Do you write and publish Christian fiction? The good news is that Christian fiction is a thriving genre.
Did you know that Christian fiction readers are the most devoted Christian book readers? On average, Christian fiction readers read 10 times more books per year than the average American.
The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) recently conducted an informal survey via social media of Christian fiction readers regarding their reading habits and wishes. The survey uncovered two major desires readers of Christian fiction possess.
1. Readers want more.
Most readers expressed that their reading habits had grown in recent years. They are reading more books and more widely. These readers want more good Christian fiction titles to enjoy with more genre choices.
2. Readers want meat.
Many survey respondents reported that they wanted to see more “tough topics” addressed in the stories. They want more books that address real needs through compelling story in a realistic, faith-based way.
Another reader survey by Written Word Media (a general market company) looked at what fiction readers really want. That survey found that readers expressed the following two desires.
1. Readers don’t have a strong preference for fiction series versus standalone fiction titles.
The overwhelming majority of survey respondents in the Written Word Media survey reported that they had no preference between series or standalone books. Two of the chief complaints readers had when it came to series were that it is often hard to find all the books in the series and that they dislike books that end with a cliffhanger.
2. The primary reason readers abandon reading a fiction book is because it is boring.
The most common reason given for quitting reading a book was because the reader found it boring. Readers want a plot that keeps moving and keeps them engaged. Other reasons mentioned by readers for abandoning a book were uninteresting characters and overdone descriptions.
If you write fiction, the findings in this survey should not be a surprise. Rather, they should serve as a reminder of what avid fiction readers want. The good news is that you don’t have to write a series to interest readers. Fiction readers are happy to read a standalone book.
The takeaway from these surveys is that Christian fiction fans are hungry for more and higher-quality novels that address real needs with realistic characters presented with a compelling plot. Write to fill this need and your books will be successful.
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