How Do Readers Find Books They Want to Read? – Survey Results

 

image by Conmongt

Authors, where will you spend your time and resources to reach readers?

The chart below shows the results from my survey, How Do Readers Find Books They Want to Read? The analysis below gives you methods represented by the bars and the percent of forty-three participants who chose the methods.

I don’t claim the results to be statistically sound but the patterns are interesting. They may give authors some thoughts about where they want to put their time and money in promoting their books.

 

 

Analysis

 

1. What readers participating DON’T do.

         –  2. Attend book fairs (0%)

         – 11. Click on Facebook ads (0%)

         – 12. Click on Twitter ads (0%)

         – 13. Click on Goodreads ads (0%)

         – 25. Subscribe to blogs that review books (0%)

We know people do use these, but not these forty-three participants. My personal experience from an author’s perspective agrees with these results.

2. The two most popular methods readers use are the old staples.

         –  4. Act on word of mouth (56%)

         – 22. Look for books by their favorite authors (58%)

Probably, nobody is surprised. So, we authors probably should put more of our time and resources into becoming better writers and writing more great stories in well-edited books. Create the buzz.

3. Readers still like to peruse bookstores – brick and mortar and online.

         –  1. Peruse bookstores (26%)

 – 15. Peruse reviews & star ratings on online bookstore sites (Amazon,   CBD, B&N) (26%)

4. What some participants do may be the up and coming.

         – 8. Read mainly series and get the next book in the series (16%)

         – 9. Click on “Customers who bought this book, also bought …” (Amazon) (19%)

         – 18. Belong to book sites that report deals in your genre (BookBub, Libroso, Inspired Reads, BookGorilla) (19%)

Writing series and getting our books on sites where readers subscribe may be time well spent

5. The rest of the story.

         –  3. Find recommendations in newspapers or other publications (16%*)

         –  5. Investigate books announced through emails from authors about new books, or deals on old ones (9%)

         –  7. Investigate books mentioned in authors’ sidebars on their blogs or websites (9%)

         – 14. Look at reviews and recommendations on Goodreads (9%)

         – 24. Investigate books promoted on Facebook (9%)

         – 10. Click on “Sponsored products related to this item …” (Amazon ads) (5%)

         – 21. Look for books on certain publishers’ sites (5%)

         – 16. Attended Facebook parties to receive free giveaways (5%)

         –  6. Subscribe and use suggestions from authors’ newsletters (2%)

         – 17. Comment on blogs with giveaways to receive free books (2%)

         – 19. Belong to KindleUnlimited or a similar program (2%)

         – 20. Go to Online Libraries (2%)

         – 23. Investigate books promoted on Twitter (2%)

         – 26. Belong to a site where I choose free books to review (Authors Cross-Promotion) (2%)

         – 27. Purchase box sets looking for new authors (2%)

*Some of these participants said they only read nonfiction.

Two results surprised me. I expected more participants to belong to KindleUnlimited and fewer to peruse bookstores.

Again, the survey only shows patterns among forty-three participants that I polled through blog comments, Facebook, Twitter, and emails.

Survey results: how readers find books they want to read.  Click to tweet.

What did or didn’t surprise you from the above patterns?

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4 Resources to Help You Become Awesome at Creating Blog Titles

“Just because you have to be accurate doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your title pop.” — Corey Eridon

by geralt
by geralt

We can improve our reach by spending more time on wording our blog titles. Going a step further: We need to improve the headlines on all online content we write.

narciso1
narciso1

Whether we write how-to or journal type blogs, newsletters, interviews, devotionals, emails, or any other online content, we can reach more people with attention-grabbing titles.

 

 

 

 Would you click on any of these? I’ve seen similar ones online.

by geralt
by geralt

How-to blog: My Thoughts on Writing
Journal blog: Opening Day
Newsletter: My Book Update
Interview: Interview with Drew Smith
Devotional: A Look at Ephesians
Email: Visit My Blog Today

None intrigues me enough to click.

Below are links and descriptions of 4 posts that will help you write awesome blog titles.

I believe their principles carry over for titling other online content. Also, note the bloggers’ titles tell us the benefit of reading their posts.

1.  74 Attention-Grabbing Blog Titles That Actually Work by Larry Kim

http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/74-attention-grabbing-blog-titles-that-actually-work.html

For those who find templates helpful Kim provides 74 in his post. I used #34 for this blog post title. He gives the statistic that 26% of Buzzfeed’s 60,000 top ariticles are “listicles,” e.g. 10 Tips… or 8 Reasons….

2.  10 Sure-Fire Title Formulas That Attract Readers by James Scherer

http://blog.wishpond.com/post/60276168559/10-sure-fire-blog-title-formulas-that-attract-readers

For Scherer’s 10 blog title formulas, he gives real-life examples plus three more examples in his “How you can do it:” sections. Here are a few of the types of blog titles Scherer discusses:

  1. “Cutting-edge information”
  2. “Using phrases like ‘need to know’”
  3. “Creating the curiosity gap”
by Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
by Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3.  Tips for Writing Blog Titles that Earn ReTweets by Jasmine Henry

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/tips-writing-blog-titles-earn-retweets

Henry shares a surprising finding that shows a great blog title is important for reasons other than grabbing readers. Many people will retweet links to titles on content they haven’t read.

Henry promotes these blog title characteristics: actionable, brief (70 character limit), clear, emphatic, intriguing, and keyword-oriented. She discusses each and gives examples.

4.  The Dark Science of Naming Your Post: Based on Studying 100 Blogs by Iris Shoor

http://www.startupmoon.com/the-dark-science-of-naming-your-post-based-on-studying-100-blogs/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I found this one through Jasmine Henry’s post. Shoor found in her study on tech related posts that “The post title has a huge impact on the numbers.” She talks about what words and phrases to use. Like the others, she advocates using numbers and goes into more depth in how to use them. Shoor also lists what doesn’t work. A surprise to her, and to me, was that including “you” or “how to” in the title seems to have no viral affect on posts.

Find out what makes a blog title work. Use this info to title all online content. Click to tweet.

What social media title grabbed you?

3 Resources You Need to Write a Readable Novel

“Most people have no idea of the gigantic capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” —Anthony Robbins

by dave
by dave

We could drown in all the resources available to improve the writing of our novels. But we can develop three general resources that will make a big difference in the writing and readability of our books.

Resource 1: A General Writing Method from Start to End

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We have many great writing methods to choose and study from. When I tried to incorporate several, I became overwhelmed. And sometimes confused.

I think it’s best to choose one method that fits your style and study that one method. I went with My Book Therapy’s take on the 3-Act Structure. You can find other great ones, such as Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method.

I joined the people at My Book Therapy online, attended one of their week-long workshops, and purchased their manuals. I sit in on their sessions at writers’ conferences. I feel like I’m getting a good grasp of the concepts.

Of course, I learn from many varied resources, but I have my foundation in one method.

Tweetable

  • Find one general writing method that fits you and study it. click to tweet

Resource 2: Teachings from Writing Experts That Will Take You Deeper

by kumarnm
by kumarnm

Once you’ve chosen a foundation method, you’ll want to go deeper.

I learned the following concepts from My Book Therapy, but going deeper has helped me round out the concepts. These spoke to me the most.

• For the hook and the inciting incident: Hooked by Les Edgerton
• For techniques and strategies: Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
• For elements characters must possess: Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon
• For methods to get inside main characters: Rivet Your Reader with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (See my Deep Point of View post.)

You can find many more recommended resources if you join writers groups.

Tweetable

  • Once you’re comfortable with the elements of writing, go deeper. click to tweet

Resource 3: Your Arsenal of Quick References

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The reference sources below have been recommended repeatedly in various venues. I use them for most of my questions. Besides a click-away dictionary and thesaurus, I also have lists I’ve found online. For example, long lists of alternate words for the act of walking, pulling, etc. Lists of clichés to avoid or re-mold.

The Chicago Manual of Style put out by The University of Chicago Press. Used by many editors. I got the online version.
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty.
Polishing the “Pugs” by Kathy Ide. Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling.
Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer “When you know what you want to say but can’t think of the word.”
The Positive Traits Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi.
The Negative Traits Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and David King.

Tweetable

  • Build an arsenal of online or paper copy references to keep at your fingertips. click to tweet

What are the writing resources you go back to time and again?