Industry sales information for 2011 is from Simba Information, Bowker Monthly Tracker and AAP:
- 2011 U.S. romance fiction revenue: $1.37 billion; 14.3% of consumer book market.
- Simba estimates that for 2012, the overall U.S. consumer book market will decrease by 3.7%, and the romance category will decrease to $1.34 billion (but be up to 14.5% of overall market).
- Ebook sales of romances were 44% of total units in first quarter 2012 (compared to 26% ebook sales in total book market); mass market accounted for 29%; trade paperback 17%
(Of course, I'm always a bit leery of statistics when they don't tell me all the details of the study--like how many people polled, how selected, the demographics, etc.)
- 91% of romance buyers are women
- about half of romance buyers are between the ages of 30 - 54
- 31% of romance buyers consider themselves "avid" readers; 44% consider themselves "frequent" readers
- Have been reading romance for more than twenty years: 57% of avid readers, 43% of frequent readers, 41% of occasional readers
- Element enjoyed most about romance novels: happy ending
- 94% of romance readers have read ebooks (either purchased or free)
- Top overall reason a romance buyer selects a book to purchase: likes the author (45%)
- "Very influential" reasons for selecting a romance to buy: enjoyed author's previous book, book is part of a series, book description, recommendation from trusted source.
- Not influential: promo items (postcards, trading cards, notepads, pens, calendars, bookmarks, etc)
- Online elements that influence purchase decision: online bookseller websites, reading about it/seeing it online, seeing it on a bestseller list, author website, seeing it discussed on Amazon
- How readers become aware of romance books (does not imply purchased -- just knew about a book): in-store display, read an excerpt online, recommendation from friend/relative, author's website, teaser chapter in other print book they were reading, online retailer recommendation on retailer site
What do you find the most surprising or significant information from this study?