These conclusions are open to interpretation, and you may not agree with them, but generally, these are my thoughts about the quiz results.
There is going to be individual variations in each reader’s decisions to buy and read romance, but the majority of erotic romance readers said that their preferences hadn’t changed and that they weren’t buying more sweet romance fiction.
The majority also said that they weren’t looking for no sex. They still want the sex. And while some were undecided, only 35% said that they had trouble buying erotic romance on Amazon.
This indicates to me that erotic romance demand isn’t dying. It may be changing, and some readers may feel disgruntled with it, but 65% of readers still indicated a loyalty toward their erotic romance authors.
To decide whether there is a trend, I’d have to repeat the quiz over the same amount of time to the same audience.
But from this information, erotic romance is being found and purchased on Amazon by 65% of its readers.
Perhaps that number should be higher though. If there were no censorship, why shouldn’t 100% of its readers be able to find their romance without any trouble?
Perhaps this indicates that there are other factors at play in how available erotic romance is on Amazon.
The #metoo movement questions were answered with a resounding no.
Neither sweet or erotic romance readers felt that it played any part in their buying decisions, and many commenters on the quiz felt strongly about that.
Initially, it had been suggested to me that the movement played a role in the upsurge in sweet romance demand, but clearly that isn’t the case.
The role of Fifty Shades of Grey and erotic romance: from the responses collected, if readers have been spurred to buy erotic fiction because of Fifty Shades of Grey, they are still buying erotic romance regardless of the fact that the novelty of Fifty Shades of Grey is over.
For readers who want sweet romance, labeling and the appropriateness of the content weren’t as much of an issue than I initially thought.
Those who liked mild heat levels were more concerned about the appropriateness of the content for their teen (about 75%), but that is hardly surprising. I couldn’t really see anything out of the ordinary there.
60% of these readers said that they found themselves buying more sweet romance, so if there is an upsurge in demand for sweet romance, it is because readers who already like this kind of fiction are buying more of it.
For readers who neither read erotic or sweet romance, there were not enough of these readers who answered the questions to determine whether they are looking for romance with heat levels or not.
It’s hard to say, but I suspect that these readers are either reading more for the story and the romance and still want to know that the sex is there, or they are reading on a case-by-case basis, i.e. they judge each book as they go, rather than choosing a book based on its sub genre.
At first, the option for reading neither erotic romance or sweet romance hadn’t been included in the quiz.
The quiz was set up specifically for erotic romance readers and sweeet romance readers, and I specifically set out to promote the quiz to these two groups, but these readers also came to do the quiz, and I am glad that they did, as they indicate how diverse romance readers are.
This is an online quiz, and because the responses are anonymous, I can’t tell exactly who has done the quiz, whether respondents did the quiz more than once, or whether they read the quiz properly or answered honestly.
One question was added in after the quiz responses started to come in and so the results will be slightly off there. The small sample size is also a factor that limits the quiz’s ability to show trends.
These are just some of the limitations of doing online research.
However, it is an attempt at asking readers what they like. Short of applying for a research grant, spending a year or so identifying and interviewing readers, and going through an ethics committee, this is the next best option.
So what do you think?
Do you think 15% of erotic romance readers changing their preferences for heat levels is something out of the ordinary? Do you change what you read regularly?