Reader Survey Results


As promised on Tuesday, today’s post is all about the results of the reader survey I posted. It was only up for a couple of days so the amount of people polled isn’t huge, but enough to give  an idea of what readers out there are thinking.

# of people who took the survey: 53

# of questions: 10

1. Do you own an e-reader?

62.3% – yes
37.7% – no

2. How often do you buy books?

Once a month
Two – four times a month
Five + times a month
Other (please specify)
Once a month was the most popular response at 46.5%
There were a couple of “other” responses such as “when things come out” and “only once a year but I by several at the same time”

3. How often do you download free books?

Once a month
Two – four times a month
Five + times a month
Never, I don’t own an ereader
Other (please specify)
There was a two way tie on this questions 26% for both once a month and never and 24% for 2-4 times and 5+ times a month
This actually surprised me. I thought more people would take advantage of the freebies. Perhaps they don’t know of sites like Pixels of Ink or they think because something is free it must not be any good?

4. Do you read books by indie (self-published) authors?

I was super happy to see that yes won out at 84% for this question. Thanks for giving us a chance!

5. What is the most you’re willing to pay for an indie published book?

Other (please specify)
$2.99 won out with 22% but it was very closely followed by $4.99 & $5.99 both at 20%. Surprisingly, the third highest was $9.99 at 14%.  A popular “other” answer was that it depends on the book.

6. How do you choose the books you read?

By the cover
By the back cover blurb/synopsis
Based on recommendations
Based on reviews
Based on enjoyment of prior books by the same author
Other (please specify)
The two most popular responses were “based on recommendations” (73.6%) and a tie  with “by the back cover blurb/synopsis” and “based on enjoyment of prior books by same author” both at 60.4%. That means, authors, get people talking about your books, get more than one out there and work HARD on that blurb!

7. What is your biggest pet peeve about traditionally published books?

There were many answers for this, by PRICE by far was the most popular closely followed by the amount of time between books in a series and the flood of genres.

8. What is your biggest pet peeve about indie published books?
*sigh* I knew what the response to this question was going to be and yet it still hurts to see it.  The biggest pet peeve in indie book is LACK OF EDITING.  I think readers should keep in mind that nothing’s perfect, BUT they do deserve the best product an author can put out.  Yes you can find mistakes in traditionally published books (in fact, it seems more common then it used to be), but they are minimal comparatively. Don’t skimp on the editing indie authors!
There were also a couple complaints of the lack of ease at finding print versions of indie books.

9. Do you prefer to read series or stand alone books?

Stand alone
Don’t care
People don’t seem to care if what they read is part of a series or a stand alone book  (67.9%)

10. Do you rate or review books when you’re done?

People only rate and review books sometimes (47.2%). Hey readers, it would totally help us authors if you were able to do that more regularly. We won’t push, but more reviews often equals more sales which equals more money we have in our pockets to put towards future book covers and editing! 

All in all I find the results to be quite interesting. Some of them were expected but there were a few here and there that surprised me (like the person who said they’ve paid up to $14.99 for an indie book!).  I hope other indie authors find this information helpful in their pricing and other aspects of their writing and promoting!

8 responses »

    • That makes sense, but in my mind, I’ll get to them eventually and can put them in their own folder 😀 I don’t want to miss out on something good! haha

  1. Patricia, I’m like you. But I only have Kindle for PC, and I don’t enjoy reading from the computer for long periods. It’s hard enough when I’m trying to edit my own work. I have several free books there now and I haven’t read much of any of them even though they promise to be good reading. If I had a hard copy they would be read within a couple of days.

  2. I agree with MB, I know I’ll eventually get to reading them if they are on my kindle. When I remember to open my wifi and download the books I’ve “bought” for free, I immediately put them in their respective folders – children’s and YA, mysteries, thrillers, general fiction (those that just don’t fit most of what I read), nonfiction (self-help or writing and/or publishing related) and then I have a finished folder. Once I’ve read a book, I’ll take it out of the folder it is in and drop in the finished pile. If I didn’t I’d end up reading it again because I’d forgotten that I had already read it.

    Seems pretty good results for the low number of folks who took. The one I’m shocked at is folks will pay $4.99 and $5.99 and even $9.99 for an ebook. I really can’t see paying more than $3.99 and if I really like an author and know I can’t get a lower price on the book, $4.99 would be my top number. I guess part of it comes from the fact that I don’t have a lot of money to buy books what with the expenses of my own writing and stuff.

    Thanks for posting – E 😉

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery
    “The Proposal” (a 2nd place winning April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
    “The Tulip Kiss, a 1st place winning paranormal romance ebook
    “Bride-and-Seek”, a selected Petigrew Review story, a paranormal romance ebook

  3. “The one I’m shocked at is folks will pay $4.99 and $5.99 and even $9.99 for an ebook.” Elysabeth, the question wasn’t about paying that much for e-books but for indie published books. I paid $14.99 for a couple of hard copies of the books. Had it been about e-books, I would never pay that much. But I much prefer to have a book in my hand rather than reading an electronic copy, so I’m willing to pay more. I can’t, of course, buy a lot of them at that price. I’m very selective.

    • Then I misread the question. Since the survey was about ebooks mostly, I just thought it read what is the most you would pay for an indie published ebook. Again, I wouldn’t pay much more than $7.99 for an indie book – but that is just me – lol. I thought I’d prefer to have book in hand more than reading from an ereader but since I won a Kindle last year, I’ve read more books than I would normally have with book in hand. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and books in hand, reading when I go to bed (don’t have a headboard to prop up on so have to lie down to read, so on my side reading) tend to aggravate my CTS. My kindle is so much better for that reason. The fact that I can take it anywhere and not take up much room is great for me. I travel a lot for book events and I’m usually reading during down times or at the hotels when I am through for the day.

      So, MB, I need to retract my answer for that question – lol. I misread it and thought you were talking about indie pubbed ebooks, not books in general – E 🙂

      Elysabeth Eldering
      Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery
      “The Proposal” (a 2nd place winning April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
      “The Tulip Kiss, a 1st place winning paranormal romance ebook
      “Bride-and-Seek”, a selected Petigrew Review story, a paranormal romance ebook

      • Actually I won an indie published book by a lady I am connected with on LinkedIn. It was so good I had to read the sequel. And the other $14.99 book was by another lady I’m connected with on LinkedIn and it had been so well recommended by others that I didn’t mind paying for a genre I enjoy. And I really enjoyed it.

  4. Pingback: One Reader’s Perspective on Self Publishing « Reflections in a Puddle

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