Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: survey

#Smashwords 2017 #Survey


Smashwords If you’re not familiar with Smashwords, it’s a space for authors to self-publish, with no upfront fees (and, with distribution to the most important retailers); plus, of course, a space for readers to find a wealth of books…

And, comparing it with Amazon is simple—Smashwords actually goes to great effort to help authors sell books…

And, even though it was published three years ago, their Indie Author Manifesto is worth a read…

Something else worth reading are the Surveys that Founder Mark Coker writes…

Here’s a bit of his intro to this year’s survey:

“Each year for the Smashwords Survey, I analyze ebook sales aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network.

“We’re looking to identify potential data driven insights that can help authors and publishers make their books more accessible, more desirable and more enjoyable to readers.”

You can read more of Mark’s intro to the survey; but, I’ll put the questions it seeks to answer here:

What are the top fiction and non-fiction categories?

What romance categories perform the best?

How do box sets perform, and which types of box set perform the best?

Do authors who release ebooks as preorders sell more books overall?

How do preorder adoption rates differ across genres (New!!)

What percentage of overall sales in each genre for new titles go to books released as preorders (New!)

What are the pricing sweet spots for full-length fiction to maximize both readership and author earnings?

Do longer books still sell better?

Does FREE still work, and what about free series starters?

Do series books sell better than standalone books, and if so, by how much?

And, here’s this year’s Smashwords Survey:


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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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Friday Poll ~ Where Are You In Your Writer’s Journey?


As always, before the new poll, we’ll look at last week’s results from How Do You Find The Books You Read? 

First place went to “A Friend’s Recommendation”.

Second place had “A Review I Read”.

Third was a two-way tie with “In A Book Shop by Browsing” & “At An Internet Retailer by Browsing”.

Fourth place also had a two way tie: “In A Friend’s Library” & “At An Internet Retailer from ‘Also Bought’ Recommendation”.

Fifth place had “In the Public Library by Browsing”.

Sixth was “Noticing It In A Shop Window”.

Seventh place was a two-way tie with “In the Public Library from An Employee Recommendation” & the “Other” Space which had someone write in “Author’s Blog, Online Postings by Other Readers”.

Last were two which got no votes: “The Star-Rating” & “In A Bookshop from An Employee Recommendation”.

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Now this week’s poll.

Again, you can make multiple votes and the “Other” space is there for unique answers

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What Do You Want To See On This Blog?


Since the average number of visitors per day has risen by 20 in the last two months, I thought this an opportune moment to invite you express your preferences.

Please, visit this link to our Very Short Survey on Reading, Writing, and Publishing.

You can make up to three choices for what  You  want to see here :-)

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What Do Readers Really Want . . . ?


Apart from my fiction, I write about writing, itself, as well as publishing and reading.

If we want to be realistic about those three roles, reading is the most primary, with writing rendering what’s read, and publishing smack in the middle.

So, it would seem that surveying readers would be a major concern of writers and publishers.

Do you think it is?

I try to maintain a balance among those three roles in this blog and, since I’ve been writing about publishing the last few days, here are a few posts about readers I feel are important: Genre Reconsidered ~ Reader-Driven Fiction, How Can Authors Find Readers?, and It’s Simple. They’re Gone Reading :-)

I want to make this post and its comments into a survey. We’ll use a list from an article on BookRiot called, The 7 Things Readers Want from Publishing.

Help me out. Find the things on the list that you as a reader want and put the numbers in a comment. If you want to add other things you want not on the list, great! And, if you want to add your reasons for the things you want as a reader, wonderful :-)

1. “Readers want there to be choice: romance, technical manuals, memoir, children’s, fantasy, thriller, literary fiction and on and on.”

2. “Not only do readers want choice, but they also want those choices to be good.”

3. “Readers want reading to be affordable.”

4. “Readers want to be able to find things they are interested in. This means both genres they are already familiar with and exploration.”

5. “Readers want to be able to get something to read as easily as possible.”

6. “Readers want to enjoy the experience both of reading books and of purchasing them.”

7. “Readers want reading to fit into their lives easily.”

Looking forward to what you think………
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