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Trolling through the historical fiction survey data yesterday I found an unexplored topic – the reasons why readers cannot find enough historical fiction.

The base question is Can you find enough historical fiction you like? 78.2% said YES, 21.8% said NO. Those who said NO were asked to comment.

The top three reasons for being unable to find enough:

  • Poor quality writing
  • Looking for a specific time or geography
  • Too much romance

Let’s hear from a few readers:

“Distorted, hastily written books on historical women flood the market — with half the lady’s face off the cover. Always a sign of hack work — forgive the pun.”

“Never enough well-written with strong narrative arc and authentic period detail.”

“Just not a lot of really great US historical fiction, except for Civil War and World War II.”

“Not enough written from European history circa C14th – C16th.”

“With about 3/4 of it convinced that nothing happened outside Tudor England and the rest romance, good historical fiction is hard to find.”

“Bad writing. And I fear ebook publishing is going to make it much worse. Everybody who thinks they can string words together seems to be self-publishing. I’ve read a lot that is dreadful and I’m very wary about it now.”

Interesting messages for authors, agents and editors to consider.

Feedback: I’d love to hear from others concerning this topic. Do you agree? Do you have a different point of view?