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Target Audience Report

Note about the Accuracy of this report

For Romance

There are many sub-genres of Romance, and this report looks at all of them together. You might find that your subgenre is a little different than the broad picture painted here, but for the most part we have found this information
largely reflective of most Romance sub-genres such as: Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Sci-fi Romance,
and Christian Romance.

Who Reads Romance


Below are a few specific demographic facts about the

lives of people who read romance novels.


Women make up 91 percent of romance book buyers.


The U.S. romance book buyer is most likely to be aged between 30

and 54 years. The average age of a reader is 42.


Romance novels purchased by geographic region:

Northeast: 17 percent
Midwest: 26 percent
South: 38 percent
West: 19 percent

Yearly Income

The greatest percentage of romance book buyers (39 percent) have

an income between $50,000 and $99,900.

Marital Status

Slightly more than half of survey respondents live with a spouse or

significant other.

Interest in Reading

Forty-four percent of romance book buyers consider themselves frequent readers (read quite a few romances); 31 percent are avid readers (almost always reading a romance novel); and 25 percent are occasional
readers (on and off, like when on vacation).

Years Reading

Readers have been reading romance for a long time: 41 percent of

romance book buyers have been reading romance for 20 years or

How Romance Readers

hear about books

The list below describes what percentage of your target audience utilizes different sources to seek information on the books they would like to read.

Bookstore shelf






Other online sources


Free promotional chapters on my e-reader


Book club


E-mails from author




Other offline sources


Online community (e.g., GoodReads)

How Romance Readers

Connect w/Authors

How invested are romance readers? Heres how

readers are interacting with authors and books:

Visited an author website


Saw a promotional book trailer and bought book


Read an authors blog


Followed an author on Facebook


Went to a live author event


Entered into an online contest surrounding a

book Im reading


Watched YouTube video about author or book


Read a blog run by a group of authors


Followed an author on a reader community site

like Goodreads


Attended an online author event


Followed an author on Twitter


Top offline
factors influencing purchase

Top online
factors influencing purchase

Top overall decision factors

when deciding
on a romance:

1) Enjoying the authors previous books

1) Online bookseller websites (,,


1) The story

2) Book is part of a series

theyre reading

2) Reading about it

3) Description on the back

cover or flaps

3) Seeing it on a best-seller

4) Recommendation of a
friend or relative

4) Visiting the website of the


2) Recognizing or liking an
3) Its part of a series
4) Reading the back cover

Where are Romance Books Purchased? 25 percent
Online other than BN & Amazon: 19 percent
Walmart: 13 percent
Book clubs: 11 percent
Barnes & Noble Stores: 11 percent
E-book/audio download site: 10 percent 4 percent
Supermarket and grocery stores: 3 percent
Warehouse clubs: 3 percent
Note: this list does not distinguish between
electronic and physical books.

Book Formats

Used by Romance
Not all readers are the same, so it is crucial to know
which mediums are most used by your audience.
The below graph provides a brief overview of the most commonly read book formats for romance readers. You have to decide what share of the market you are going after, but it is easy
to see from this graph that if you stick with just ONE format for your book you will be missing
out on a large segment of the market!


E-book format

Mass-market paperback

Trade paperback


Audio books


How do they
read your



Keep in mind that while e-book is the largest percentage of

formats used, it still less than half of all readers combined

How Much will your Readers

pay for an e-b00k

Using something called the Westendorp pricing

model, a bottom price (floor), a top price (ceiling),
and a target price for the typical romance e-book
was established. The following information shows
the feelings romance readers have about different
price points for romance e-books.

Too Low

Fairest Price

Too High

Regular readers of romance books were asked their thoughts on different prices for an e-book in a scenario
where the paperback version of the book was priced at $9.

All authors want to make as much money as possible, but you must remember that the
perceived value e-books is lower. Research shows that $7.50 is viewed as high (but still
reasonable), while $9.95 is viewed as too expensive for an e-book.

As an author you should try to strike a balance that makes both you and your reader
happy. Research shows that $5.31 is a price that the average romance reader considers to
be the fairest price for an e-book.

Pricing your book too cheap can cause readers to question the quality of your work. This
survey revealed that romance readers start questioning the quality of a novel once it
starts to get around the range of $2.32 and below.

What about me?

Finding Your audience info

Accurate market research is expensive. The price
of the Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors produced every year by Nielson Market
Research is $999. Nielson also produces genre specific reports for $200.
You can purchase one of these, or you can piece
together the details that interest you the most by
downloading the free reports from previous years.
While we have found that some specific numbers
do change yearly (like e-books vs. printed books),
there are many things that go unchanged. For example, the most recent stats for the gender of romance readers is almost exactly the same as it was
10 years ago. By sifting through all the data from reports from 2007 to now, you are bound to find a lot
of very useful information on your genre.
One of the best places to start is by going here and
downloading all the reports marked as free: