It’s Wednesday, so it must be time for Shop Talk! Join the discussion for a chance to win a $10 gift card to your online retailer of choice (or equivalent book from Book Depository outside the US).
Today, I’m just curious to see if you agree with the results of a reader survey that was done by author Marie Force, a more lengthy description of which can be found on her website.
Basically, throughout the month of June, almost 3,000 readers responded to an online survey of 44 questions, from which the following results were taken:
–Readers prefer ebooks to paperbacks, but not overwhelmingly—77 vs. 52 percent. I wonder, however, given that this was an online survey, if that skewed the results to readers who are already more techno-minded than your average bear? If so, the actual number might be more like 50-50. I still prefer print in theory, but I will often find myself gravitating toward a digital book because with its backlit screen on my reader and the adjustable type size, it’s just easier to read. If I like it a lot, then I’ll buy it in print or put it on my keeper shelf.
–Nearly 80 percent bought from Amazon (Barnes and Noble and the iBookstore were eating their dust). That doesn’t surprise me. It’s easy. The selection and prices are good. Customer service is responsive. About 58 percent hadn’t patronized a physical bookstore more than once in the last year if at all. Also doesn’t surprise me.
–Eighty-one percent of the readers listed romance as their favorite genre. That’s huge, but also not surprising given the authors who ran links to the survey wrote romance. Although I wonder how “romance” is defined. The Sentinels series has a lot of romantic elements to it even though I wouldn’t categorize it as romance. In the romance category, contemporary led the subgenre, followed by historical. Also not surprising, as contemps are hot right now. Also, the authors who participated in running links to the survey tended to write in those genres. I haven’t looked to see where paranormal fell in there, but the industry feeling is that its star is falling fast, largely because the small publishers and indie authors have been churning them out by the bucketload.
–Most readers don’t care what publisher puts a book out, but are not very likely to buy a self-published book by an unknown author. That’s where I fit as well. I have nothing against self-pubbed books at all…IF the book has been edited. I’ve tried to read way too many that haven’t been. Stuff slips through, even with a book that goes through multiple rounds of edits, but if I find six grammatical errors in the first few pages, I am not likely to go on.
–Biggest way readers learn about books? No clear winner here: Facebook, retail sites, Goodreads, etc. I seem to hear about books either via word of mouth—someone who knows my taste recommends it—or I get sucked in by a product description online. What about you?
–Most readers, if they are swayed by reviews, most trust the ones at retail sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Not Goodreads. Not Publishers Weekly. Not RT or Kirkus. So when I beg you guys to post a review on Amazon, this is why—those things matter!
–Most readers don’t put a lot of weight to “New York Times Bestselling Author” or other designation before an author’s name.
–More readers follow favorite authors on Facebook than on Twitter. This also doesn’t surprise me given the way my Facebook page has picked up once I finally started paying attention to it, and Twitter kind of overwhelm me. I still haven’t quite figured out what readers would like to see on Facebook, though….Do you follow authors on Facebook? What do your favorites do?
–There was a big hate going on for first-person narratives. How do you feel about them? They’re actually quite difficult to write and somewhat limiting. If I had it to do over, I would probably not have written the Sentinels series in first person, but there’s some old saying about closing the barn door after the cow’s escaped that comes to mind! My Penton series is written in close third-person with multiple POVs, which I find versatile but challenging.
Anyway, there are a lot more interesting results if you follow the above link. Anything here you find surprising? Do you tend to agree or disagree with these findings? Let’s chat! As always, participating in Shop Talk puts you in the running for a $10 gift card to your retailer of choice.