2013 Historical Fiction Survey

In October 2013, the second comprehensive survey of historical fiction reached more than 2400 participants. Resulting survey data offers intriguing perspectives on favourite authors, time periods and story types, the reading habits of men and women, attitudes concerning pricing and indie books, and the growing influence of social media on all aspects of reading.

Posts about the survey include:

Follow A Writer of History to receive future survey analysis first hand. [The FOLLOW button is on the left hand side below Recent Posts.]

I am very grateful to Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society for supporting the 2013 survey. Through HNS, I have discovered a wealth of information on historical fiction and an incredibly robust community of readers and writers.

40 thoughts on “2013 Historical Fiction Survey”

  1. The survey is a great idea, Mary. So is linking up with the Historical Novel Society. I look forward to seeing the results of the survey this year!

  2. Well done, Mary for undertaking this task. It will be interesting to see the results. Hope the book is going well.

  3. Great questions. I look forward to see the results. I think it will be useful to a lot of us.

  4. Another excellent survey, Mary! Can’t wait to see the results!

  5. Thanks for undertaking this project, Mary! I just Facebooked a plea for participants!

  6. I filled it out and passed it on. Definitely looking forward to the results!

  7. Thanks to Carol Bodensteiner for passing along the url link to the survey. Enjoyed taking it very much, and it led me here! Double the luck!

  8. I completed the survey. Very good questions. Looking forward to the results.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog

  9. Your survey came in via the HSN feed on my historical fiction newsletter at http://thewriterschronicle.com. I filled it out and also posted your survey on my historical fiction novel blog for my readers. Excellent idea! Well done.

  10. Looking forward to seeing the survey results.

  11. Jeanne Langen said:

    What is the link to take the survey?

  12. This is more than a survey. It offers great insight to every wannabe historical fiction author. Looking forward to reading the results.

  13. Hello Mary – Have been out of touch for the past month due to moving (very traumatic) and filling out this survey was a great way to reenter the comunication loop. Thanks for being the driving force in gaining information about HF.

  14. Ms. Tod,

    I took the survey today and I enjoyed seeing the answers on it as it gives a glimpse into other readers’ preferences as much as it helps you receive our individual answers. The only thing I had forgotten to say in conclusion is when it came to mark off a response for the time of books we read, my answer wasn’t quite accurate as when I thought about it afterwards it nearly sounded as though I read other formats, when in fact, I exclusively read print books? Just thought I should say that here. I am most curious for the results myself! And, as foresaid in my survey, the HNS is one of my favourite blogs to drop by! Thankful to lend support to you and to the HNS!

  15. Free Falconer said:

    This is fascinating and I spent a lot of time reading all the links and information I could find about the survey results.

    But there is one area I was interested in that has not – yet – been detailed. As a wannabe historical fiction novelist I am curious about the “future” of historical fiction, so I was particularly interested in the responses of those under 30. (I am 52, so I am not being ageist, if anybody has concerns on that issue.)

    Is it likely that a future link will analyse the responses and preferences of those under 30 years of age? I am particularly interested in favourite time periods and genre type preferences.

    Would anybody else find this particular aspect interesting?

    • Hi Free-Falconer … I will be looking at age related items in a future post. Definitely an interesting angle when considering the future of historical fiction. I am encouraged already by the widespread readership for HF which spans all age groups that participated. Interestingly, the 2012 survey showed that those who begin to read HF at a young age are very enthusiastic readers of the genre later in life. Another thing to keep in mind is the notion of story – the top reason for reading HF for those who read less than 25% is ‘because it’s a great story’. Many thanks for stopping by.

  16. Bill Amos said:

    I am looking for a historical novel about a one armed boy growing to be a fisherman. 17th century. It has a gr8 description of a whaling village, fishing boats and procedures. Can anyone help with title or author?

  17. Bill Amos said:

    No. Never used.facebook. car accidentt. Brain damage, haard to learn new things. Good idea. I see if my daughter will do it.

  18. Bill Amos said:

    Yes. Thank you very much!

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