Thursday, March 19, 2015

Brought to You by the Letter "B"

There are certain businesses and certain aspects within business that fascinate me, publishing obviously being one of them. And when it comes to genre fiction, I'm really curious how all the numbers play out - sort of a good way to measure what we are reading. The problem is, some of these numbers are difficult to locate and quantify.

But I did find these numbers from 2012 on PBS/POV the other day that were compiled based on findings by The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Romance Writers of America, so I thought I'd share:
"In 2012, the romance genre took the largest share of the consumer book market worldwide,12.9% ($1.358 billion), beating out religion/inspirational ($759 million), mystery ($682 million), science fiction/fantasy ($559 million) and classic literary fiction ($445 million). According to the popular genre magazine RT Book Reviews (formerly known as Romantic Times), the average romance reader today spends about $100 monthly reading anywhere from 10 to 40 books a month."
Um.... WOW!
$1.358 BILLION!

Granted, I thought Romance was actually a larger percentage of overall book purchases, but still, that dollar figure begins with a "B" and that's simply amazing. And remember, folks, we're just talking about genre specific fiction here. We're not talking about Tell-Alls, memoirs, political, history, and a whole host of non-fiction or mainstream literature titles. This is all genre fiction. And then there's the average per person per month: $100 per month for 10 to 40 books.

Now I'm a slow reader, but I read constantly. If I read 40 books in one year, I consider that a decent year, and if I buy ten books in one month, that's a major spending spree, then I have to make efforts to reel in my binge impulse buying. I simply can't imagine being a romance reader and maintaining that sort of momentum. But millions of women do. (In fact, my maternal grandmother did. Did I ever tell you that story? If not, perhaps one day I will.)

In the meantime, I think it's time to step away from numbers for a while before my head explodes.

Until Next Time...
Romantically Yours,

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