Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Pew Research Center

Is It Writers Finding Readers – or – Readers Finding Writers?


If I answered my own question from the title up there, I’d have to say it’s some of both (and, the timing of which comes when is mostly incalculable)...

I’ve found yet another way for writers to go looking for readers (or, go put themselves in positions where readers can find them); but, first, I’ll share some links to past posts on the topic with a short excerpt from each:

So, How Do Writers Find Readers?

“The typical traditional way of finding readers has writers finding agents who find publishers who find book outlets who attract readers…”

How Can Authors Find Readers?

“…I don’t think any two books (except the pulps in various genres) have the same history of attracting readers.”

Authors Finding Readers

“Since I’ve been serially posting three of my works over at Wattpad, I’ve adopted, finally, one of the key methods for finding readers—reading what they wrote and commenting on it, Sincerely… 

“Of course, not all readers are writers (though, the way things are going, that may not be true in 100 years…).”

How “Should” Writers Find Readers

“One thing is for sure. There are more ways to attract readers than ever before and there could well be yet many more to come…”

That last link has a video about “Audience Development” with Jane Friedman

And, now, I’ll share a few excerpts from an article (which took me quite by surprise) on BookWorks called, Using Pew Research Stats to Find Your Readers Online:

“Lucky for authors, the Pew Research Center regularly produces surveys on social media use in the U.S., which can likely be extrapolated to many other cultures.”

And, working from recent numbers from Pew, the author provides a few potentially useful surmises:

“…where we’ll find young adults (YA) and YA readers. Well, most likely you’ll find them on Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr.”

“Women dominate Pinterest so it’s only natural that this would be a good option for romance writers.”

“LinkedIn is where every nonfiction author should have a profile.”

NB: Those ideas are that author’s interpretation of the data on Pew surveys

One more excerpt that needs comment:

“Once you know the specifics of your readership—and you should—then refer to the research done by the Pew Research Center and you’ll know how to economize your time on social media.”

O.K., knowing the “specifics” of your readership is something many folks talk about.

I doubt very many authors know any specifics about their readership.

Traditional publishers rarely share any data…

Self-published writers can devise various ways to discover certain readership specifics; but, it’s hard work and takes maximum creative application to not drive the readers away

It seems to me that “know the specifics of your readership” could only rationally be applied, for most writers, to the types of readers the specific writer wants to reach.

And, Pew surveys are a good place to look your “Your” kind of reader.

Pew has many kinds of surveys and the enterprising writer could easily find more than social media stats at Pew

What are your thoughts on writers and their readership…?

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#Libraries & #Learning: a #Survey


Surveys can be extremely misleading—those having skewed methods to produce biased results.

The survey featured today seems, to me, to have been conducted correctly—here’s their methodology page

And here’s a statement from the organization behind the survey:

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions.”

The fact that the survey is about Americans and their libraries might be considered valuable by the majority of readers of this blog; but, minorities can be extremely important—so, I hope folks in countries other than the USA will share information in the comments

I’ll share some of the major findings and leave it to those needing more detailed information to visit this link —> Libraries and Learning:

“Library users think of themselves as lifelong learners”

“Library usage continues to evolve”

“The number of those visiting library buildings is trending down, while the number of library website users has leveled off”

“Those who use libraries and their digital materials are more likely to be parents of minors, women, under age 50, and better educated”

“Library users self-identify as lifelong learners and as people interested in new information”

“Library users are major technology adopters”

“Library users stand out as ‘personal learners’”

“Recent library users are more likely to cite benefits from personal learning than others”

“Those who use library websites are more likely to be professional learners in many contexts”

“Those who use libraries feel relatively satisfied with their performance in learning situations, particularly women, blacks, Hispanics, those in lower-income households and those ages 30 and older”

“Notable shares of Americans do not know that libraries offer learning-related programs and materials”

* To find more information about libraries, click on the word in the Top Tags widget, further down in the left side-bar (this post may be at the top of the archive {since I’ve tagged it with “libraries”})…
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So, What Are Libraries Good For, Now That So Many People Use the Internet?


The first answer to that Title Question could well be, “Libraries are good for getting free Internet access.”pew study

It’s hard for some folks to remember that not everyone has easy access to the Internetyet

The Pew Research Center recently released a new study, Library Services in the Digital Age.

That colorful pie-chart shows the results for the question, “Would you use “Amazon”-style customized book/audio/video recommendation schemes that are based on your prior library behavior?”

Remembering that the study was conducted in the U.S.A., and taking Very & Somewhat Likely, 64% would tend to use such a service.

Would you?

Remembering the Title Question of this post, this statement from the study becomes very interesting:

“The availability of free computers and internet access now rivals book lending and reference expertise as a vital service of libraries.”

This study has much more information, such as these findings:

  • Online research services allowing patrons to pose questions and get answers from librarians: 37% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use an “ask a librarian” type of service, and another 36% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • Apps-based access to library materials and programs: 35% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 28% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • Access to technology “petting zoos” to try out new devices: 35% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 34% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • GPS-navigation apps to help patrons locate material inside library buildings: 34% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 28% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.
  • “Redbox”-style lending machines or kiosks located throughout the community where people can check out books, movies or music without having to go to the library itself: 33% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 30% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.

Then, after even more fascinating results, the study begins a summary with this statement (bold text by me):

“This report explores the changing world of library services by exploring the activities at libraries that are already in transition and the kinds of services citizens would like to see if they could redesign libraries themselves.”

Is your local library in that category?

I’d love to see some Comments after this post about Your local library

So, now, I have to bring up yesterday’s post, A Place Called LibraryThing ~ A Space To Have A Love Affair With Books, and let you know that I absolutely had a love affair with books at my library while I was growing up—even had a job in my early teens as a Page, re-shelving books

And, after I’d written yesterday’s post, I went on an exploration of LibraryThing and stayed up till six in the morning putting books on the shelves of my very own LibraryThing <<< that link will take you to my own little local library on the World Wide Web :-)

I slept for a couple hours then went right back to my library and added a bunch of tags to my books and another bunch of short reviews

So, tying all these personal-library-escapades into the Pew Research Study question about having your library offer the ability to have recommendations based on your past use, since I now have 54 books in my online library and nearly half of them have tags and reviews, LibraryThing sits in the background and makes all kinds of connections for me to use, based on the personal libraries of the other 1,632,691 members

My own little library helping me find recommended books and recommending connections with people who like the kinds of books I like :-)

But it gets even better!

LibraryThing has an article called, Pew study: Library patrons want personalized recommendations, and they talk about services they offer to real brick-and-mortar libraries.

Check out LibraryThing for Libraries where they spell out these services:

Catalog Enhancements
BookPsychic
Book Display Widgets
Library Anywhere

That service called BookPsychic is fascinating.

It’s only available in three countries right now and each country has only two libraries hooked up to the service; but, LibraryThing is actively seeking more libraries

So, here’s LibraryThing offering real libraries a service that the Pew study said 64% of those surveyed would use—an “Amazon”-style customized recommendation scheme based on prior library behavior.

Now, I know a few of you are wondering about the usefulness of a service that is only available at six libraries.

Never doubt the ingenuity of LibraryThing :-)

Get a free account here.

Put in a bunch of books you like—it takes about 30 seconds per book once you get the hang of it—don’t worry at first about tagging them or writing reviews.

Now, go over to BookPsychic, sign up, and link it to your LibraryThing account

Presto, you are one of the very satisfied 64% :-)

By the way, LibraryThing is quite multilingual, too
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Influential Writing? ~ Some of The Best Is Comedy :-)


It seems even the writers who claim their main responsibility is to entertain their readers have at least some desire to Influence those readers.

Then there are the writers, those trying to influence their readers, who might laugh at you for suggesting their writing is entertainment.

Of course, being entertaining in one’s writing doesn’t necessitate using bald comedy; but, what about subtle humor?

The video below is a fascinating talk by Chris Bliss called, Comedy Is Translation.

I feel he shows quite clearly that a humorous presentation of information can greatly boost its Influence.

Chris mentions an influential study by the Pew Research Center that  states: “When Americans last year were asked to name the journalist they most admired, showing up at No. 4 on the list was a comedian.  Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central and former master of ceremonies at Academy Award shows, tied in the rankings with anchormen Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and cable host Anderson Cooper.”

Early in the video, Chris talks about Gabriel García Márquez and his Spanish-to-English translator, Gregory Rabassa, who is quoted as saying, “Every act of communication is, in some way, an act of translation”.

This video is entertaining and quite Influential :-)


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