I normally eschew poll results. The sampling is always so small to proclaim far reaching pronouncements about whatever topic is at hand. In this case there were only 2,775 participants.
Regardless, I found it fascinating that the Mystery/Thriller genre was named the number one choice for reading. The general rule of thumb is that Romance is the #1 genre. We could argue that one all day long.
But more instructive is the fact that the #5 favorite author is Tom Clancy who has not had a new novel in half a decade! (His new novel Dead or Alive is coming out in December.) Thus the respondents were not necessarily naming the authors they are currently reading. For me, this shed some doubt on how knowledgeable the consumer is. This mean readers tend, like we all do, to focus on the “brand name.”
Another intriguing piece of the survey is that 57% of women read Mystery/Thriller versus only 39% of the men. Try telling that to most publishers…
Men choose Science Fiction (32%) more than women (20%). At least this stat tracks most marketing assumptions.
And concerning Non-Fiction it is interesting that Religion (26% of all respondents) is a more popular as a topic than Politics (17%). That isn’t necessarily reflected in the bestsellers lists! The number one non-fiction category was History followed by Biography and then Religion.
I am very curious to hear what your observations are when you view this poll. Does it reflect your reading patterns? What about the habits of your friends, neighbors, or church members?
Are there any implications for the publishing industry? or is this simply something to be ignored?