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Australian Romance Readers Survey 2014: results

18 October 2014

The Australian Romance Readers Survey for 2014 was launched on
15 August and closed on 30 September. A total of 310 people responded to the survey (up very slightly from 306 last year).

You can download the full results HERE, but here’s a look at a few of the interesting results:

  • The majority of respondents were from NSW (98), with high rates for Vic (80) and Qld (65). Next was WA (27), SA (17) and ACT (11). Tas had 5 respondents and the NT just 1. The percentages of all these are fairly similar  o those from the 2013 survey, with a slight dip in responses from NSW and WA and a slightly higher response rate from Qld and Vic.
  • This year we had 7 male respondents (up from 5 last year).
  • 66.6% of respondents said that at least half of the books they read are romances (down from 87.2% last year), with 15.9% saying all the books they read are romances.
  • The most popular sub-genre this past year (as for the previous year) was contemporary romance, read by 82.8% of respondents, followed closely by historical romance (66.2%, down from 70%), erotica (62.5%), paranormal romance (59.8%, down from 65.5%) and romantic suspense (57.4%).
  • Popular sub-genres on the rise were new adult (37.8%) and rural romance (45.6%).
  • When asked which one sub-genre they read most often, contemporary romance is still ahead at 23.5% (up from 19.2% last year). This was followed by paranormal romance at 14.7% (down from 15.4% last year), historical romance at 11.3% (down from 12.9%) and rural romance at 10.2% (up from 7.0%). The other notable change was urban fantasy, down to 3.4% in 2014, compared with 6.3% in 2013.
  • Based on these respondents, ebooks have continued as the most frequently purchased book format, now accounting for more than all other formats combined. The chart below shows a decline of mass market purchases (from 68.8% in 2009, falling to 26.7% in 2014) while ebook purchases climb (up from 10.2% in 2009 to a 58.9% in 2014).

2014 graph

  • However, the response to how ebooks are read suggests that we reached a somewhat different audience with the survey this year: 78.6% of respondents indicated they own an ereader or tablet device (up slightly from 77.9% last year); but respondents who indicated they don’t read ebooks at all was also up, from 5.9% last year to 8.5% this year.
  • This year only 161 respondents indicated they own one or more ereader devices (down from 181 last year), with the four most popular devices being:
    • Kindle—111
    • Sony—26
    • Kobo—23
    • iPad—26
  • Buying of paper books is down again this year, with 85.9% buying less than 5 new romance books a month (61.9% last year) and 12.0% buying 5–10 new books (13.8% last year). The number who don’t buy any new books each month has risen from 19.4% in 2013 to 23.6% in 2014.
  • Where responses last year showed that ebook purchases had risen, this year our respondents buy less ebooks than those from last year: the number who reported they buy no ebooks rose from 8.3% in 2013 to 13.1% in 2014.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in the survey.


  1. 19 October 2014 5:54 pm

    Thank you ARRA the brilliant survey. Wonderfully set out and so easy to follow.

  2. 19 October 2014 9:05 am

    Reblogged this on Sultry Scribes and commented:
    Interesting results from the 2014 Australian Romance Readers Association Survey.

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