Saturday, August 3, 2013

Marie Force's Survey, and Why I'm in a Fetal Position...

Marie Force did a survey for readers on various burning questions with regard to romance reading and buying, and some of the answers from readers were no surprise to me and some were.  As with all surveys, you have to realize this is just a sampling, but it made for interesting reading.

Here is the Survey:  MARIE FORCE

Interesting reveals:  Readers do not give a toss what publisher you are with. On the whole they do not follow a "publisher', so all your blood-sweating efforts to get signed with Samhain, Entangled or Ellora's Cave means next to nothing except to you and the publisher that signed you. Wonderful.

Are you just starting out? Good luck, as it seems most readers will not buy a book  from an unknown author. This gives me pause as I am considering a second pen name.

One I was glad to read: Reviews do not sway most readers from purchasing a book, and GoodReads was a way distant second in where people get their review info from. Since I no longer go to Goodreads, I was glad to hear this. However, this will not make me beg publicly for reviews on Amazon. Not going there.

81% of readers do NOT subscribe to those self-important review magazines, so why sweat over trying to get your book in one?

As I suspected, book trailers barely register with readers. I suspected this as I do not look at them myself. I did my first and last one. Only 8% have bought a book after watching a trailer. Moving on.

Having "New York Times Bestseller" on the cover of a book means nothing to more than two-thirds of readers in this survey. Nor do they check the best-seller lists looking for new authors. Again, having a best seller is only important to probably you and maybe your pub. (and a few friends and family)

Okay, the one that has me in a fetal position? A whopping majority will follow authors on Facebook, but not on Twitter. Nooooooooo! Whhhyyyyy? I'm sorry, I don't care for Facebook. I'm not keen on hanging there, but it seems I will have to. I will form a compromise, I activated the 'selective tweets' app on Facebook and will pick and choose which of my tweets will appear in my FB timeline. It's the best I can do. Most of the time with social media, I feel I am talking to myself, but I will do it as it is expected.

Contemporary and Historical top the fav genres. Good. It is where I will be narrowing my focus going forward.

Primary source of info about books? Facebook. 18% Noooooo! Yeesh.
Goodreads about 16%. I will maintain my book list and page there, but I really am done with the place.
Twitter? about 5%. SO alllll those promo tweets...a waste? Maybe.  A strong maybe.

Also glad to hear star ratings do not factor much in a reader's decision to buy a book. So bragging you have 50 five-star reviews is only you. As I suspected.

Free reads seems to be an effective marketing tool. Most readers state if they liked a free read they would check out the author's other works. I did one last year, did it help? Setting aside all the 'its too short' stuff, it did introduce me to a wider audience. Too bad the book wasn't on Amazon, I think the impact would have been huge.

Do you follow your fav author in Pinterest? A whopping 2/3 said no. So why be on there? Doesn't seem to be an effective social media outlet to me. Ask a romance author and they are on it for their own amusement more than promo. Well, its the reason I am there. Google Plus barely registered. Again, Facebook won. Gad.

For a novella, (less than 25,000 words) 99 cents and 1.99 run neck and neck for what a reader is willing to pay. Having just witnessed a discussion on Twitter about how The Governess and the Beast was waaayyy too much money at 2.99, seems this is true.
For a full length novel? 4.99 is the sweet spot.
Yet in another question, people were willing to pay anything if they wanted the book bad enough. The big name pubs know this, its why they charge more for the kindle copy than the paperback. I refuse. I will buy where ever I can get it the cheapest. Only in hardcover? I am patient, I'll wait for the cheaper paperback no matter how long it takes. But hey, that's me.

Cover art is VERY important, professionalism and how the hero looked topped the choices. Though having a kick-ass cover does not means boffo sales. Believe me, I know.

So what info did I cull from this? I have to be on Facebook more, readers like it when you share snippets of your life. I think I little mystery is a good thing. While I will not be sharing what I had for breakfast, I will try to make more of an effort to 'reach out'. probably through 'selective tweets'.

Though blog tours were not mentioned in the survey, it was generally agreed in the comments they are for the most part-- ineffective. I only did one two years ago and came to the same conclusion. If the publisher wants to set one up, I am game. But I will not be paying any of my $$$ to set one up on my own.

Also, interesting that most people get their review info (when they bother to check it out, which isn't often) the majority get it from retail sites, not review blogs. So hey, bloggers and reviewers, you might want to start posting your reviews on Amazon!



  1. I hate FB. I hate FB with the strength of a thousand million burning suns. I prefer twitter because even though people share, they tend to not OVER share. And on FB people overshare. All the time. I don't care what my FB friends had for breakfast or lunch or who they went to the gym with. Nor do I want to play their stupid games. And this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of why I loathe FB with every fiber of my being. (Well maybe I'm being dramatic. It's not every fiber, but it's a lot of them!)

    So the results of this survey are distressing. I really don't want to get on their when(ever) I publish. I don't wanna! *said in a whiny voice with foot stomping to boot*

    But alas, I might have to. *cries*

  2. Kat, can I hug you? Oh God, you summed it up beautifully. I prefer Twitter as well. Agree on the overshare. Do I really want to see a picture of someone's injured and swollen ankle and gnarly toes? Ewww. I prefer to keep my private life...private. I intend to keep that way.

    Personally, I am trying to find a balance that won't have me twitching on the floor, but, yeah...There is no escaping Facebook. *hangs head*

    thanks for commenting, and oh, will be looking for you on Twitter! ;)


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