Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And.....the survey says..........

It's time to FINALLY share my survey results with you guys!!! So many surprising results!!!

To recap, a while back, I put together a survey for readers. I wanted only readers to fill it out...those who did not also write. I truly think non writers have very different reading and purchasing habits than those of us who read as well as write. I know some writers did fill out the survey too...but still...the results are pretty shocking, if you ask me!

So lets not waste any more time.

Survey was filled out by 112 people...but only 100 completed the entire survey. (YAY! I got my 100!!)

Some genre questions:

  • When asked their favorite genre to read (only one answer allowed), the #1 choice with 39% of the votes was ROMANCE!!!!!!! Second was mystery with 16% and then women's fiction with 13%. the only choice to receive zero votes was biography. 
  • 77% like to read different genres.
  • 60% said friend recommendations are what encourage them to try a new genre.  Second most popular answer was reviews that accounted for 20% of the votes.

And when it comes to the physical book:
  • 81% preferred softcover.
  • Treebook edged out ebook by only a smidge....51% versus the 49% who prefer digital. 

And their reading habits:

  • The two most popular times to read is in the evening and before bed, both with 27% each, but many people answered "other" and said "all of the above".
  • The most popular place to read is at home with 50%, followed by work with 20%. There were a bunch of "other" answers for this too- car being one that appeared a few times. 
  • When asked how many books they read per month, the most popular answer was 1-3 with 44%. The second most popular answer was more than 10 with 24%. 
  • Only 53% said they borrow from the library, but 62% said they borrowed from friends.
  • 70% of readers read ebooks and 71% own a digital reading device. When asked which device, Kindle was the top answer. 73% said they do not read books on their smartphone.
  • 36% said they read for more than 10 hours a week. Second was 4-6 hours a week with 23%.
  • When asked how they choose what books to read, (and asked to check all that apply) 28% said friend recommendations. 23% chose reviews and 20% said browsing the bookstore/library. The "other" answers included book clubs and bloggers.
  • 86% said they do seek out new authors to read. 

Now let's talk money and purchasing habits:

  • Surprisingly, 35% said they buy more than 24 books a year! 25% said they buy 3-6 books a year. 21% said they purchased 100% of the books they read, as opposed to borrowing.
  • The number one place to buy books is online (Amazon and B&N) with 27%, and 23% buying from brick and mortar bookstores. Used bookstores accounted for 16% and yard sales 8%.
  • When asked who/what influences their purchases, (and they could select all that applied) the number one answer was friends with 32%. Reviews counted for 23%. Newspapers, online forums, bookstore displays, and bestseller lists ranged between 9% and 12% of the votes. "Other" answers were blogs, covers, book clubs, favorite authors.
  • 83% said their friend's opinions on books matter to them.
  • 68% said online reviews (Amazon, B&N, etc..) influenced their purchases.
  • 82% said Facebook ads do not catch their attention.
Lastly, I asked about reader's social activity:

  • Only 22% said they frequent Yahoo groups and other forums dedicated to readers. 
  •  But 69% said they visit author blogs, websites, Twitter, etc..
  • Only 20% belonged to a book club.
  • 51% said they belonged to Goodreads or other online reading site. 
  • 40% do write reviews of the books they read. And when asked why the other 60% did not, some of the answers were:  too busy, no time, never thought to do it. 
  • Lastly, 53% said they have sent an author fan mail, including Fb and twitter messages. 

So.......it seems as if friends and reviews play a big role in what people read and buy. I think a Street Team is the right way to go! So glad I got that going!! :) And when it comes to advertising and deciding where to spend my time online, it seems as if readers don't really look at ads or spend their time in reader forums.  But the blog, website, FB, Twitter seem important. And one result that surprised me...paper versus digital was pretty neck and neck. If I'd asked this question a year or two ago...I think the results would have been way different. And who knows what the same question will get me a year from now!

Here is the link for the entire survey so you can see the results for yourself!

HUGE thanks to all those who participated!!


  1. Wow! Very interesting, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great survey. That was really interesting.

  3. You did an awesome job setting this up with questions we'd get useful info from. Thanks!

  4. Thanks everyone. Piper, I really wanted to find out if the time spent on social media was really worth it. Where do readers hang out online, if at all. Do they care about ads and yahoo groups. My time is limited...time I'd rather spend writing and crafting a new book....I need to do promo too...but I want to make sure the time and money I spend is well spent.

  5. Wow, how interesting! Thank you so much for researching all of that and for sharing it with us!