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?

COOKING UP KISSES  – the $0.99 deal for all five books ends July 18.

Five scrumptious e-book romance novellas, all for $0.99 or free on KindleUnlimited. Here’s the link.  Here are the blurbs:

 

 

 

Story Setting Part 1: It’s More Than a Place

image by homar
image by homar

What’s Included in Setting?

 

A story setting is more than the place(s) where the author sets characters. It provides the environment in which your drama unfolds, so establish it early in your story. It’s interactive—creating the mood, giving meaning to the plot, and strengthening the story theme.

umbrella-589164_1280Elements Under the Setting Umbrella

  • Locale (state, neighborhood, island, saw mill, school)
  • Weather (tornados, tsunamis, snow, fog, sand storms)
  • Atmosphere (lighting, humidity, clutter, noise, crowding)
  • Props (candle, perfume, bowie knife, vacuum cleaner, harpoon)
  • Era (Civil War, Information Age, Roaring Twenties, Ancient Greece, Civil Rights Movement)
  • Time (1942, summer, dawn, Christmas, Independence day, February)
  • Culture (social practices, laws, fads, morals & mores, politics)
  • Geography (mountains, plains, marshes, islands, deserts)
  • Plant and animal life (whales, palms, rice paddies, grizzly bears, kangaroos)
  • Population (dense NYC/Hong Kong; small town; deserted island, Indian reservation; military camp)
  • Manmade entities (ports, burial grounds, cities, museums, pyramids)
  • Agriculture (vineyard, ranches, plantations, soil, minerals)
  • Ancestral heritage (unique groups, cuisine, dialect, attitudes, religions)
  • Climate influences (ocean currents, notable winds, latitude, altitude, tropics)
  • Fantasy/Sci-fi (portals, magical/Sci-fi phenomena, future era, topography, climate)

Tips to Write a Setting

 

1. For authenticity, characters must interact with the things surrounding them. The things characters interact with should be meaningful to the story.

2.  Setting can be woven into the story through:

  • image by Wengen (Corcovado Christ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
    image by Wengen (Corcovado Christ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
    known landmarks (Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, Alamo)
  • communication devices of the period (smoke signals, black desk telephones, tablets)
  • items characters use (laser gun, plow & mule, data cards)
  • clothing (gingham dress, polyester bikini, sari)
  • music (minuet, country, reggae),
  • popular sayings (swell, groovy, ballistic)
  • rooms (lanai, parlor, veranda)
  • types of buildings (shack, palace, cottage)
  • events (bubonic plague, gold rush, D-day)
  • jobs (chimney sweep, backhoe operator, financial planner)

3. What level of setting details is needed?

  • At one end, familiar settings may need only a few details for a reader to understand the characters’ environment.
  • At the other end, created worlds and settings that are considered a character may need intricate and abundant details (a haunted house as a character).
  • Once the reader understands the setting, detailing elements may seem repetitive, especially for faster paced stories. Occasional references or, more often, using the characters’ interactions with setting elements may be more appropriate.

 

image by pashminu
image by pashminu

4. View the location as if you’re employing a movie camera.

  • First, decide the locations, and the places within locations, that best support your plot, characters, and story mood.
  • Then view the place through your camera lens. This will force you to consider all facets of the place so that you supply, or make more vivid, the features the reader needs in grasping the setting.

5. Mention notable items that readers familiar with the area expect to appear in the setting.

In Part 2, we’ll look at fictional vs. real settings.

Story setting is more than a place; consider this list of the elements. Click to tweet.

What tip do you have to ensure readers understand the story’s setting?

4 Steps to Capture Time to Do Your Creative Work

“One definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Children do what feels good; adults devise a plan and follow it.” —Dave Ramsey

Image courtesy of coward_lion at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of coward_lion at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your book, painting, or speech is important. You want to have peace in progressing on your project. But there’s no time anymore.

Here are 4 steps to capture peace in this hectic world. Don’t worry. I won’t tell you to work faster. We have our own paces that can be improved only so much.

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1.   Outlooks

I’m taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class. He teaches us to view money, our needs, and our wants in a new light. Under God’s principles, we can be debt-free and have money to save, spend, and give. Ramsey says we, not banks, ads, or credit cards, need to tell our money where to go. This is a new outlook.

The same is true for our time. We, not other people or things,  need to tell our time what it should go to. Under God’s principles, we can be rush-free and have time to work, play, and help others.

Image courtesy of worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2.   Behaviors

In Ramsey’s class, he tells us we can’t be debt-free and have money to save, spend, and give if we don’t change our behavior. He says we must have a budget we live by that tells every cent of our income where we want it to go. For most of us, this is new behavior.

The same is true for our time. We must change our behavior. We need to have a budget we live by that tells every minute what we decide it’ll go to. If we need help, we can join an accountability group.

For example, I divide my weekdays into 5 blocks of time and assign the work, play, and help I’ll do in each.

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

3.    Trade-Offs

From Ramsey’s class, he tells us in creating our monthly budget we’ll have trade-offs. Our actual or estimated income is fixed in our budgets. If we decide to do one thing with our money, it means we can’t do something else with it. What we tell our money to do is about making wise trade-offs.

The same is true for our time. Our time is fixed. We need to make wise trade-offs of our time.

If we decide to shop with a friend, spend hours on social media, and sleep in an extra hour on workdays, that’s fine. We get to decide. But what will we trade-off so we can do these things? Time with the kids? Making progress on our creative work? Read a book? We decide.

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4.   Emergencies

In Ramsey’s class, we learn to set up an emergency fund so our budgets aren’t attacked when crises arise.

The same is true for our time. We need to build in emergency time into our time budgets. With one to two hours built into your weekly budget for true emergencies, you’ll protect your planned goals.

Tweetable

  • We can complete our creative work in rush-free peace.
    click to tweet

How do you fit your creative work into a week’s time?