Definitely some things to think about. I can see its very important for us, as writers, to spent additional time writing up blurbs for our books. Thanks for the info!


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