Thursday, March 6, 2014
Is Anybody Listening?
Statistics from the national RWA....
6% of romance readers are between the ages of 14-17.
9% of romance readers are between the ages of 18-24.
40% of romance readers are between the ages of 35-54.
If you tack on the 55-64 age bracket, you get...
51% of romance readers are between the ages of 35-64.
So, only 9% of romance readers are 18-24, and yet the "New Adult" category is the hot new trend. What does this mean? Why is NA so hot, why are publishers pushing younger characters and teen angst (YA) when the majority of romance readers are more mature?
Do mature readers want to read about teens and young adults dealing with coming-of-age issues? I asked some friends why older women would want to read about this age group, and they replied "they're nostalgic" "they want to recapture their youth" "for entertainment."
Since I have teens, the last thing I want to read about is teen angst.
I'm living teen angst right now, thank you very much.
And...the very last thing I want to read about is teenagers having sex. *Penny faints*
But I wonder if this is really what mature readers want. Since I recently published my novella APPLES SHOULD BE RED, I've been receiving emails, Twitter messages, and Facebook posts from readers who are thrilled to see a romance with older characters--late 50s, early 60s. The overriding sentiment is "thank you so much for showing that more mature women are capable of love and lust and happy endings" and "I wish this would start a trend and more books with characters in this age group would become available." I've seen discussions on reader message boards expressing this same sentiment.
I, personally, would love to see more books with mature characters who have been around the bend a few times. It seems like a lot of readers feel the same way--readers who make up the majority of the romance-purchasing population.
Is anybody listening?
I sure hope so.
All my best,