The [Indie] Reader Survey

First, have some Zack Morris just because.

Well I feel better now.

So I did a survey over the last two days because I was genuinely interested in finding out how readers feel about indie authors and the books we write.  I did not mention that it was about indie authors, per se, but I did include a question that allowed readers to say exactly how they feel about us crazy indie authors.  I wanted to dig into their minds to see what they like and don’t like.  111 readers took my survey (thank you!) and these are the results: 

Question 1: How many books do you read per month? 

45% responded with 4-10 books per month. 34% read 10-20 per month.  21% only read 1-3 per month.

Question 2: What genres do you enjoy reading the most?

Here are the responses by rank:

1) Paranormal Romance

2) Erotica

3) Contemporary Romance

4) Fantasy Romance

5) Adult

6) Young Adult

7) New Adult

8) Suspense

9) Mystery

10) Horror

11) Other 

Question 3: Which do you prefer? (Word count)

59% of readers prefer 50-100k stories.

31% of readers prefer 100k+ stories.

Only 7% prefer 10-20k stories.

Question 4: Do you enjoy M/M romance novels? 

51% of readers said yes.

Question 5: Do you enjoy F/F romance novels?

59% of readers said no.

Question 6: Do you enjoy books that feature M/M/F or M/F/M love triangles?

78% of readers said yes.

Question 7: What kind of sex scenes do you prefer in a novel? 

60% of readers really seem to enjoy the naughty bits we include in our stories.  Only 3% said they prefer fade-to-black sex scenes. 

Question 8: Cliffhangers.  How do you feel about them?

39% of the readers who took this survey said they HATE cliffhangers.  I guess that means I’m in trouble, eh? 33% responded with being indifferent about them, but someone did suggest I should’ve listed an option of “It depends on the book”, with which I agree. 

Question 9: What components in a novel turn you off?

I was VERY interested in this particular question because there are a variety of things that bother me in a book.  The responses are listed by rank below: 

1) Incest-69%

2) Graphic rape scenes-59%

3) Graphic abuse-43%

4) A Mary-Sue female lead-29%

5) Too many sex scenes-28%

6) Overly-aggressive and possessive males-19%

7) Other-12% (Please feel free to comment on the blog post and tell me what the ‘other’ is. I’m very curious.)

8) Not enough sex scenes- 9%

Question 10: If a novel by an indie author contained a few spelling errors, would you still read it?

56% of readers responded with Yes.  We’re all humans and make mistakes.

Only 6% said no.

Question 11: Do you judge a book by its cover?

51% said yes.

Question 12: Do you leave reviews for books once you’ve finished reading them?

43% of readers said they always leave reviews.

Only 2% said they don’t.

Question 13: Probably my favorite question-  How do you feel about indie authors?

“If it wasn’t for facebook and my kindle I wouldn’t know what an Indie Author is. I am a fan of many. I admire their work and their interaction with their fans. I read several articles on Indie Authors and commend each of you.”

“Love them!!!!!”

“I have been fortunate to find some great new authors thanks to Indie publishing. I am always open to trying new authors in the genres that I read.”

“Love them, I have more Indie books than any other.”

“I love indie authors, because they are still down to earth they write great stories and still connect with their readers. I know they work hard and put a lot of time and money into what they do and they completely have my respect!”

“Love indie authors. They’re much nicer to talk to. I know a few who have switched to publishers but because they started out indie they still are humble.”

“I like them since they can write and publish what and when they want.”

“I love Indie authors. I find most all of them to be very humble people and personable. They want to know what their readers want and do their best to deliver.”

“Love them. Everyone starts somewhere. You almost feel like a small part of their world. Big authors don’t have a clue who their fans are.”

“Indie authors are great! As for the editing mistakes, a couple are acceptable and all books need to be professionally edited and NOT by the author. M/M is so boring to me. M/F/M also kind of boring, just never read one worth my time. Sex scenes are great as long as they are written realistically. I hate homemade looking covers and boring, bland covers. I have found if the cover is boring so is the story.”

“I love and admire indie authors. I think indie authors completely changed the game of publishing. Now they don’t have to give their hard work away to a huge company that only cares about money. Indie authors are awesome and I fully support them!”

“They’re ok.”

“Like giving them a chance to do their best.”

“Here’s the truth I was reading indie authors before I knew they were indie authors and loving them. I’d say I read 90% indie authors.”

” ❤ “

“I believe it is a wonderful opportunity for very creative individuals to share their works when they might not have otherwise had an opportunity due to the bureaucracy of the publishing industry.”

“I find the indie community to be full of talented individuals with incredible stories to tell. There are varying degrees of talent and polish, but each has a distinct voice that may not have been heard any other way. I have enjoyed my interactions with the authors I’ve met on FB and in person – it’s a wonderful community of which I’m proud to be a part!”

“I love indie authors!! The fact that indie author pretty much do it all by themselves is inspiring to me.”

“I love indie authors. I love alpha male books.. But I’d love to see more kick ass female characters too.”

“Love indie Authors they seem to be more personal. You have more of a chance to get to know them.”

This survey was taken by mostly readers, but several authors/readers also offered their input which I am grateful for.  Most readers who took this survey were between the ages of 31-40 and were female.  We had readers from USA, ENGLAND, IRELAND, GREECE, GERMANY, AUSTRALIA, and BELGIUM take part.  Thank you SO much for your feedback.

This was only a survey of curiosity.  For all my indie authors that may read this, you can do what you will with this information, but remember to stay true to yourself no matter what.  



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