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Right Genre, Right Audience

Not surprisingly, those of you who have good business heads will research genres before writing. Straight away there can be a problem with this so, if you write in a genre in which you have no experience, it will not only be difficult to write, but your readers will probably notice.

Like many of you, I wanted to write about things I was passionate about and although my work fits neatly into historical fiction, it could be other things as well.

I always had an idea that my stories would entertain and amuse younger people, but then realised that the demographic was out of my control. The great majority of my sales are with people 55+ and of course, one reason for this is because that part of the population tends to read more.

Wherever you are in your journey, it is worth taking some time to look at some of these statistics (some from WordsRated, and the rest from YouGov) because some audiences are so narrow that if you simply target them it will affect your sales.

These are UK stats and I will post some US ones in a further post.

Hope these stats are of some use to you.

The global sales of UK publishing companies total £1.1 billion

271 million print books are sold in the UK each year

25.8% of UK book sales are digital

74.2% of UK book sales are print books

60% of brits tend to read paperback books

47% regularly read hardback books

24% read ebooks

Only 8% of us listen to audiobooks

18% of 18-24-year-olds read digital books

They are the least likely age group to read books digitally

25-39-year-olds listen to audiobooks most often with 13% listening to them

How often do we people read?

21% of British people are avid readers

43% read for fun at least one time each week

35% read for fun more than once a week

19% of adults read every day

Who reads the most often in the UK?

34% of British people over 55 years old read at least once a day

Only 7% of 18-24-year-olds read at least once a day

27% of women read daily

Only 13% of men in the UK read every day

22% of men never read compared to only 12% of women who never read


36% of us prefer to read at night in bed

36% prefer to read in the evening but not in bed

35% have stated that they mainly read while they are on holiday

43% of women read in bed versus 30% of men

13% of men read while on their commute, this is higher than the 9% of women

30% of men typically read on holiday and 40% of women typically read while on holiday

What genres do Britons read?

36% do not have a preference for fiction or non-fiction

35% of us prefer to read fiction

42% of women prefer fiction to non-fiction

29% of men prefer fiction to non-fiction

Only 20% of us prefer to read non-fiction books

24% of men prefer non-fiction to fiction

16% of women prefer non-fiction to fiction

For non-fiction genres:

41% of us don’t have a favourite genre of non-fiction

26% prefer memoirs and biographies making it the most popular genre of non-fiction

This is followed by history books at 20% and cookbooks at 19%

For fiction genres:

31% of UK citizens don’t have a favourite genre of fiction

33% of us prefer crime novels and thrillers, making it the most popular genre of fiction

Fantasy fiction novels are the second most popular at 22%, with action adventure novels at 20% and classic novels at 19%

Westerns are the least popular novels with just 2% of Brits choosing it as their favorite genre.

(image Copyright YouGov)

65 views7 comments


Thank you for sharing. I found it both surprising and interesting.

Rob Jones
Rob Jones
Mar 01
Replying to

Thank you!


This is interesting. Thank you.

Rob Jones
Rob Jones
Mar 01
Replying to

You’re welcome, thanks! 😊


I'm surprised romance is so far down the chart. I'd heard it was more popular.

Replying to

Me too.

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