Hire the Fairies and Get Your Book to Readers

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Readers Sound Off! How They Read, What They Like and Where They Find Us


By: Marie Force
New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

I’ve recently concluded the first of what I hope will be a regular reader survey. Putting a finger on the pulse of the customer is always a good idea in business, and our business is no exception. I drafted the questions with the help and input of numerous other authors who took advantage of the opportunity to ask some of their most burning questions.

The survey was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by myself and more than a dozen other authors.

To summarize the most interesting results…
  • Readers prefer e-books to paperbacks (77 to 52 percent). However, the question allowed readers to choose all formats that apply, and there appears to be crossover between the two most popular formats, indicating some readers buy books in multiple formats when the paperback is available. I think it’s extremely interesting to note that more than half are still looking for their books in paperback. That will be a number to watch in future surveys. Will it go down or remain steady at about half?
  • Nearly 80 percent buy their books from Amazon, with Barnes & Noble scoring a distant second at 23 percent and iBookstore/Apple coming in third at nearly 13 percent. I’ll be interested to see how this result changes or shifts over the next year. I believe first place will remain around the same percentage while the distance between second and third place will continue to narrow.
  • Nearly 58 percent of those surveyed have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have done so twice in the last year. Twenty-five percent visit a bookstore once a month and twenty percent are there twice a month or more.
  • A whopping 81 percent of those surveyed listed romance as their favorite genre with mystery coming in a very distant second at almost 5 percent. According to the Romance Writers of America, romance was the top-performing category on the major bestseller lists in 2012 and accounted for $1.438 billion in sales in 2012, so it’s not surprising that most of those surveyed chose romance as their primary genre of interest.
  • For those who chose romance as their favorite genre, nearly 28 percent chose contemporary romance as their favorite subgenre with historical scoring second place with 23 percent. I found it interesting that only 2.6 percent chose New Adult as their favorite romance genre. That leads me to wonder if readers are aware of the “New Adult” name the industry has given to romances about women in college/early 20s, or if the genre isn’t really as popular as it seems, or yet again if New Adult was lumped in with contemporary by some respondents.
  • Sixty-four percent of those surveyed say they pay “no attention” to who publishes a book and/or “it doesn’t matter” to them. Thirty three percent pay “some attention” to who the publisher is whereas 4 percent say the publisher’s seal of approval “matters” to them.
  • Ninety-five percent of readers are “more likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is known to them versus 68 percent who are “less likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them.
  •  The results for the primary source of information about books were all over the place with the top vote getter being Facebook at 18 percent, followed by retail sites at 17 percent, Goodreads at 13 percent and author websites at 10 percent. Lots of interesting data in the “Other” field for this question.
  • Facebook (62 percent) and Author Websites (63 percent) were virtually tied for first when readers were asked where they get their information about their favorite authors. (This was a “choose all that apply” question.) Author newsletters were a distant second at 36 percent. Goodreads scored 27 percent and Twitter 19 percent. Retail sites were next at 18 percent. It’s probably safe to conclude from these results that if you have limited time, it’s best spent on Facebook and keeping up your website.
  • Fifty-three percent of readers are “somewhat” swayed by reviews. Twenty-nine percent fall into the “not very much” or “not at all” categories and 18 percent say they are “very much” influenced by reviews.
  • When asked which reviews are most important to them, 50 percent chose the reviews posted to retail sites. Goodreads was a distant second at 16 percent, followed by blog reviews at 13 percent and publication reviews (RT Book Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, etc.) at 10 percent. An additional 10 percent of the respondents listed “Other” sources than those provided by the survey.
  • We asked readers to tell us which review publications they subscribe to and offered the following choices: RT Book Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, NYT Sunday Edition, USA Today, None and Other. Eighty-one percent chose “None” with RT Book Reviews at a distant second at 12 percent.
  • With the same list of publications, we asked readers to indicate which of the publications had influenced their decision to buy a book or try a new author. Seventy-six percent replied “Not applicable,” with RT Book Reviews coming in a distant second at 13 percent.
  • We asked how important “star ratings” are to their purchasing decisions, and discovered that 43 percent will wait to purchase a book if they see “low” star ratings. Thirty-eight percent say they will still try a book if they like the cover and sample, even if it has “low” star reviews. Eleven percent responded that star reviews are not at all important to them and 9 percent rely heavily on star reviews and will only purchase a book that meets their star-rating criteria.
  • Thirty-five percent have been introduced to new authors via free books more than 20 times. Twenty-one percent have found new authors through free books more than 10 times. If they liked what they read in the free book, 85 percent were extremely likely to buy another book from that author.
  • We discovered that readers are interested in stories with outstanding characters, setting, storytelling and writing, with 75 percent choosing “all of the above” to encompass each of those elements.
  • Thirty-three percent said typos don’t bother them at all while only 8 percent said bad editing will cost an author a reader for life. Twenty-seven percent said they’d give an author another chance if the editing in the first book isn’t good whereas 24 percent said “typos drive me mad.”
  • We asked if seeing the words “New York Times Bestselling Author” on the cover of a book is more likely to spur a reader to try a new author. Seventy-two percent said no, and 28 percent said yes. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed “never” peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors. Four percent of those surveyed review the list every week in search of new authors.
  • Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed never review the USA Today bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Seventy-five percent of those surveyed never review the Publishers Weekly bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Eight-four percent of those surveyed subscribe to the newsletters of their favorite authors, and 55 percent subscribe to the blogs of their favorite authors.
  •  Just about half of those surveyed subscribe to BookBub to find out about free and reduced-price books and 31 percent subscribe to Kindle Fire Department. A wide variety of other outlets were listed in the open-ended replies for this question.
  •  In one of the more interesting results, 60 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter whereas 87 percent of those surveyed do follow their favorite authors on Facebook. Find more than 2,000 replies to the open-ended question about what readers are looking for from authors on Facebook in the link to the full results at the end of this post. In another interesting finding, 85 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Pinterest, and 86 percent do not look for authors on any other social media platform besides those already listed in the survey. Goodreads was one of the most frequently mentioned sites in the open-ended portion of the question.
  • Fifty-two percent said that if they want a book badly enough, they don’t care what it costs. Twenty-two percent said they will not pay more than $4.99 for a book.
  • Sixty-eight percent are looking for novellas (in the 25,000-word) range to fall in the $0.99 to $1.99 price range. But 21 percent said they would pay $2.99 for a novella of this length.
  • When asked what they expect to pay for a full-length (80,000 words or more) novel, 26 percent said $4.99, 19 percent said $5.99, 14 percent said $3.99, 13 percent said $7.99 and 12 percent said $6.99. I found it interesting that only 6.5 percent said $2.99, which has been considered somewhat of a “sweet spot” in indie pricing.
  • Twenty-six percent would be willing to pay for “bonus” material, such as a short story unrelated to the current novel, but 34 percent were unwilling to pay for any kind of bonus material.
  • We had a true 60-40 split on whether an endorsement from a well-known author is more or less likely to make you buy a book, with 60 percent saying author blurbs or endorsements do not influence purchasing decisions.
  • When asked where they buy audio books, 70 percent replied that they have never bought one. A distant second was Audible at 15 percent, then Amazon at 11 percent and iTunes at 7 percent. When asked how many audio books readers purchased in the last year, 74 percent said they don’t purchase them. Among those who do, 18 percent bought between one and 10 audio books. Only 4 percent bought more than 20 audio books in the last year.
  • Fifty-four percent of those surveyed have never watched a book trailer, and 8 percent have bought a book because of a trailer.
  • Fifty-three percent are most concerned with a professional presentation when it comes to book covers, and 32 percent are rarely influenced by covers.
  • Fifty percent don’t care whose point of view is presented in the book, but 45 percent enjoy multiple points of view whereas only 3 percent prefer first-person point of view.

Conclusions
We’ve felt the ground shifting beneath us in recent years, but some of these results confirm things we already suspected, including:
  • Most of the readers surveyed don’t care who publishes a book or pay very little attention to who the publisher is. Judging by these results, it’s probably safe to assume the author name is selling more books these days than the publisher name.
  • Retail reviews, such as those found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retail sites, are the most important reviews in today’s environment.
  • If an author only has time for one social media platform, choose Facebook. It’s where the readers are and it’s where they’re looking for their favorite authors. They are not looking for their favorite authors on Twitter, which didn’t surprise me all that much. I’ve long suspected that Twitter was more about “preaching to the choir” whereas Facebook is about connecting with actual readers. That doesn’t mean there are NO readers on Twitter. To the contrary. However, there are more of them looking for authors on Facebook.
  • Author endorsements don’t matter as much as industry insiders think they do. Most readers don’t care about them.
  • Most e-book readers are buying from Amazon, which of course we knew, but now we have data to confirm it.
  • More than half don’t care how much a book costs if they want it badly enough. Most expect to pay $4.99 for a full-length novel (80,000 words or more) and between $0.99 and $1.99 for a 25,000-word novella.
  •  Readers are still somewhat leery about buying self-published books from unknown authors, whereas they are more than willing to buy books from self-published authors who are known to them.
  • More than half the readers are still looking for their books in paperback format. Hear that? More than half. That’s a lot of readers… To those who think traditional publishing is dead, remember this: More than half the readers are looking for a format that traditional publishing is still best equipped to provide. If you want to reach that half, you may have to remain in business with traditional publishers. I am. That’s why.
  • Audio books are not very popular—yet. Give them time. I believe we will see this number increase over the next few years.
  •  Readers pay very little attention to book trailers.
  •  Readers are not big fans of first-person points of view.
  • New Adult romance isn’t as popular as we thought it was. Or… It could be readers aren’t aware that the books they love to read about young women in college or right after college are considered “New Adult” romance. I believe it’s possible this result is misleading. Judging from the books on the bestseller lists, New Adult is as popular as we think it is.

Full Results
I’m going to give you the straight results and then link to the PDF so you can read the open-ended questions in more detail.

Q1 I prefer to read (choose as many as apply)
Paperback books: 51.24%
Hard cover books: 22.30%
E-books: 77.70%
Audio books: 7.56%
All of the above: 9.73%

Q2 What platform do you use for purchasing e-books (choose as many as apply)
Kindle/Amazon: 78.55%
Kobo: 7.08%
Nook/B&N: 23.04%
iBookstore/Apple: 12.88%
Google Books: 1.93%
Author’s website: 11.72%
All of the above: 0.64%
I don’t buy e-books: 5.76%
Other: 8.81%

See 261 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:
All Romance eBooks and publisher sites
Samhain
Library
LooseID
Smashwords

Q3 How often do you visit brick and mortar bookstores such as Barnes & Noble or your local independent bookseller?
Twice a month: 19.42%
Once a month: 24.40%
Twice a year: 33.21%
Not once in the last year: 22.98%

Q4 What is your favorite genre of fiction?
Mystery: 4.81%
Thriller: 1.97%
Romance: 81.02%
Science Fiction: 1.52%
Other: 10.67%

See 315 open-ended responses in the PDF.

Sample responses:
Women’s fiction
Western historicals/time travel
Young adult/new adult
Fantasy/paranormal
Chick Lit
Romantic suspense
Doesn’t matter as long as it is well written

Q5 If you chose romance in the previous question, please state your favorite subgenre:
Contemporary: 27.55%
Historical: 23.15%
Suspense: 14.43%
Paranormal: 21.12%
Erotic: 10.33%
New Adult: 2.63%
Young Adult: 0.79%

Q6 How much attention do you pay to who publishes a book that interests you?
Some attention: 32.53%
No attention: 26.06%
Doesn’t matter to me: 37.55%
A publisher’s seal of approval matters to me: 3.66%

Q7 Are you more or less likely to buy a self-published book from a known-to-you author:
More likely: 95.12%
Less likely: 4.88%

Q8 Are you more or less likely to buy a self-published book from an unknown-to-you author:
More likely: 32.26%
Less likely: 67.64%

Q9 What is your primary source of information about books? (Choose one)
Facebook: 18.16%
Twitter: 3.80%
Goodreads: 13.59%
Author websites: 10.44%
Author newsletters: 5.46%
Retail sites: 16.71%
Review sites: 10.71%
Reader blogs: 5.66%
Other: 15.49%

See 457 open-ended responses in the PDF.

Sample responses:
Amazon reviews
Kindle review sites
Romantic Times
Twitter & Goodreads
Friends
BookBub

**Interesting that “friends” and “word of mouth” was frequently mentioned in the open-ended replies.

Q10 Where do you get the most information about your favorite authors? (Choose all that apply)
Facebook: 61.95%
Twitter: 18.37%
Author websites: 62.56%
Author newsletters: 35.85%
Retail sites: 18.20%
Goodreads: 27.62%
Reader blogs: 19.59%
Other: 8.98%

See 265 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:
Amazon recommendations
Word of mouth from friends
Amazon discussion groups
Author websites
RT Magazine

Q11 How much do reviews in general factor in to you purchasing a book?
Very much: 17.70%
Somewhat: 53.18%
Not very much: 21.92%
Not at all: 7.19%

Q12 Which reviews are most important to your decision to purchase a book? (Choose one)
Blog reviews: 13.07%
Publication reviews (RT Book Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, etc.): 10.06
Reader reviews posted to retail sites: 49.72%
Goodreads reviews: 16.32%
Other: 10.82%

See 313 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:
I don’t worry about reviews
Friend recommendations
Only reviews from friends matter
None. I pick a book from the blurb, reviews don’t matter
I try not to be swayed by bad reviews and give the book a chance

Q13 Do you subscribe to any of the following publications (Click all that apply)
RT Book Reviews: 11.65%
Publishers Weekly: 2.87%
Kirkus: 0.69%
Booklist: 2.07%
New York Times Sunday Edition: 3.11%
USA Today: 2.77%
None: 80.77%
Other: 3.80%

See 110 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:
Twitter
Shelf Awareness
Fresh Fiction
RSS feeds from NYT, USA Today
Library
Heroes and Heartbreakers
Local papers

Q14 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:
RT Book Reviews: 12.55%
Publishers Weekly: 2.73%
Kirkus: 0.93%
Booklist: 2.59%
New York Times Book Review: 5.22%
Not applicable: 76.28%
Other: 6.92%

See 200 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:
USA Today HEA Blog
Entertainment Weekly
BookBub
Amazon recommendation
Friend recommendation

Q15 How important are "star ratings" on retail sites in your decisions to purchase books?
Very important - I only buy books that meet my star-ratings criteria: 8.54%
Somewhat Important - Seeing low star-ratings will make me wait to buy a book: 42.57%
Not That Important - I will try a book with low star-ratings if I like the cover/teaser/sample: 38.21%
Not At All Important - I don't trust star-ratings: 10.68%

Q16 How often has a free book introduced you to a new author you wouldn't have tried without the free offering?
More than 20 times: 35.17%
More than 15 times: 12.83%
More than 10 times: 20.68%
More than 5 times: 22.68%
Never: 8.64

Q17 How likely were you to buy a second book from an author if you enjoyed his or her free book?
Extremely likely: 84.85%
Somewhat likely: 13.66%
Somewhat unlikely: 0.83%
Have never bought a second book because I only read free books: 0.66%

Q18 When thinking about your favorite authors, what is the most important aspect of their books that keeps you coming back for more?
Characters: 11.13%
Setting: 0.14%
Writing: 4.39%
Storytelling: 7.85%
All of the above: 74.79%
Other: 1.69%

See 49 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:
All of the above except setting
Voice
World building
Unique storytelling and writing
Humor
Pacing
Plot and characters

Q19 How important is editing to your enjoyment of a book? (Choose one that
best describes your habits)
Typos don’t bother me all that much: 32.92%
Typos drive me mad: 23.76%
If the editing isn’t good in the first book I try, I’m done with that author forever: 8.13%
If the editing isn’t good in the first book I try, I might give the author another chance with a second book: 27.28%
Other: 7.92%

See 229 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:

Typos bother me, but I will overlook them if I love the author
Typos drive me crazy, but I won’t stop reading because of them
I can excuse a few typos, but not on every page
Bad grammar drives me crazy
Typos happen, but I appreciate the books. No one is perfect.

Q20 Does seeing “New York Times Bestseller” or “USA Today Bestseller” with an author's name make you more likely to purchase a book from an author you may not already know?
Yes: 27.99%
No: 72.01%

Q21 How often do you peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors to try?
Weekly: 3.54%
Monthly: 6.77%
Rarely: 29.38%
Never: 60.31%

Q22 How often do you peruse the USA Today bestseller list, looking for new authors to try?
Weekly: 2.22%
Monthly: 4.24%
Rarely: 25.49%
Never: 68.06%

Q23 How often do you peruse the Publisher's Weekly bestseller list, looking for new authors to try?
Weekly: 1.53%
Monthly: 2.78%
Rarely: 20.17%
Never: 75.52%

Q24 Do you subscribe to the newsletter of your favorite author(s)?
Yes: 83.96%
No: 16.04%

1,468 open-ended replies to why or why not in the PDF.

Sample replies:
I already get too much email
Just doesn’t seem important
I like to see what they are up to
New releases, contests, excerpts
Make sure I don’t miss a new release

Q25 What kind of news do you prefer from authors via their newsletter? (Check all that apply)
New releases: 80.69%
Upcoming releases: 80.58%
Exciting news, such as awards or bestseller lists: 46.15%
News about other authors’ books: 51.39%
Info about what your favorite author is reading: 46.08%
Don’t read newsletters, so this question doesn’t apply to me: 10.24%

Q26 Do you subscribe to the blog of your favorite author?
Yes: 55.64%
No: 44.38%
1,245 open-ended replies to why or why not in PDF.

Sample replies:
No time to consistently read blogs
I can read without subscribing. Too much email.
Stay in touch with where they are at with writing
She is fun to read
Get to know author better

Q27 Do you subscribe to any of the following services for information about free or reduced-price books? (Check all that apply)
BookBub: 49.08%
Pixels of Ink: 24.00%
Kindle Fire Department: 31.39%
Other: 36.00%
531 open-ended replies included in the PDF.

Sample replies:
Books on the Knob
Book gorilla
B&N Daily Find emails
ENT
One Hundred Free Ebooks

Q28 Do you follow your favorite author(s) on Twitter?
Yes: 39.27%
No: 60.73%

Q29 What kind of information do you look for from your favorite authors on Twitter?
1205 open-ended replies included in the PDF

Sample replies:
Love samples from their real life
Actual interaction. If it’s just promo, I will unfollow
New and upcoming books
What they are reading
Don’t like when they constantly push their books and their friends’ books

Q30 Do you follow your favorite author(s) on Facebook?
Yes: 86.75%
No: 13.25%

Q31 What kind of information do you look for from your favorite authors on
Facebook?
2,027 open-ended responses in PDF

Sampling of comments:
Upcoming releases
Humor
News
What they are reading, watching, etc.
Info from workday life

Q32 Do you follow your favorite author(s) on Pinterest?
Yes: 16.11%
No: 83.89%

Q33 What kind of information do you look for from your favorite authors on Pinterest?
691 open-ended responses in PDF

Sample comments:
Pictures of their inspiration and ideas
Stuff that is relevant to their books
What they are interested in
Pictures of settings, character inspiration
I have not figured out Pinterest

Q34 Do you look for authors on other social media platforms?
Yes: 13.78%
No: 86.22%
If yes, which ones? See 290 replies in PDF. Sample:
Goodreads
Tumbler
Instagram
Google+
YouTube

Q35 How price sensitive are you? Check all that apply:
I will not pay more than $.99 for an ebook: 2.22%
I will not pay more than $2.99 for an ebook: 6.56%
I will not pay more than $4.99 for an ebook: 21.82%
If I want the book, I don't care what the price is: 51.85%
I do not pay for ebooks. I wait until they are available for free and download them then: 4.12%
I am willing to pay more for an ebook published by a major publisher than for an ebook that is self-published: 7.58%
Other (open ended) 868 responses included in the PDF

Sample responses:
I wouldn’t pay any price for an ebook if a print version was available
7.99 is the max I will pay, but I don’t like it
I won’t pay for an ebook priced higher than the paperback
I will pay for favorites, but I am price-sensitive to new self-pub writers
7.99 is my break point for an ebook

Q36 If you are reading a digital novella (for this question, say it has a maximum word count of 25,000), what is the most you would expect to pay for that work?
99 cents: 34.68%
1.99: 32.82%
2.99:  20.62%
Other: 11.88%
See 337 open-ended replies in the PDF

Sample replies:
$5 if fave author, more likely $3
If it’s an author I like, any price
Just started paying attention to word count
I never thought about it
Depends on author and content

Q37 What is the average price that you would expect to pay for a digital full-length novel (80,000 words and up)?
2.99: 6.49%
3.99: 14.24%
4.99: 25.87%
5.99: 19.18%
6.99: 10.36%
7.99: 12.90%
Other: 10.96%
See 311 open-ended replies in the PDF

Sample replies:
I would rather wait for the paperback than pay a lot for an ebook
If it’s an author I like, any price
Don’t buy, get the freebies
I don’t like/buy/read ebooks
Depends on the author

Q38 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.)
Author interview: 16.39%
Scene by scene commentary by author: 12.44%
Bonus short story, related to novel: 58.48%
Bonus short story, unrelated to novel: 26.12%
Deleted scenes: 32.71%
None of the above: 34.40%
Other (specify): 4.05%

See 115 open-ended replies in the PDF.

Sample replies:
Background on historical data used
Behind-the-scenes stuff, inspiration
Love related extras!
Forget the gimmicks and give me a story I can’t put down
Extended sneak peek of upcoming book

Q39 Does an endorsement (cover blurb) from a well-known author influence your decision to buy an unknown author's book?
Yes: 40.75%
No: 59.25%

Q40 If you buy audio books, where do you purchase them:
Amazon: 11.31%
Audible: 14.70%
iTunes: 6.77%
I have never purchased an audiobook: 68.59v
Other (specify): 8.28%

See 235 open-ended responses in the PDF
Sample responses:
Borrow from the library
Tantor Audio or directly from Downpour
Books-A-Million
WalMart
B&N, Target, WalMart, BJs
I rarely listen to audio books. I get too distracted.

Q41 If you buy audio books, how many have you purchased in the past year:
1-10: 17.98%
10-20: 3.64%
More than 20: 4.02%
I don't buy audio books: 74.34%

Q42 Do video book trailers influence your decision to buy a book? (Check all that apply)
I always watch a book trailer if there is one: 6.07%
I have bought books after watching a book trailer: 8.21%
I watch book trailers but am just as likely not to buy the book: 8.78%
Book trailers don't influence me one way or the other: 33.10%
I've never watched book trailers as part of my purchase decision: 53.61%

Q43 Which elements of a cover design most impact your decision to purchase a book? (select all that apply)
Professionalism of the design: 52.41%
Appearance of the hero: 33.42v
Appearance of the heroine: 26.33%
I prefer designs without people: 6.56%
Fonts used: 16.78%
I prefer illustrated covers: 12.80%
Covers rarely influence me: 32.04%
Other (specify): 10.47%

See 297 open-ended responses in the PDF.

Sample responses:
Landscape, imagery, avoidance of clichés
I like tasteful covers, though they are hard to find in romance
Nothing too cheesy
Characters that look like the story says they do
Must evoke an emotion for me to purchase

Q44 I prefer to read stories that include (select one)
The hero's point of view only: 0.32%%
The heroine's point of view only: 1.66%
Multiple points of view: 45.47%
I prefer first-person points of view: 3.07%
Doesn't matter: 49.49%


SOOO, what do you think? Are the results what you expected? Any surprises? Any revelations? 

Thanks to all who helped to formulate the survey, who promoted it to their readers and to everyone who took the survey. I hope to do this again next June to see what changes over the next year. 

100 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this survey and post the results. I have to admit I'm not really surprised by the results. Most of this is what I've observed myself. I have to admit I like knowing I'm putting my eggs in the right baskets. Thanks so much, Marie!

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  2. Great survey. I was answering the questions in my head while reading the responses shown! Well done and very informative.

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  3. Great survey!! Thanks so much for the time you donated to post it and consolidate the results.

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  4. Thanks Joanne! Not many of the results were "shocking," but more a validation of what we suspected. Now we can prove that our assumptions are correct. Glad you found it useful.

    Thank you Unknown and Dianna!

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  5. Great survey! And so much work went into this! One caveat about Facebook -- if it was used as a primary venue for letting readers know about the survey, then the percentage of readers that follow their authors on that venue would be inflated.

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  6. Livia, I believe Twitter was used probably more to promote the survey than FB was. I didn't see a ton of authors promoting in on FB but it was all over Twitter.

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  7. Marie, that is amazing and helpful information. Thank you for taking the time to go through all of this and for being so generous with the info.

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  8. Marie, thank you so much for this! Very helpful information--and a very generous contribution of your time.

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  9. This is fantastic. I'll be directing my readers and clients to this excellent survey. The figures on NA books are particularly interesting.

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  10. Thanks, Marie,

    This is fascinating! As a writer who is well-published but little known, I very much appreciate the information provided here and have bookmarked your blog.

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  11. I don't agree that readers don't like first person POV. Fifty percent said they didn't care and three percent said they preferred it. Less than half preferred multiple POV. I am not sure POV matters all that much frankly. But the rest of this was very interesting to read and confirms many of my suspicions. :) Thanks!

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  12. Amy, with only 3 percent saying they "prefer" first person,I think it's safe to say that first person is not popular with the readers surveyed.

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    1. I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. I don't care whether a book is first person or third person, so long as the chosen narrative POV suits the story. But that's the thing; it has to suit the story. To say I prefer first person would be to say I only like stories that are suited to that narrative technique.

      Given that a large number of recent runaway bestsellers in romance have been first person POV (Fifty Shades of Grey, Down London Road, The Crossfire series), I just can't believe that first person narratives are "unpopular." This is a sea change, though. For more than a decade, the assumption has always been that romance MUST be written in third person limited with POVs for both the hero and the heroine.

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    2. Marie,

      Huge thanks for doing the survey and sharing!

      I would add here that Kristen Ashley does heroines in 1st P and heroes in 3rd, which is 'against' the rules. She's a runaway best-seller.

      Sounds like the 'don't care about POV' readers really mean what they say, just want the great story.
      best,
      Cathryn Cade

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    3. That's very safe to say, Cathryn. I think it's also possible that readers who love first person POV may not know that's what we call it. :-)

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    4. I think if question 44 had allowed readers to "check all that apply" and only 3% had marked 1st person, then we could safely say most readers don't prefer 1st person. But since respondents were only allowed to select one answer, we only know 3% of respondents prefer 1st person OVER multiple points of view and/or 3rd person. This leaves results widely open to interpretation--if you add the 3% who prefer 1st person over all else to the 49.49% who don't have a preference, then it would appear a greater number of readers like 1st person than those who don't. :)

      It's an awesome survey. Thanks for conducting it and writing up your interpretation. Very helpful to many of us in the industry as writers, editors, publishers.

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  13. Thanks so much for sharing this! I am not surprised by the results, but it's nice to see some validation.

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  14. Great, great information. I was surprised by some of the answers because we are lead to believe differently. It's great to hear right from the readers. Thanks!

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  15. Of course I'm curious to know what surprised you Paisley!

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  16. Excellent information, Marie. Thank you so much for taking the time to conduct the survey and share the results. And I'm always happy when my own gut instincts are confirmed!

    FYI - I started a blog at my own website in April, trying hard to keep it informative, inspiring and idea-filled, and the readership has been growing beautifully since then, from 520 to 1907 per month since mid-April. (My first time blogging regularly.) Also enjoy Facebook and have not gone on Twitter. Just didn't have time to learn it well enough to use it properly. I have to write books, too! Again, thanks so much.



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  17. Thanks so much for taking on this huge project and posting the results. I'm not surprised to see that book trailers don't influence readers' purchasing decisions and that readers mostly don't read blogs. I am surprised that Facebook is still so popular! I was under the impression Tumblr and Instagram were taking over there. I also was surprised at the huge number of readers who subscribe to their fave authors' newsletters. It was good to see what they like to read about in the newsletter.

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  18. What surprised me? The Twitter not being that useful. We've had Twitter pushed on us so strong and now we learn from the readers they don't use it. Also the Pinterest and other various sites. I am on Facebook and that all because there isn't enough time in the day to do it all. Glad to know I might have made the right choice. I was also surprised at the low interest in first person. I don't write it, but 3 percent seemed low. I was also surprised but happy historical romance is up so high. We seemed to be fed that historicals are on the way out or are dead. It seems we are being fed information to manipulate the writers not the readers.

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  19. Thanks for doing this, Marie!! It confirms much of what I suspected. Regarding the low interest in First Person POV, I think it relates to the low interest (in survey responders) to New Adult. Much of NA is written in First Person. Since it's hugely popular right now, I wonder if those readers didn't answer the survey.

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    1. Hard to say Laurie. I was surprised the New Adult number was so low, but I honestly believe that most of the readers don't realize that's the name the industry has given to that genre, so it didn't resonate with them. Perhaps in a year or so that number will be on the upswing as that name catches on with readers.

      I also think that first person is more popular than the survey gives it credit for being. Based on the same facts we know to be true about New Adult, it would be safe to assume people like first person, but perhaps they don't always know that's what it is called. Thanks for your feedback!

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  20. Thanks so much for doing this, Marie. This has been very helpful.

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  21. Thanks for this. As a writer aspiring to eventually publish but not at all in love w/social media OCD, I find it heartening to think about focusing most effort on one platform (FB) instead of the scattershot approach that has been commonly touted.

    As a reader, the most disheartening stat was the 80-something percent preference for romance--which means for those of us who want to read outside that box, we will continue to have a hard time finding fiction choices. Which means I will likely continue primarily as a non-fic reader. But this stat is unlikely to ever change (and I would have guessed the percent was in the 90's).

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    1. BK, while I think it's possible the survey skewed toward romance because of my involvement and that of other romance authors, I do think the 80 number is somewhat reflective of where romance falls in genre fiction popularity. There's still plenty of options out there for everyone! :-)

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  22. This is excellent information. It certainly seems to show that an author dedicated to her craft has the possibility of the world opening up to her with hard work and perseverance. Thank you so much for sharing this information.

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  23. Marie,

    This is very interesting info. Where did you get the sample for this survey?

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    1. I posted it twice to my readers on FB and followers on Twitter and the self-pub loop with more than 800 members tweeted and posted to FB. We also asked all the authors on FB/Twitter to pass it along to their audiences. Since it's safe to say most of the readers who took the survey were attached to authors in some online capacity of another, I was surprised by how high paperback books scored. That was an interesting finding!

      You'll note that we made no claims the survey was scientific, nor did we make any attempt to gather demographic info, which we may add the next time.

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  24. First, thank you for taking the time to do this and for publishing the results. As a researcher I am impressed with your sample size. Most of the information you uncovered was not too surprising to me except the 70% ebook reader number. I would have hypothesized that to be closer to 50%.

    I do have one major question that I believe would skew some results. That is how the survey was marketed/distributed. In other words was it primarily to your readership. As you are known primarily as a romance and romantic suspense author, it is most likely that those who chose to take the survey are romance and romantic suspense readers who we already know are voracious and more likely to buy in ebooks. Also, because you do speak widely about indie publishing, it would be more likely that your readers are better informed and thus more exposed to indie publishing. Did you ask any questions about other genres, or find significant differences in responses for readers who were not romance readers?

    Even if all your respondents ARE romance readers, it does not negate the power of your survey. I just want to have a sense of context and application. Fortunately, one part of me is a romance author and these results apply to me in that regard. However, another part of me is a YA author and an SF/Fantasy author. I wonder how the responses to this survey applies to those genre readers.

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    1. No, it wasn't primarily to my readership. I mentioned it to them twice on Facebook, and posted it to Twitter, where I'm connected to many other authors who also posted it and retweeted. I also don't speak widely about indie publishing to my readers. In fact, I rarely mention it to them because they don't care how I'm published. The questions we asked, which were contributed by many other authors besides me, are posted above so you can see what we asked and didn't ask, to answer your other questions. I can't say how the survey applied to other genres than what was represented in the questions above. Check the "Other" replies to some of the open ended questions. You may find more insight about your genres there.

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  25. Marie,

    Just a bit of qualitative info about audio books that I've gleaned from Facebook readers. While I suspected the readers listened primarily while driving, I learned that some listen to audio books while cleaning house.

    Vicky Dreiling

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    1. Vickie That's me. I could not do anything if I couldn't listen to my books.

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    2. Yes, Vickie, I hear that a lot too. Hopefully more of them will realize audio books are a fun way to pass the time while doing housework. :-) I think that number will be way up a year from now.

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    3. I hope so, Marie. My publisher sold 4 of my books to Recorded books at auction. Every little bit helps the pocketbook. :-)

      Vicky Dreiling

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    4. My audio numbers are up this year vs. last year, but they still represent a very small piece of the overall pie. I do expect that to get better, but not THAT much better if the prices don't come down.

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  26. I think the only thing that might be misleading is purchase of e-book. I'm sure Amazon is the biggest seller because frankly they are the biggest seller in lots of areas. But for those of us that have e-readers that use ePub format might have our purchases more spread out. I know I do. While I have a nook I hardly ever purchase from Barnes and Noble. Almost all of my purchases are directly from the publisher (store or self) followed by places like All Romance that offer things like buy 10 get one Free bonus. Since I ready from lots of different publishers if you divided up by 100% of purchases it would look like 30%,20%,10%,10%,10%,5%,5%,5%,2%,2%,1%.

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    1. Katy,
      While that may be true for you, I don't get the sense from my frequent involvement with my readers that what you describe is a big trend. I don't think your average reader would know how to side-load books from other retail sites to their devices, although that know-how may be gaining traction. I think most e-readers are still loyal to one retailer and tend to buy most of their books from that one vs spreading the love around. But that could be a good question for a future survey. :-)

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  27. Thank you so much, Marie. This is very interesting to me and makes me glad I decided to open up a facebook author's account! Great info to have.

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  28. Thank you for doing the survey! I think there is such a terrible amount of data available to authors for decision making purposes, especially compared to what bookstores and publishers get.

    I had the same question as Maggie Jaimeson about where and how the survey was marketed/distributed. I think that it was all online and where it was posted online probably changes how we can understand bullet points 1-4 (people who rarely use a computer probably only read paperbacks/hardcovers, but those number would be hard to come by and I don't know how much it would change bullets 1-3). Again, it doesn't negate the survey, but our understanding of the results could change.

    If you do this next year, could you ask some basic demographic data? Age, income ranges, male/female, is there a brick-and-mortar store within 10 miles (for example) as well? That's always good baseline data to have when understanding survey results.

    Thank you again for doing the survey. I appreciate all the work people are doing to equalize the data available.

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    1. See my reply to Maggie. As this was promoted online almost exclusively, I found the answer to the ebook vs paperback question that much more interesting. I didn't expect the paperback percentage to be so high.

      If and when we do it again, we can certainly consider demographics, but that mattered less to us this time than general trends, which is what we were after. :-)

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  29. I'd love to see a question about blog tours in the next survey. I've long suspected they do little to actually drive sales of books, but I'd love to hear from readers about them.

    Great survey, Marie! And awesome info for authors. Thank you!!

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    1. Agree, Elisabeth. I think the data we got supports your assumption. I don't do them anymore for that reason.

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  30. I think audiobooks are popular but listeners don't necessarily buy because of price. Libraries and Overdrive are probably supplying the majority

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    1. I'm hoping to see audio book prices come down in the next year. I think we're sitting on a gold mine there, but the prices are way too high.

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  31. I wrote NA before it actually had a genre name and the one the industry picked for it I dislike. New adult - well adult means Adult - as in erotic. Some new adult books are sweet (no sex) and some are hotter (lots of sex) but I feel we are dumped under the stigma sex and some people's aversion to reading those type of books - which may be why NA got such a low score.

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    1. I don't think the new adult label has caught on with readers yet, which explains the low scores for that genre. There's no questioning its popularity. :-)

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  32. I am surprised that audio books are not more popular. I enjoyed reading this blog.

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  33. I appreciate all the work that went into this survey. However, care must be taken in the interpretation of results. The sample of responders is highly biased. For instance, this survey excludes people who do not use twitter and Facebook (or read blogs?), which is a very large slice of the reading population. (Think of those over age 60 who have lots of time to read but are uncomfortable with the internet.) I am not at all surprised that nearly 80% of the sample uses e-readers (looking at the actual survey results) among this digital-savvy group of responders, especially since a high percentage of responders are likely followers of authors who publish e-books. I suspect the true percentage using e-readers in the reading general population is much lower. Another source of bias: those responding to the survey are likely to be followers of those who advertised it. Those advertising this survey are likely authors and the owners of this website. What sort of fiction do those authors write? Was there a representative cross-section of genres among the people advertising the survey? Again, responses are potentially heavily biased due to an underrepresentation of readers in some genres. In fact, looking at Q4, 80% of the responders are romance readers. Surely that skews the results. For example, perhaps first person view point is not very popular among romance readers. Since the sample is largely comprised of romance readers, of course it will appear that first person is not popular. However, first person seems to be very popular among YA readers, judging from the overabundance of first person YA books. How well represented are YA readers in this sample? Such considerations are important for authors who might make decisions based on the results of this survey.

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    1. We made no attempt to have a "representative cross section of genres" because this was not a scientific survey. We never said it was. Rather, we were seeking to identify trends, which I believe we did quite effectively. In response to your comment about older people who are uncomfortable with the Internet, we were aware that we wouldn't be reaching them, which is another reason why I was surprised that paperbacks scored as high as they did with the electronically savvy digital crowd that took the survey.

      Authors are encouraged to take the survey at face value and to make their decisions accordingly.

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  34. What an enormous amount of work you have put into this. Authors are told to survey their readership but many, like me, put that in the too hard basket, so I really appreciate reading the results of this survey.

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  35. What a relief! I don't have to join Twitter! :) Thanks for the info. Was surprised that Goodreads wasn't more influential - that might change now that Amazon owns it... :)

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    1. I don't think any author should take these results to mean you shouldn't ALSO be on Twitter. I think a safer interpretation would be to spend most of your effort on Facebook, but be visible on Twitter, TOO. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! :-)

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  36. Thanks so much for doing this - fascinating results - and much in line with what I thought, which is a relief! I'm sharing all over the networks.

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  37. Interesting results, thanks for compiling and sharing. I think my only change in personal responses would probably be point of view. I've since read a story that was all the heroine's pov and found I was irritated because I wanted to know what the hero was thinking... Silly me.
    Thanks again.

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  38. Wow, this is really interesting. The funny thing is I closed my Twitter account the other day. The only thing which stands out to me is it was taken from just under 3k people. So, it may change if the audience was wider.

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    1. That's actually a huge number for a survey of this kind. We were very pleased with it! :-)

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  39. Thank you so much for doing this. It was quite an undertaking, but the results opened my eyes to several things. Maybe it will help me use my time more wisely.
    I write, but like most authors, I'm also a devoted reader, so it was interesting to compare my habits with others'. I would have answered most of the questions with the majority.

    Looking forward to your next book!

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  40. This surprised me: More than half the readers are still looking for their books in paperback format. Hear that? More than half. That’s a lot of readers… To those who think traditional publishing is dead, remember this: More than half the readers are looking for a format that traditional publishing is still best equipped to provide. If you want to reach that half, you may have to remain in business with traditional publishers. I am. That’s why.
    I am honestly shocked that it's that LOW.
    This interested me: New Adult romance isn’t as popular as we thought it was. Or… It could be readers aren’t aware that the books they love to read about young women in college or right after college are considered “New Adult” romance. I believe it’s possible this result is misleading. Judging from the books on the bestseller lists, New Adult is as popular as we think it is.
    When I first read it, I assumed "New Adult" meant the latest craze of 50 Shades type books - new genre in adult--only lit. Not Newly adult characters.

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    1. Erin, funny, I was surprised the paperbacks scored so HIGH in a survey that was promoted primarily to an online, digitally-savvy audience.

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  41. Fascinating survey full of good information. However, where social media is concerned, the results may not be specific enough to help market books. I’d suggest that which social media platform is best in large part depends upon your readers’ use of social media. Therefore, you probably need to have a presence on all of them.

    My personal experience in promoting my own books is that which one is most productive largely is a matter of which genre I’m writing in. My fiction and poetry do well via Facebook, Goodreads, and traditional media. My nonfiction does well via LinkedIn and traditional media. Neither genre does well on Twitter...but one way to be taken seriously by traditional media apparently is to have a Twitter account with followers, so there’s some secondary benefit to it.

    Goodreads recently ran the results of a survey about where readers discovered or found new books. While Goodreads arguably is not the most subjective source for such a survey, I’ve found that with own my own titles and anecdotally in discussing with my clients (I run an editing business) how they sold their books that the results seem to bear out:
    >>Known author 96%
    >>Friend offline 79%
    >>Goodreads friends 64%
    >>Goodreads recommendation 60%
    >>Bookstore 59%
    >>Library 54%
    >>Amazon.com 54%
    >>Goodreads browsing 43%
    >>Newspapers 40%
    >>Author’s website 26%
    >>Radio 19%
    >>Facebook 14%
    >>Television 9%
    >>Publisher’s website 8%
    >>Twitter 6%

    What conclusions can you draw from the alternative Goodreads survey? Focus your promotional efforts on Goodreads, getting yourself in bookstores and libraries, and receiving traditional media exposure via newspapers. And while a presence is necessary, don’t spend a lot of time trying to sell your book via Twitter, your publisher’s website (such as CreateSpace), or Facebook..unless, of course, that’s where readers of the genre and topic you’re writing in/about find those kinds of books.

    Rob Bignell
    Author, “7 Minutes a Day to Promoting Your Book”

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    1. Interesting that Goodreads ranked so high on a Goodreads survey. Hmmm! Most authors I know find Goodreads very difficult to penetrate in a meaningful way that connects us effectively with readers. In fact, many authors feel downright unwelcome on Goodreads where readers are king. I've been involved in Goodreads for five years and have yet to have any significant involvement with readers there. I hope that will improve with Amazon's involvement.

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  42. Regarding the preference for ebooks over paper books: I started with Nook and Kindle for the PC because I was in grad school and could get many of my (very heavy) textbooks that way. It made it easier to write papers and was much better for my shredded shoulder. Fast forward: I have a Nook tablet, a Kindle Fire, and more recently a Kobo Arc. I've discovered that I read faster on an e-reader and since they're all essentially tablet computers, I don't need to lug the dead laptop or the dying netbook around every again!

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    1. I forgot to mention that I've found many FREE ebooks at B&N and Kobo (not so much at Amazon) for my historical period that I can read on the computer (I'm a Mac now) as well as my readers. Being able to pull up a reference while I'm writing is great!

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  43. Wow, thank you Marie. Such useful information for authors. I'll definitely be sharing this.

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  44. An amazing amount of work and fascinating results! Thanks so much for sharing this. I found some surprises and some confirmations.

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  45. Thank you so much for providing all this info! Much appreciated.

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  46. Thank you for these stats, Marie. I was at RWA and RT this year and it's interesting to compare your readers' stats with what people were saying at the conferences.
    I hope you do this every year. :)

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  47. Thanks so much for doing the survey and posting results. I had questions about the survey pool, but those were asked and answered above. I know romance is high as a genre, but I wonder if it's really that much higher than, say, mystery. It would be interesting to note which authors promoted it and with which hashtags next time. And I think of my mother, who uses a computer but doesn't do twitter or FB or such, and didn't like my Kindle when she tried it. Not in the survey, but like you, I was surprised that so many tech users still like paperback. I'm one of them! Thanks again.

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    1. Jennifer,
      If you want to compare how romance is doing vs. mystery or any other genre, I'd suggest checking the bestseller lists to see what's ranking where. I think that will answer your question. :-)

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  48. Thank you for sharing your results!

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  49. Some wonderful and helpful information to read - thanks!

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  50. Wow, this is so refreshing to hear! As an aspiring writer, I am very pleased with your survey results. In fact, I even tweeted this article!

    I'm glad that you took the time to do this survey, and published what you found. Thank you!

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  51. The information you presented in this article is great. Since the book industry is changing so rapidly, it's nice to hear that people are still reading, regardless of the methods that authors use to publish.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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  52. Thanks so much, Marie. Very interesting statistics which confirms the knowledge we suspect.
    Best
    Cathleen

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  53. What a thorough survey. Thank you Marie. I will share it with my loops.

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  54. Thank you so much for taking time to do such a comprehensive survey, Marie. Lots of useful information in there.

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  55. I echo what others have said, Marie, thank you for this. As a "traditionally" published author I am a little reassured. Off now to set up a FB author page!

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  56. Hey, Marie. This is really useful. Thanks so much for the time and effort it must have taken. It's really appreciated.

    Regards,
    Col

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  57. Marie! How awesome are you and your friends to put this great information together! Thank you for all the time it took you! I'm going to TWEET it : )

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  58. Very helpful information. Thanks so much for taking the time to do the surveys, then post the results.

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  59. An Eye-Opener! Thanks for doing this. :)

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  60. These numbers are fascinating, but I would take them with a grain of salt. People don't really know why they buy things. They may believe they know, but purchasing decisions are often impulsive and influenced by things we don't think about (we're hungry or tired, we're sucked in by bright colors or sexy advertising, etc.).

    Book covers, for example, can influence customers on a subconscious level. They don't browse Amazon and say, "The male model on that cover is so hot--I must buy this novel!" But the attractive cover does catch their eye and they're more likely to click on the thumbnail for the blurb, even if they're convinced that covers don't affect them at all. The same could apply to author endorsements, the NYT Bestseller label, etc.

    Surveys are wonderful tools, but we need to match them against actual consumer behavior before we can draw reliable conclusions.

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  61. Marie,

    Thank you so much for not only conducting the survey, but for sharing and interpreting the data. As a new author, I really appreciate it.

    Melissa Cutler

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  62. Hi Marie -

    Thanks for taking the time to compile all this valuable information!!!

    Lisa Kessler

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  63. That was an insightful survey. The way it was presented to us (even though it was a bit long) was equally impressive. Kudos to your efforts.

    I am currently writing a fiction book in English targeting readers mostly from my country (India). Here, traditional publishers and book shops are still popular. More recently, online retailers (like Flipkart) have made a dent into the sales of bookshops by offering huge discounts. Lending Libraries are abundant. But most of the reading still happens via physical books.

    The biggest problem we face here is Piracy. People sell pirated books openly on main roads (law enforcement agencies collect some money and allow them to continue). Publishers fought back by pricing their books cheaper and the online retail outlets offer books even cheaper, but piracy still thrives.

    That's one reason I wish eReaders like Kindle/Nook/Sony are marketed well in India. They can easily kill piracy. Surprisingly, none of them do any kind of marketing, here. Except Kindle, none of them are even available to customers. Fortunately, good Android tablets are available at a low cost and a lot of people have bought them - This could be the starting point for getting people to read from eBooks in India.

    If eBooks click in India, it could become a huge market for authors. People here read a lot of books written in English (mostly by western authors). Already, many western romance (classics) and thrillers are popular here.

    The point of this comment is - Indie Authors should start focusing on India as a market and try to popularize their eBooks, here. It's more of a long-term investment, but will definitely pay-off. Also, costs of marketing to Indian readers is minimum (if not totally free).

    Most important reason of all: No one is doing it!

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  64. Who were your respondents? I looked everywhere for this critical piece of info. Where did you get them? What methods, websites, etc. did you use to attract them? What were demographics? The results are interesting, but would be informed if, for instance, they were largely people in their 20-30s, or people from a romance novel group, etc. Can you provide more information?

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  65. Excellent info! Thanks so much for compiling!

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  66. Thank you so much! Very helpful!

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  67. Naturally I'd be curious what differences (if any) there are between the UK (where I live) and the US. I suspect many responses would be the same, but some of them are US-specific. For example it is hardly any time since B&N started selling over here, and they still make it extremely difficult for non-US authors to participate in their programs (contra Amazon, Apple, Google and others who make it very easy). Likewise the list of newspapers is almost completely irrelevant.
    My biggest surprise was the low appeal of Google+ - I personally find it a much more effective way of connecting than Facebook, and have heard similar comments from others.

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  68. Some very interesting numbers. Thanks for this.

    This is a bit of an oxymoron...

    "Sixty-four percent of those surveyed say they pay “no attention” to who publishes a book and/or “it doesn’t matter” to them. Thirty three percent pay “some attention” to who the publisher is whereas 4 percent say the publisher’s seal of approval “matters” to them."

    "Ninety-five percent of readers are “more likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is known to them versus 68 percent who are “less likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them."

    Publishers don't matter yet, they do...because if a book is self-published and people don't know the author, 68% are less likely to buy it...

    Interesting, don't you think?

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  69. One other thing. This survey inherently has a bias because the people taking it accessed it online and are involved enough online that they are familiar with Survey Monkey. So they automatically are biased towards online interactions and most likely ebooks. Would these numbers apply if you went to a local library?

    I was on a cruise last summer and I expected to see a lot of people using ereaders and tablets for reading. I was quite shocked to discover the majority of those who read onboard were using paperbacks. There may be various reasons that don't indicate the true popularity of ebooks in a cruise situation, but I did find it interesting. I had been expecting most people to be using ereaders.

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  70. It certainly is most interesting. Maybe I'm doing the right thing publishing with Kindle. The trends are changing.

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  71. Did any men answer any of these questions? I'd be curious what percentage of those answering were men. If 81% of those answering preferred romance, I'm betting we only got to see the female views from this survey. That's fine, but I'm curious has skewed the demographic is toward female and if things would be different had it been more balanced.

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  72. Marie would you mind if I used your survey results in a social media workshop I'm giving for my local Romance Writers group - Renee

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  73. Thanks for putting this together! This is really interesting, especially as some bits are counterintuitive to advice I was getting from "big publishing" as little as a year ago. Facebook being bigger than Twitter is a surprise (but very refreshing -- I hate Twitter). And very interestint to see that readers prefer multiple POV. I use them a lot in my writing and had my work rejected for that alone several times.

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  74. I just discovered this (via Robert Bidinotto's blog) and this is fantastic. What a fantastic look at what your readers are thinking and wanting. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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  75. Very informative survey, specifically as it relates to romance, new romance, etc. Thank you for publishing.

    Cassandra Black
    http://www.cassandrablack.com

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