Reading historical fiction varies by country – part 2

A few days ago, I posted part 1 of reading varies by country. Now that I’ve crunched the numbers using handy dandy Excel, I have the top 20 favourite authors by country for you.

Who are your favourite authors?

As predicted, the top 20 authors vary by country. At times an author garners many votes in one country and almost none in the other often reflecting an author’s country of origin. Diana Gabaldon is one example with 460 US mentions and only 30 UK mentions. On the flip side, Manda Scott earned 36 UK mentions and only 7 US mentions. Bear in mind that 1381 US participants answered this question in comparison with 505 UK participants.

First a look at US favourite authors:

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 5.09.33 PM


And now, compare to UK favourite authors:Favourite UK Authors

Quite the variation, don’t you think? Any theories? Love to hear them!

Reading historical fiction varies by country – part 1

After looking at survey results through a gender lens, I thought readers might be interested in a country lens. I’ve chosen to compare US and UK, since these countries had the most participants. One hypotheses is that favourite authors will vary – let’s see what emerges.

NOTE: I’ve looked for questions prompting significant differences rather than minor variations that are unlikely to be statistically relevant. Additionally, on a percentage basis more men participated in the UK group than the US.

What type of story appeals to you?

Story Preferences US & UK

Preferred time periods:

In some cases, US and UK readers prefer different time periods.

  • 3000 BC to 1000 AD: UK 34%, US 16%
  • 6th to 12th centuries UK 44%, US 27%
  • 17th Century UK 19%, US 33%
  • 18th Century UK 25%, US 45%

Reflecting on your favourite historical fiction books, how relatively important are the following factors?

While factors such as superb writing and the dramatic arc of historical events were of similar importance to US and UK readers, other factors showed wider variation.

Characters both heroic and human: UK 51% said it was very important, US a whopping 65%

Romance and/or sex: UK 56%, US 37% said this factor was unimportant; Hmm that’s interesting.

Where do you purchase/acquire books?

There was a marked difference in library usage with UK at 25% and US at 38%

What book format are you reading?

While e-book usage and mixed e-book and print had small variations, mostly print books showed a larger discrepancy: UK 50%, US 39%

Price Considerations:

On average, UK readers look for cheaper pricing of e-books than US readers

Where do you find recommendations for good books?

From Facebook, Goodreads or other social media: UK 39%, US 55%

And in contrast, browsing the book store: UK 53%, US 39% and from the books section of my newspaper: UK 23%, US 11%

Do you use blogs, social media or other online sites for reading recommendations or discussion?

Yes: UK 68%, US 83%

My head is spinning, so I’ll save the conclusions and insights for you, dear readers. On Thursday I’ll post the favourite authors by country.