A couple of Sundays ago I put up the survey asking Urban Fantasy readers what they want to read. A number of indie authors shared it to their newsletter and shared it around Facebook and Twitter. This is the results.
Total number of respondents: 334
All of those came from indie author NL’s and reader groups on here, so we know they buy and read indie books. (I’d hoped to dig into the data some more, but my excel kept white screening me).
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF UF PLOT?
54.8% – no preference.
10.5% – the protagonist has a quiet life and is reluctantly pulled into a big dangerous plot.
8.1% – the protagonist is in hiding because they have very rare very special magic and are being hunted.
8.4% – the protagonist owns some form of shop and is a detective on the side.
6.9% – the protagonist is a bad-ass merc or assassin and is given a very dangerous job to do.
6.9% – protagonist is a supernatural detective ala October Daye and Dresden.
OTHER RESPONSES: (that’s the say responses put under the ‘Other’ category)
- Protagonist is an official supernatural investigator a la Peter Grant of the Aaron Aaronovitch books.
- – Where the protagonist is young and growing into an unknown being or their unknown magic.
- – Takes a stand for what’s right, not necessarily a shop owner.
- – Powerful but lowkey and unknowing
- – growing into those powers.
- – Depends on the story.
- – The protagonist is the chosen one but doesn’t know it.
- – The protagonist is part of the secret underworld.
- – I love a protagonist who is a sarcastic cynical type regardless of occupation
- – I want something new.
- – Protagonist has a complicated past and tries to live life discreetly but is pulled into action by destiny.
- – I desperately need originality. I read less UF because it’s always the same ‘ole.
Under incubus/sucubus you have:
Beings from Japanese folklore.
UNDER THE OTHER CATEGORY:
- – Valkyries and dragons.
- – All forms of mythology.
- – Indian and Asian mythology.
- – Invented beings.
- – Beings of any other culture’s mythology.
- – Gods and demigods forced to find new jobs in the modern world.
- – Witches with better explained powers.
- – Witch/were hybrids.
- – Evil ex girlfriends.
- – Original creatures made for that world.
- – Kelpies.
- – Norse mythology.
- – Mages
- – Celtic lore
- – Please no more zombies.
- – Unicorns, manticores, etc.
- – Anything not overdone.
- – Norse and Celtic myths.
- – Dragons
- – Rakshasa
- – Beings from other folklores that are less often referenced.
- – Norse mythology
- – Valkyries, berserkers, etc.
- – Beings from Norse mythology
- – Shifters that aren’t wolves or large felines.
- – Disabled.
- – New creative different.
- – Paranormal characters trying to adapt and live a ‘normal’ life.
- – Diverse protagonists written by diverse authors.
- – Real seeming new adults.
- – I avoid ‘can do anything’s.
- – Beings that are the chosen one but have no memory of it.
- – Non-binary genders.
- – Shifter stories in a natural non-cosmopolitan setting.
- – Rakshasa as good guys.
- – Rare and magical beings kicking asses and taking names. Ideally saving people and being part of a supernatural police force.
- – People with disabilities.
- 3 people said Library.
- 5 people said Smashwords.
- A couple said free from Instafreebie or Book Funnel.
- 1 said brick and mortar stores.
- 1 said ‘half price’ (which could be the chain of book stores?)
- 1 said Thalia.
I really wanted to dig into the data and show the relationships between the various bits of data – are those who want more romance likely to pay more or less money? Etc, but like I said my Excel just couldn’t handle it.
Anyway I don’t think there are any surprises in here. Readers are definitely looking for books from more diverse mythologies, especially Norse. They’re also clearly looking for more diverse protagonists, there were a good percentage looking for LGBT+, POC, and neuro-atypical.
On the romance front, I think we all knew that readers want at least a bit of romance in there, and most people prefer some details for their sex scenes. It’s good to see that those of us who only write fade-t0-black aren’t completely shooting ourselves in the foot though.
$3.99 seems to be about the limit for readers to try new to them authors with, which again I think we already knew.
It’s nice to have our thoughts and feelings confirmed, and hopefully this will help some folks.