One of the lovely ladies in my crit group shared a link detailing the feedback given by a month long poll from June 1st to June 30th.
I found a lot of the details surprising. Most of the readers surveyed buy their highly popular romance novels from Amazon and they buy those books more often in ebook format than paperback. They preferred contemporary romance in particular and over half those surveyed didn’t care what publisher put out the book or if it was self-published.
Those surveyed said they get most of their information about books from Facebook. Their knowledge of their favorite authors came from their websites. Hardly anyone got their information from Twitter. They were more likely to follow their favorite authors on Facebook and subscribe to their blogs rather than any other media. Looks like your personal website and Facebook are the way to go. Thankfully over half those surveyed said they follow their favorite authors on Twitter, so there’s at least that.
Surprisingly enough, most of the readers surveyed didn’t pay attention to the “New York Times best seller”, “USA Today” or “Publisher’s Weekly” lists. Most people didn’t even peruse them. It appears a lot of those people are more interested in what is reviewed on retail sites like Amazon or Goodreads. I, like those surveyed, have to know the author before I buy their self-pubbed books. I’ve gotten far too many stinkers to fall for that line anymore. They will also wait on a book, even if they like the cover and excerpt if the book has low star ratings.
And then we get to the nuts and bolts of what most authors are interested in: Pricing. I’m going to quote directly from the article.
- 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.
This tells me quite a bit as a writer, to be honest. One, I’m going to be more active and engaged on Facebook than I’ve been in the past. Facebook is where we connect with people, apparently, and it seems making a personal connection with our readers so they’ll buy stuff from an unknown is really where it’s at. I’m definitely going to be keeping up on my website and blog. And I won’t be doing any book trailers. Nobody really knows what they are or are interested in seeing them.
Great food for thought, I think.