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Romance Publishing Industry statistics
The RWA offers many eye-opening statistics about the romance industry. The information below was reported by them in 2006.
1,600 RWA members are
published in book-length romance. Almost every author in the United States who
is writing romance fiction is a member of our association.
On average, a published
romance author writes 1-1/2 romance manuscripts per year. On average, one
romance per author is released per year.
- Many authors still maintain a “day job” in
another field while writing romance.
$1.41 billion in sales in 2003.
There were 2,093
romance titles released in 2003.
comprises 18% of all books sold (not including children’s books).
comprises 48.8% of all popular paperback fiction sold in North America.
comprises 33.8% of all popular fiction sold. (Different from above, this
figure includes not just paperbacks, but hardcovers and trade-sized paperbacks
as well as well.)
Mystery/Detective/Suspense is 25.6% of popular fiction sales
General Fiction is
24.9% of popular fiction sales
Fiction/Fantasy is 6% of popular fiction sales
westerns, male adventure, general history, adult and movie tie-ins is about
10% of popular fiction sales.
About ten publishers account for the overwhelming majority of sales.
51.1 million Americans read romance novels; this is up by
ten million readers since 1998.
all romance readers were women. One in five women read a romance novel
in 2002. 7% of romance readers were . One in 50 men read a romance novel in
of romance readers are married; 33.3% single;
About 70% are between 25
and 64 years of age, with the heaviest concentration about equally distributed
between 25 and 35.
2% of romance readers graduated highschool;
22% attended vocational school or have some college
are college graduates
; 10% have attended a post graduate
program; 10% have associates degrees; 5% have some high school or less
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of romance readers read between
one and five romances per year.
About 60% read
between one and
five romances each year; about 60% read between six and ten romances each
year. A whopping 25% read between 20 and 100 romances per year!
out of every three romance readers do not plan to buy a romance novel when
they enter a retail outlet, and instead buy by impulse when they see them on
Top three character traits romance readers like to see in
1) intelligence, 2.) strength of character,
The top three character traits romance readers like to
see in heroes:
muscle bound, 2.) handsomeness, 3.) intelligence.
The RWA keeps up-to-date statistics on the romance fiction literature
publishing industry and its relationship to the book publishing industry at
- For more information, visit the Romance Literature Statistics pages at
the RWA web site: