Apr 27 2009

Have you taken our survey?

Hello again! If you haven’t taken our survey yet, I would really appreciate if you gave us 5-10 minutes of your time. You can take it by clicking here or by clicking beneath the fold.

18 responses so far

18 Responses to “Have you taken our survey?”

  1. scribblaron 23 Apr 2009 at 1:51 pm

    It would have been nice had my effort been rewarded by returning me to this page.

    Ah, I’m just being grouchy – my hand still hurts. A Polar bear’s cheek bone is harder than you’d think (PS every other answer was serious).

  2. Ragged Boyon 23 Apr 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Some of the answers I wanted to explain. I don’t buy books because I have no money.

  3. B. Macon 23 Apr 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Scribblar said: “It would have been nice had my effort been rewarded by returning me to this page.” Yeah, I know. When we upgrade to the paid version later this month, we can have it send people back.

    Ragged Boy said: “I wanted to explain some of my answers.” Good thinking. In later versions, when the paid version allows us to do more than 10 questions, I can include follow-ups.

    Also, to the 4 out of 12 people who reported that they had punched a polar bear in the face in the past year: are there conventions for that sort of thing? Perhaps we could set up a booth or something.

  4. Fitzon 23 Apr 2009 at 4:31 pm

    B. Mac, punching polar bears is a hobby of mine.

  5. B. Macon 23 Apr 2009 at 4:59 pm

    As well it should be!

  6. Davidon 23 Apr 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I just took the survey.

  7. Dforceon 23 Apr 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Follow ups are needed. Most of the answers are too quick. I wanted to elaborate a bit, but alas– for another time.

  8. B. Macon 23 Apr 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I hear you, Dforce. We’re currently on the free version, which limits us to 10 questions. That grossly limits the amount of follow-up questions we can do. Here are some of the other questions that didn’t make the cut…

    –What’s your educational background?
    –Income level.
    –How many times have you bought a book online in the past year?
    –Do you have a blog? (This isn’t relevant at this point of the publishing process).
    –Are you an author or publishing professional? (Not relevant yet).

  9. B. Macon 23 Apr 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Hello! I have some preliminary statistics based on the first 20 people to take our survey.

    GENDER
    35% of our respondents are women. Our female respondents were more interested in writing a novel than a comic book by a 6-1 margin. Our thirteen male respondents broke ~evenly. Five said they wanted to write a novel, six wanted to do a comic book, and two said they wanted to do both.

    This is very encouraging! I think this will help me convince a publisher that I should include sections about both comic books and novels. Also, it looks like the book can appeal to both genders.

    INTEREST LEVEL
    It’s still very early, but so far I think that a publisher will be pleased with our level of interest. Of the 20 respondents, 25% said they would definitely buy a copy and another 40% said they would probably buy a copy. 30% said they weren’t sure, which hardly surprises me given that the book hasn’t even been published yet. Only 5% said they definitely wouldn’t buy it.

    Almost all of our respondents had been to the site 25+ times.

    POLAR BEARS
    Encouragingly, 20% of my respondents reported that they have punched a polar bear in the face. I would salute you, honorable polar bear punchers, but unfortunately Knut bit off my hands.

  10. Dinhilionon 23 Apr 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Hehe- I’ve punched a polar bear!

    On a side note, did you see that a woman jumped into the polar bear pool in the Berlin pool to give one a HUG! It did not end well for her.

  11. Avi Arunon 24 Apr 2009 at 1:41 am

    I’d like to explain two of my answers.

    - I didn’t buy any books on writing because there were free ebooks on the net that served the purpose.

    - I’d definitely buy your ‘how to write a superhero story’ book if it is available in India.

  12. B. Macon 24 Apr 2009 at 2:31 am

    “I didn’t buy any books on writing because there were free ebooks on the net.” This is a recurring problem for authors; it’s hard to compete with free content. Why would a reader buy something when there is a free alternative available elsewhere? How can I overcome that obstacle?

    1. The paid version is demonstrably better.

    2. The paid version is clearly more relevant. If you need a book about how to write superhero novels, my book will be 100% relevant to you. No other book on the market– free or otherwise– is as tailored to your needs as this one. I suspect that readers may be willing to pay a premium if they think the alternatives are more general.

    3. The reader is personally attached to the author, so buying the book is more an act of gratitude than necessity. There will be illegal ways to download my book for free. However, if a reader has been here a long time and feels grateful for what I have done, I think that he might buy the book anyway.

    “I’d definitely buy your ‘how to write a superhero story’ book if it is available in India.” Thanks, I appreciate that.

  13. Stefan the Exploding Manon 24 Apr 2009 at 6:39 am

    Yeah. If your book gets published in Singapore I’m buying it for sure.

  14. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 24 Apr 2009 at 6:59 am

    I haven’t bought any “how to” books in the last year because there are many in my school library.

    If your book is published in Oz, I’m definitely buying a copy.

    For verification purposes, I’m not dead or otherwise incapacitated. It’s just the stupid homework that’s keeping me away. :(

  15. Wingson 24 Apr 2009 at 8:58 am

    I can’t afford how-to books…

    - Wings

  16. B. Macon 24 Apr 2009 at 9:50 am

    Ok. Now we’re up to 29 survey responses.

    GENDER BREAKDOWN
    Women now comprise 34% of total respondents, 10 out of 29. Of these ten, seven want to write a novel, one wants to write a comic book, and two want to write both. Among our nineteen men, seven want to write a novel, seven want to write a comic book, and five either want to write both or are still deciding.

    AGE
    As before, most of our respondents are in high school and junior high. 60% are 13-18. 28% are 19-22 (college-age).

    INTEREST
    31% of our respondents said they would definitely buy a copy if it were available. 41% said they would probably buy a copy. 24% said they weren’t sure and only 3% said they definitely would not.

    MARKETING
    45% of respondents have been to a comic book store in the past year. 21% have been to a comic book convention. As before, pretty much everyone had been to a book store (97%) and a library (90%).

    WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW?
    19 people said that they were interested in writing a superhero novel; only six of them (32%) had read a superhero novel in the past year. Of the thirteen respondents that said they were interested in writing a comic book, ten (77%) had read a comic book in the past year.

    POLAR BEARS
    The resistance movement against the polar bear menace is growing. 24% of respondents reported that they had done their part by punching a polar bear in the face.

  17. Dforceon 24 Apr 2009 at 10:28 am

    On your fifth post– where you discuss attachment to the author: I find it honorable to genuinely pay for something even when there are free sources available.

    This happens frequently in manga– it usually gets translated and posted on the web for free to allow people to see it before it gets picked up and translated officially (a sort of free advertisement). But when it does, people still go out to buy it just out of gratitude. I do– looking at you Naruto.

    Buying something is the way people tell publishers– or other members of the entertainment medium, that something is liked and more is wanted. People should already know this and should still go out to get the material– unless it’s music, lol. (I still buy the CD’s. Just having the actual source material with that new plastic smell makes me smile).

  18. B. Macon 24 Apr 2009 at 11:33 am

    Dforce said: “Buying something is the way people tell publishers– or other members of the entertainment medium– that something is liked and more is wanted.” That is a really important point. Publishers only produce what they think they can sell. If they think that a particular demographic of readers is much less likely to buy books, they will be reluctant to produce target books at them.

    This is one of the reasons that my survey asked “how many books about writing have you purchased in the past year?” I need to establish that my readers are willing to pay for a book.

    Also, I think it’s important to develop a personal connection with your audience. Susan Boyle is spectacularly successful not merely because of her talent, but because anyone that has been judged on his or her appearance can relate to her story on an extremely personal level. By buying her CD, a listener can become a part of the story. A twenty-something recently told me quite seriously that “my life will not be complete until I’ve seen Susan Boyle in concert.”

    Likewise, young readers really connected with Christopher Paolini, probably because he was really young himself when he wrote Eragon. Nancy Yi Fan published Swordbird when she was thirteen. Incidentally, NYF is from Gainesville, FL. Go Gators!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply