Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of Year Romance Statistics

According to the 2014 Nielsen Romance Buyer Survey, the top ten tropes for romance books are:
1. Friends to lovers
2. Soul mates/fated mates
3. Second chance at love
4. Secret romance
5. First Love
6. Strong heroines
7. Reunited lovers
8. Love triangle
9. Sexy millionaire/billionaire
10. Sassy heroine

Some facts:
Romance fiction generated $1.079 billion in publisher revenue in 2013.
9513 romance fiction ISBNs were published in in 2013.
Romance ranks #2 in publisher revenue for adult fiction.
40% of romance is ebooks
84% of romance buyers are female.
The biggest single age group of romance readers is 30-54.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.
The photo at the top of this blog was taken in 2008 at a romance convention. These are authors I worked with at the time.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write

No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.
By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, and enjoyed lower blood pressure than their counterparts.
James W. Pennebaker has been conducting research on writing to heal for years at the University of Texas at Austin. He said that expressive writing allows people to take a step back and evaluate their lives. Instead of obsessing unhealthily over an event, they can focus on moving forward. By doing so, stress levels go down and health correspondingly goes up. From long-term health improvements to short-term benefits like sleeping better, it's official: Writers are doing something right.

More details of the study are at:

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

Friday, December 19, 2014

People in thirty countries were asked about their reading habits. Guess who reads the most?

The average Indian citizen reads 10:42 hours per week. Korea fell at the opposite end of the spectrum just below Taiwan and Japan, indicating that the average person there reads 3:06 hours per week. The United States, which fell toward the bottom of the pack, reported that the average person reads 5:42 hours per week.

First of all, countries located in geographic clusters reported similar results. For instance, people in the Asian countries — of India, Thailand, China and the Philippines spend the most time reading.

The southernmost nations, including Venezuela, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, and Argentina all recorded similar results: 5:54 to 6:30 hours per week per person.

The Northern European and Middle Eastern countries also reported similar results. Egyptians are reading about 7:30 hours per week and Saudi Arabians are reading about 6:48 hours per week. The Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, France, and Hungary all reported numbers falling in between those of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Another interesting finding was that that group of industrialized, first world countries including Spain, Canada, Germany, the U.S., and Italy reported relatively low rates of reading. The U.S. response of 5:42 hours per week per person tied that of Germany. That rate was also just lower than those of Turkey, Spain, and Canada and just higher than that of Italy.

Finally, the study also showed what genre of books people favor across the world. According to the study, 32% of respondents are reading fantasy books, rendering it the most popular genre

I found this study extremely fascinating. Many Asian nations revere scholars, mystics, intellectual success, which makes it logical that people in those countries read more. Whereas in the west we seem to revere "celebrities" or sportspeople. Presumably, as a group of nations, we're glued to the TV instead of reading.

The full details of the study are at:

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

40 books every child should read

This was a newspaper article I saw with suggestions of books for Christmas gifts for kids.
Two of these books I’d never heard of, some are wonderful old favorites, and a few are newer arrivals.
The list is missing one I thought should definitely be there, “Good Night, Mr. Tom” by Michelle Magorian.

'The Lion & the Mouse' by Jerry Pinkney, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99.

'Green Eggs and Ham' by Dr Suess, Random House, $9.99.

'Library Lion' by Michelle Knudsen, Candlewick Press, $16.99.

'Bread and Jam' for Frances by Russell Hoban, Harper & Row, $13.99.

'The Polar Express' by Chris Van Allsburg, Houghton Mifflin Co., $16.99.

'The Mitten' by Jan Brett, Spoken Arts, $15.99

'Where The Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak, Harper & Row, $17.99.

'Madeline' by Ludwig Bemelmans, Viking Press, $15.99.

'Strega Nona' by Tomie DePaola, Prentice Hall, $15.99.

'A Bear Called Paddington', Michael Bond, Houghton Mifflin, $19.99.

'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' by Jeff Kinney, Amulet Books, $14.95.

'The Story of Babar' by Jean de Brunhoff, Crocodile Creek, $31.95.

'The Magic Treehouse' series by Mary Pope Osbourne, Random House, $34.99.

'Ramona' series by Beverly Cleary, Listening Library, $22.99.

'Sylvester and the Magic Pebble' by William Steig, Simon & Schuster, $15.99.

'Charlotte's Web' by E.B. White, Harper & Brothers, $15.99.

'Captain Underpants' by Dav Pilkey, Blue Sky Press, $10.99.

'James and the Giant Peach' by Roald Dahl, Knopf, $13.99.

'One Crazy Summer' by Rita Williams-Garcia, Amistad, $11.99.

'The Black Stallion' by Walter Farley, Random House, $13.99.

'Island of the Blue Dolphins' by Scott O'Dell, Houghton Mifflin, $13.99.

'The Tale of Despereaux' by Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick Press, $15.99.

'Where the Red Fern Grows' by Wilson Rawls, Doubleday, $13.99.

'The Phantom Tollbooth' by Norton Juster, Random House, $13.99.

'All-of-a-Kind Family' by Sydney Taylor, Dutton, $25.95.

'The Borrowers' by Mary Norton, Brace & World, $13.99.

'D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths' by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire, Doubleday, $39.95.

'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio, Knopf, $16.99.

'Esperanza Rising' by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Scholastic Press, $13.99.

'Smile' by Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $14.99.

'Harriet the Spy' by Louise Fitzhugh, Harper & Row, $13.99.

'A Series of Unfortunate Events' (1999–2006) by Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events, $16.99.

'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' by Judy Blume, Bradbury Press, $19.99.

'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' by C.S. Lewis, HarperCollins, $13.99.

'The Harry Potter' series (1997–2007 by J.K. Rowling, Levine Books, $16.99 each.

'Bridge to Terabithia' by Katherine Paterson, Crowell, $13.99.

'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak, Knopf, $19.99.

'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' by Anne Brasheres, Random House Children's Books, $16.99.

'The Hunger Games' trilogy (2008–10) by Suzanne Collins, $49.99.

'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green, Dutton Books, $19.95.

For the complete list go to:

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Most Famous Author From Every US State

A few weeks ago mental Floss blogged on the most famous book in every state of the USA (

Now they’ve chosen an author for every state. These are authors who were born in that state, not necessarily ones who lived and wrote there. They said, “We considered the authors’ fame in terms of ubiquity, literally acclaim, and financial success — and awarded bonus points if the author showed state pride by setting their works there.”

What do you think? Do you agree with them?

For the full article see:

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.