Comprehensive Reader Survey—Authors, Here's Your Chance!


PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS LINK TO YOUR AUTHOR LOOPS!

This next survey is going to be a big one, and I need everyone's help in spreading the word. This is a two-part request…

We're going to survey READERS this time in what we hope will be a huge, landmark survey that covers everything authors want to know about readers in the digital age, including discoverability, what works (and what doesn't) for getting the word out, where readers are getting their info about books (and where they are not), what matters to them and what doesn't, what attracts them to an author and what turns them off, etc. 

So here's your big chance! What do you want to know? We've got a basic set of questions in mind, but we want this survey to be driven by authors. So send me your burning questions OFF THIS LOOP at marie@marieforce.com. We're making no guarantees that all questions sent in will be included and apologize in advance if yours are not included. We're hoping to ask the most pressing, burning questions, so some may not make the cut. But we'll do our best to accommodate as many as we can. LIMIT: TWO questions per author, so think about what YOU most want to know about reader preferences.

To participate, send your question in THIS format ONLY (anything not submitted in this format will NOT be included):

Sample Question: Where do you get information about new books?
Sample format for Answers:
A. Facebook
B. Twitter
C. Websites
D. Retailer reviews
E. Retailer recommendations
F. Author mailing lists/newsletters
G. All of the above

You may include as many possible answers as necessary to properly address your question. 
Deadline for submission of questions: Wednesday, May 15. 

The second half of my request will be in helping to publicize the survey when it is open for reader input. More to come on that later in May! 

Thanks in advance for your help with this new survey!

List of questions already submitted:

I prefer to read (choose as many as apply)
A. Paperback books
B. Hard cover books
C. E-books
D. Audio Books
E. All of the above

How much attention do you pay to who publishes a book that interests you?
A. Some attention
B. No attention
C. Doesn't matter to me
D. Means everything to me

Are you more or less likely to buy a self-published book from a known-to-you author:
A. More likely
B. Less likely

Are you more or less likely to buy a self-published book from an unknown-to-you author:
A. More likely
B. Less likely

What platform do you use for purchasing e-books (choose as many as apply)
A. Kindle
B. Kobo
C. Nook
D. Ibooks
E. Google Books
F. Author's website
G. Other
H. All of the above

Where do you get the most information about books? (Choose one)
A. Facebook
B. Twitter
C. Author websites
D. Author newsletters
E. Retail sites

Where do you get the most information about your favorite authors? (Choose all that apply)

A. Facebook
B. Twitter
C. Author websites
D. Author newsletters
E. Retail sites
F. Goodreads

How much do reviews in general factor in to you purchasing a book?
A. Very much
B. Somewhat 
C. Not very much
D. Not at all

Which reviews are most important to your decision to purchase a book? (Choose one)
A. Blog reviews
B. Publication reviews (RT Book Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, etc.)
C. Reader reviews posted to retail sites
D. Goodreads reviews

Do you subscribe to any of the following publications (click all that apply)
A. RT Book Reviews
B. Publishers Weekly
C. Kirkus
D. Booklist
E. New York Times Sunday edition
F. USA Today

Please click on each of the following publications if it has recently (in the last month or two) influenced your decision to purchase a book or try a new author:
A. RT Book Reviews
B. Publishers Weekly
C. Kirkus
D. Booklist
E. New York Times Book Review
F. Other (open ended)

How important are "star ratings" on retail sites in your decisions to purchase books?
A. Very Important--I only buy books that meet my star-ratings criteria
B. Somewhat Important--Seeing low star-ratings will make me wait to buy a book
C. Not That Important--I will try a book with low star-ratings if I like the cover/teaser/sample
D. Not At All Important--I don't trust star-ratings

How often has a free book introduced you to a new author you wouldn't have tried without the free offering?
A. More than 20 times
B. More than 15 times
C. More than 10 times
D. More than 5 times
E. Never

How likely were you to buy a second book from an author if you enjoyed his or her free book?
A. Extremely likely
B. Somewhat likely
C. Somewhat unlikely
D. Have never bought a second book because I read only free books

How often do you visit brick and mortar bookstores such as Barnes & Noble or your local independent bookseller?
A. Twice a month or more
B. Once a month
C. Twice a year
D. Not once in the last year

When thinking about your favorite authors, what is the most important aspect of their books that keeps you coming back for more?
A. Characters
B. Setting
C. Writing
D. Storytelling
E. All of the above

How important is editing to your enjoyment of a book? (Choose the one that best describes your habits)
A. Typos don't bother me all that much
B. Typos drive me mad
C. If the editing isn't good in the first book I try, I'm done with that author forever
D. If the editing isn't good in the first book I try, I might give the author another chance with a second book

Does seeing "New York Times Bestseller" or "USA Today Bestseller" above an author's name make you more likely to purchase a book from an author you may not already know?
Yes
No

How often do you peruse the New York Times bestseller list, looking for new authors to try?
Weekly
Monthly
Rarely
Never

How often do you peruse the USA Today bestseller list, looking for new authors to try?
Weekly
Monthly
Rarely
Never

How often do you peruse the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, looking for new authors to try?
Weekly
Monthly
Rarely
Never

How often do you peruse the Publisher's Weekly bestseller list, looking for new authors to try?
Weekly
Monthly
Rarely
Never


Do you subscribe to the newsletter of your favorite author(s)? 
Yes
No
Why? (open ended)

What kind of news do you prefer from authors via their newsletter? (check all that apply)
A. New releases
B. Upcoming releases
C. Exciting news, such as awards or bestseller lists
D. News about other authors' books
E. Info about what your favorite author is reading
F. Don't read author newsletters, so this question doesn't apply to me

Do you subscribe to the blog of your favorite author? 
Yes
No
Why? (open ended)

Do you subscribe to any of the following services for information about free or reduced-price books (check all that apply)
A. BookBub
B. Pixels of Ink
C. Kindle Fire Department
D. Other (open ended, please name any others)

Do you follow your favorite author(s) on Twitter?
Yes
No

What kind of information do you look for from your favorite authors on Twitter?
Open ended

Do you follow your favorite author(s) on Facebook?
Yes
No

What kind of information do you look for from your favorite authors on Facebook?
Open ended

Do you follow your favorite author(s) on Pinterest?
Yes
No

What kind of information do you look for from your favorite authors on Pinterest?
Open ended

Do you look for authors on other social media platforms?
Yes
No
If yes, which ones? (open ended)


How price sensitive are you? Check all that apply:
A. I will not pay more than $.99 for an ebook.
B. I will not pay more than $2.99 for an ebook.
C. I will not pay more than $4.99 for an ebook.
D. If I want the book, I don't care what the price is.
E. I do not pay for ebooks. I wait until they are available for free and download them then.
F. I am willing to pay more for an ebook published by a major publisher than for an ebook that is indie-published.

If you are reading a digital novella (for this question, say it has a maximum word count of 25,000), what is the price you would expect to pay for that work?

What is the average price that you would expect to pay for a digital full-length novel (80,000 words and up)?


What kind of bonus material would you be willing to pay extra for?  (Assume that the novel with bonus content would cost a dollar more than the basic novel.  Check all answers that apply.)
a. Author interview
b. Scene by scene commentary by author
c. Bonus short story, related to novel
d. Bonus short story, unrelated to novel
e. Deleted scenes
f.  None of the above
g.  Other _____

What content do you value on an author's mailing list?  Check all that apply.
a.  Special discounts for newsletter subscribers
b.  Announcement of new books
c.  Behind the scenes information about current books
d.  Updates about the author's personal life
e. Book recommendations
f.  Book industry news
g. Other ____

Does an endorsement (cover blurb) from a well-known author influence your decision to buy an unknown author’s book?
Yes
No


If you buy audio books, where do you purchase them:
Amazon
iTunes
Other

If Yes, how many have you purchased in the past year:
1-10
10-20
More than 20


Do video book trailers influence your decision to buy a book?
A) I always watch a book trailer if there is one.
B) I have bought books after watching a book trailer.
C) I watch book trailers but am just as likely not to buy the book.
D) Book trailers don't influence me one way or the other.
E) I don't bother to watch book trailers.


Which elements of a cover design most impact your decision to purchase a book? (select all that apply)
A. Professionalism of the design
B. Appearance of the hero
C. Appearance of the heroine
D. I prefer designs without people
E. Fonts used
F. I prefer illustrated covers
G. Covers rarely influence me

I prefer to read stories that include (select one)
A. The hero's POV only
B. The heroine's POV only
C. Multiple POVs
D. I prefer first-person POV
E. Doesn't matter