A few things jump out at me:
Lots of Southern women read romance.
Women make up 91% of romance readers and readers in the South constitute 38% of the romance survey respondents.
It's all about the story, but building a brand doesn't hurt.
Readers choose books primarily for story, but after that the author comes in second. Series books are key and a great back cover blurb helps.
Friends and those dreaded Amazon book reviews matter.
Friends and Amazon recommendations were the top two information sources reported by romance readers.
Ebook reading will only grow.
Although only a third of romance readers read ebooks, 41% of the non-ebook readers are "somewhat likely" to read ebooks in the future.
Paranormal and erotic romance writers should be in the ebook business.
Readers who prefer these genres read more ebooks than print. Since ebooks tend to have a higher net income, and therefore perhaps a higher disposable income, writers of these books don't want to miss out.
Authors need a website.
The top reading-related activity of romance readers is visiting the author's website. Social media, booksignings and other related activities count too, but the website wins hands down.
Don't count Barnes & Noble out yet.
Because the majority of books sold are still print books, Barnes & Noble managed to squeak by Amazon as the top bookseller for romance readers. I'm curious as to how they did head-to-head when looking at ebooks only, but the survey didn't answer this question.
I love to read romance. I'm a huge fan of Christian romance, African-American romance and contemporary romance. Put all three together and you definitely get my attention. I also like romantic suspense and the occasional historical romance. I've read and enjoyed one or two paranormals, but that's about it for me as far as branching out.
Just so happens I live in the South, but my reading habits haven't changed much from when I lived in New York or the Midwest.
For me, it's all about the story. Authors get my attention with a great blurb. Online buzz helps in getting my attention but doesn't influence my selection. I'm less likely to read an excerpt. Spoils the reading experience for me later. But I do have favorite authors that I follow, and I definitely love series books.
I read more print books than ebooks, although my ebook reading is growing even without the purchase of an ereader. When I buy, I mostly purchase from Walmart or Amazon. If I enjoy a book, or if I'm considering whether to purchase one, I almost always go to the author's website. If I really enjoyed it, I will find the author's blog and social media pages. Many of my book purchases are impulsive, but I'm just as likely to hunt down a particular title.
Are you a romance reader? What are your reading habits? Are you loyal to a particular subgenre or do you read across multiple subgenres? How do you select your books and where do you buy them?
Peace & Blessings,
Stay focused. Be deliberate. Believe.