If you write or publish Christian fiction books, then you should know about the recent survey of Christian fiction readers and the results. Christian Fiction Readers: Worth Pursuing, Worth Keeping, a reader survey conducted through a cooperative effort of CBA, The Parable Group, The Baker Publishing Group, and American Christian Fiction Writers, used an online survey to compile information from around 1,500 Christian fiction readers—largely female readers (over 90% of respondents).
The survey found that Christian fiction readers are purchasing more titles today than five years ago, but their buying and reading behaviors have changed. Here are some key findings from the survey:
- Christian fiction readers read more than the national average and are more frequent book buyers. Nearly 50% of Christian-fiction readers read more than 10 books annually; by comparison, only 36% of American adults read more than 10 books per year, according to a 2014 Pew Research study.
- The top Christian fiction genres reported by surveyed readers were historical fiction (66%), romance (52%), contemporary (51%), romantic suspense (50%), suspense/thriller/legal thriller (47%), and mystery/espionage (45%), which also reveals that many Christian fiction readers read more than one genre.
- Trade paperbacks are still the most popular format for readers at 41% despite what some may presume is the age of digital dominance, with 28% of Christian fiction readers responding that they read on ebooks or digital formats.
- Nearly 50% report purchasing more Christian fiction titles today than five years ago.
- Almost 50% of Christian fiction ebooks are downloaded for free rather than purchased.
- The top sales drivers for Christian fiction are the story itself (94%), the desire to keep reading a story in a series (69%), recommendations about a book (68%), and author familiarity (89%).
- Most Christian fiction readers don’t want their stories to include sex, bad language, or violence.
While the number of respondents to this survey represents a fairly small subset of Christian fiction readers, the findings represent good news for Christian fiction books and those who produce them.
One finding I found interesting was that over two-thirds of respondents reported that one of the top reasons they buy a Christian fiction book is the desire to keep reading a story in a series. If you want to sell more books, take this to heart. To keep readers coming back for more, write and publish series of stories.
Which finding in this survey caught your attention?