10 Insights on Millennial Readers

Millennial readersA few weeks ago we explored a few facts about boomer readers – so, today we’re looking at millennials to see if their reading habits and preferences differ from other age groups based on surveys done in 2015, 2013 and 2012. Millennials are generally defined as those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

  1. More millennials than any other group read over 30 books a year. 61% in 2012, 52% in 2013 and 58% in 2015. And they have the highest intention to read at that level or more in the future.
  2. More than other age groups, millennials read historical fiction ‘because it’s a great story’ or ‘because it’s the best form of entertainment’.
  3. Types of stories – as a group millennials have less interest in historical fiction series than other age groups. And they are the most likely to choose books with ‘high stakes’.
  4. Millennials are more likely to consider geography as a factor when choosing stories to read. They prefer stories set in Europe or Britain over any other geography.
  5. As for time periods, millennials most preferred stories are from the 13th to 16th centuries, and they have a keener interest in ancient history than other age groups.
  6. When choosing books, price and cover have more influence while author is less important to millennials.
  7. As a group, they are most likely to consult social media before purchasing a book and have the highest interest in adding their voice to the rating of books.
  8. In terms of acquiring and reading books, they are slightly less likely to purchase from bookstores (even though they say they are more like to find books by browsing the bookstore) and more likely to borrow from friends than other groups. They are more likely to ‘read mostly print books’ and least likely to ‘read mostly ebooks’ than others.
  9. 86% use blogs, social media and other online sites for reading recommendations and discussion and are the least likely to check reviews in newspapers and other print media.
  10. Features they value from online sources are: ratings, giveaways, best of lists, an opportunity to comment and connect with other readers, and the ability to track their books.

I’m not particularly surprised by any of these insights and as a general conclusion — now that I’ve looked at boomers and millennials and scanned the age groups several times — I would say that age does not have as big an impact as gender does.

A note about numbers: in the under 30 group, 419 people participated across the three years which is roughly 8% of all participants; 159 in 2015, 202 in 213, and 58 in 2012. It’s impossible for me to assess whether some individuals responded to the survey in more than one year. As with other age groups, a huge percentage are women, which affects some of the results.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

6 thoughts on “10 Insights on Millennial Readers”

  1. I really find this information useful and interesting, Mary. Historical fiction is supposed to mostly appeal to middle-aged women so the gurus say but I’ve found my audience to be that and so much more. I guess it depends on the book? Anyhow thanks for these posts. We’re all learning!

  2. A very interesting read, though I do think that there is a danger for writers in pinpointing what a certain age group likes (that they will write only the kind of fiction that the group likes, regardless of whether it’s what they really are passionate about). One thing I learned is that Millennial readers are definitely not my target audience. I am really getting to love historical series and the time frame I least connect to is the 13th to 16 centuries.

    Tam

  3. Happy to know millennials like historical fiction. I am targeting New Adults for my books, and I was worried about their interests. 12th Century, Scotland, England, Aquitaine, murder: check, check, check, check.
    What a relief! Thank you for this encouraging post.

  4. Wow, some of these results are quite surprising to me. Especially with two millennial nieces who seem to do most of their reading on SnapChat! 🙂

    Thanks for summarizing and posting, Mary.

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