Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Numbers Don't Lie

The Day Job has been rough lately, but more on that tomorrow for the check-in. Instead, I wanted to squeeze out a quick post this evening about something I read today. Apparently, the folks over at the Romance Writers of America ran a survey of romance readers. I think the results are interesting both as a writer and a reader. It's also pretty likely that SF/Fantasy isn't all that dissimilar in some areas.

Obviously, the demographic is likely a bit different. That is, I'd bet good money that SF/F isn't 91% women. Also, I'd wonder if most Fantasy readers can knock out, say, a George R.R. Martin-sized novel in a month, every month. Not saying it'd be tough for an avid reader, but we're talking "average" here.

The rest of the info, though, I think could be generally applied to most fiction. Probably not in an exact sense, but definitely enough for some generic musings. For instance, do you notice how things like "the story" and "liked previous stories from the author" factor highly no matter the avenue of purchase? Curiously absent is the "familiar with the publisher category." Also, cover doesn't seem to factor highly, either.

And what is the number 1 source of information about a new title? Friends. Funny that family is only #5 on that same list. Thought the fact that those are two categories and both in the top five is probably telling. For all the talk of getting on Amazon lists or doing blog tours or whatever... simple word of mouth is still your best best. And how do we get that? Write a good story. It all starts and ends there. That's why my focus will always be on the writing first, and the promotion a distant second. I just need to write more, get better... not yell louder.

Did anyone else snicker when they saw that erotic romance is heavily skewed toward e-book purchases. Duh.

The price data is pretty interesting as well. I'd guess that as a fledgling indie author, being just above the "floor" is a good place to be.

It was surprising to me to see how interested readers were in attending a "live author event." Online just doesn't hold the same swag, I guess. Though author's websites and blogs seem to be good avenues. It seems like a lot of readers are checking out websites, which is good. That's probably the best way to see what I'm up to anyway.

Maybe I should figure out a book trailer. I can honestly say that's one aspect on here that I've never really gotten into or given much though... but they seem generally effective if this survey is to be trusted.

In any case, some good food for thought. I wouldn't take any of it as gospel, especially if you're not a romance writer, but it was pretty interesting, no? The survey was web-based... so I wonder if that leaves out a whole swath of computer illiterate readers. Or maybe computer-phobic is a better term? Luddite? I'd be afraid of offending such people, but the chances that they'd read this are pretty much nil, right? (Yet, wouldn't non-computer people probably read more books? I mean, what else is there to do without the Internet? Television, you say? Bah. I'll take a good book any day!)


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