Popular Romance Survey ~ Some Updates
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone that's taken the survey and anyone that's spread the word about it! In just a couple of days there are already 129 responses to it!!!!
I've been skimming through some of the answers, and have been really enjoying myself!
I am definitely going to be posting some of the data when I close the poll and start analyzing it, but thought I'd give some small updates now (and answer some questions that came up in some comments).
To answer some of the questions:
Q: A good survey always starts with informed consent and some brief indication what it's for. It also does a better job of hiding its biases. I expect you're going to get results so slanted as to be meaningless, but good luck with it!
A: I likely should have had an informed consent at the beginning of the survey and maybe there is some bias in the questions - simply because they're about romance specifically. And there's probably some bias there that I wasn't able to see and that's something I should work on. I actually expect skewed results more because of the voluntary response, convenience sample than because of any bias in the questions. However, for both of these things - though it doesn't excuse it - I'm going to just say, I didn't know. This year is the first time I've ever created surveys for research and I'm still learning.
Q: A good question would be if you read romance, how "out:" are you about it?
A: You're right! What a great question. I wish I had asked it.
Q: I think for Q10 you needed to specify if you mean know IRL, or just know.
A: I probably should have specified - I do mean 'know' in general. Real life, online, it's all the same, IMO. My apologies. I'll add a note now about this.
Q: Why focus on Romance as a genre, these principles apply to any genre?
A: I'm focusing on the popular romance genre, because if I focused on all genre it would be far too un-focused of a paper. As it is there are too many aspects to simply focus on the genre of popular romance in general so my research paper is going to have a more refined subject and the responses will be used to build to it. I absolutely agree that this can apply to nearly any genre (though it's my impression that thrillers, mystery and even sci-fi/fantasy gets a lot more respect from main-stream media - or at least isn't derided whenever it's brought up).
Q: Have you read Janice Radway's Reading the Romance? It's an interesting, if flawed, study of romance readers.
A: I have :) It is interesting (and flawed). And I have several other books and research that I'm drawing from as well. Everything from Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan to some of the many, very well researched and discussed, posts on the blog Teach Me Tonight. And a whole range of other sources.
Finally, there were a couple of comments/questions about the sub-genres including m/m or LGBT romances - Again, something I should have been clearer on. It *does* absolutely include it. I am not, nor does the 'official' definition (that I'm using here from RWA), specify the sex/gender of the parties involved in the romance. So, if it's a MMMFFM paranormal romance - then it should absolutely be under 'Paranormal' as a sub-genre. My apologies for any confusion or anything that wasn't clear!
I appreciate all the comments back about the survey so much! It's helping me to learn a better way to craft these (though I'll be honest and say that I hope I don't have to again for a while) :)
You all are the best!