A Malkuth of Me,  book news,  book signings,  books,  reading,  the writing life

WOW! Reader Survey Goes Wild

When I sent out my reader survey yesterday I had no idea it would gather so much useful data in such a short amount of time. Usually when I do a survey I’m lucky if 20 people respond.  Really, I was trying to figure out where I was doing well, where I was failing, and where I needed improvement. I intend to keep the reader survey up for a month or so, just to get more responses and to make sure I’m on the right track. This morning I went to look at the survey and imagine my utter shock and surprise when I saw that over 100 people had responded!

Chances are it was the anonymity that sealed the deal. My point in doing the survey wasn’t to see who would say what, but to give readers an opportunity to tell me  how they felt about books, newsletters, other modes of communication — and for those who read my books, what they really liked, and conversely – also what they didn’t like.  A few readers took me up on that and were keen to share what they thought I was doing wrong, or what they dislike. Not just what they like. Even that was monumentally helpful.

Reading some answers brought tears of joy because I  had no idea some of my series’ had such avid fans.  In my mind – there are like 5 people who read everything I pen and love my work. So it was extremely validating and heartwarming to realize I don’t give myself enough credit and I greatly underestimate my reach.  To see one of my pen names among much bigger author names as a favorite… getting misty again. Excuse me for a second while I wipe my eyes.

Some things I’ve learned from the survey already:

  1. Readers want to hear from authors regularly. While the majority of my readers only want to hear from me once a month, a surprising 1/4 of readers wanted weekly newsletters! I can’t say my reader demographic will apply to all writers, but I found this information very helpful. I’ve been failing my readers by not being a “regular” in their inbox.
  2. Readers don’t just subscribe to newsletters for the freebies. They want real content. They want to know how I spent my Memorial Day, they want to know about public appearances, they want excerpts of books, they want to know when I have a sale going on any of my books, and they want to know when new books come out.  I thought the number of people wanting freebies and giveaways was much higher! I also thought no one cared about my public appearances.
  3. Stephen King and JK Rowing are fantastic. I share a love of both of these authors with a surprisingly large number of those who also read my fiction! We have something cool in common! I love that! 🙂  Of course the bulk of my readers are also practicing Daemonolaters/Magicians/Pagans, so we have that in common, too.
  4. A surprisingly large number of readers actually look at book trailers – at least 33%!  I thought that would have been MUCH lower.
  5. Quite a few readers watch their favorite authors on YouTube – almost 40% of respondents.
  6. My paranormal (demonic) erotic romances have a much bigger following than I realized. Really – I had no idea. I know, some of you are saying, “Well don’t your book sales show you this stuff?”  Well, yeah, but in the erotic romance genre in general, a lot of readers are just “passers by” who will eventually forget who you are because there are SO many of these books out there. Or they’ll read as much of your work as they can stand, and then move on to their next favorite author.
  7. It was a close tie with OTS and Thirteen Covens! HAHA Thirteen Covens did squeak ahead with a few extra votes. 🙂   I even got to learn which covens were reader favorites, which was an EXTRA special treat for me. Thank you!  {{LOVE}}  Please tell me your favorite covens!  That is SO fantastic for me, you have no idea. LOL
  8. You guys READ A LOT! I love this! Some are reading 50+ books a year.  I can sometimes squeeze 52-55 in a year, but not always.
  9. My readers are more active and engaged than my local writer’s group with regard to responding to the call of a survey. LOL  Sorry, couldn’t resist. That’s both funny, and kind of sad.  😛

Thank you so much to everyone who has already responded, but if you haven’t – there’s still time! I am leaving the survey up the entire month of June!

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at swordarkeereon@gmail.com

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