2015 Reader Survey


In April and May of 2015, the third comprehensive survey of historical fiction reached 2033 participants. Resulting survey data offers intriguing perspectives on the reading habits of men and women, historical fiction preferences, and the growing influence of social media on all aspects of reading. It also includes unique questions for authors, bloggers and publishing industry professionals.

To read the 24 page survey report, click here.

Additional posts on 2015 results:

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9 thoughts on “2015 Reader Survey”

  1. I’m a little late to the party finding this survey in 2019. Very enlightening and enjoyed reading the results very much. I just wanted to make a comment on one aspect that, in the grand scheme of things, is probably not as relevant as other data captured in the survey as it benefits a writer, but is important to me as a reader.

    Reading this survey question…

    Why do you read historical fiction?
    * because they are the best kind of entertainment
    * to bring the past to life; how people lived in other eras
    * to learn about the famous people of history
    * to learn about history without reading non-fiction

    …I confess to irritation when a better 5th option “to supplement non-fiction history reading” did not present itself. I was very happy that you took care to make mention of write-in comments that some people prefer to get their historical fix from reading NF. The stereo type that ‘everybody hates to read history books” is just as annoying as the assumption that if you are a woman, your favorite color must be pink. ACK!

    While someone may have proven it statistically true that many people hate to read history (I cannot comprehend those souls), I hate the way that idea is blanketed as applying to everyone whenever the subject comes up.

    I voraciously read all the non-fiction books on my chosen areas of history as money and time allow. I enjoy reading HF, but it is merely a supplement to non-fic reading and cannot be depended upon as a source of historical info. Not every HF writer delves deeply into the history (some genres use history as a shallow/convenient backdrop to advance the trope of their genre without doing history any real justice. And yes, I do recognize that the reverse problem can occur–a writer can kill a book by over-emphasizing the history at the expense of characters and plot) and not every HF writer is accurate–and often times glaring mistakes on history are picked up and repeated by other HF writers.

    And thanks to others for stepping up with their write in comments that they are NOT card carrying members of the “I hate reading history” club.

    Thank you for taking the time to do this survey. Very enlightening.

    1. Hi BKJackson – first, many thanks for visiting A Writer of History and taking time to share your thoughts. Your suggestion is an excellent one! It comes under the heading ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ And makes me blush with embarrassment. If I do another comprehensive survey, I’ll be sure to include it. Hopefully you found some other information of interest on the blog. Best wishes … Mary

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