Aug 232013

Recently ebook industry insider Marie Force conducted a survey of 3000 readers asking carefully targeted questions about their practices and preferences. Widely reported in the media, it is the most extensive such survey so far in the age of digital publishing and it offers much food for thought.

Some of the findings were shocking, some amusing, some counter-intuitive, some disturbing. No one who writes or wants to write erotic romance or erotica should fail to read the findings.

 For those who may have missed it, WriteSex has summarized the findings. To make their significance more apparent, we have arranged the answers by percentages.

eBooks Versus Print

77 percent preferred ebooks

Where Readers Buy Books

80 percent buy their books from Amazon

23 percent Barnes & Noble

13 percent iBookstore


58 percent of have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year

75 percent visit less than once a month

Romance Biggest Genre

81 percent of those surveyed listed romance as their favorite genre

5 percent chose mystery

Importance of Publisher

64 percent say it doesn’t matter who publishes a book

33 percent say it sometimes influences them

4 percent say the publisher’s name influences their decision to buy

Self-Published Books

68 percent are reluctant to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them.

Where Readers Learn about Books

18 percent, Facebook

17 percent retail sites Amazon, B&N, etc.

13 percent Goodreads

10 percent author websites

Where Readers Learn About Favorite Author Books

63 percent author websites

62 percent Facebook

36 percent author newsletters

27 percent Goodreads

19 percent Twitter

18 percent retail sites

What Reviews Sources Influence Readers

50 percent choose books based on reviews posted to retail sites

16 percent based their decisions on Goodreads reviews

13 percent were influenced by blog reviews

10 percent were influenced by publication reviews (RT Book Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, etc.)

Publications that Influence the Decision to Purchase a Book

76 percent said none

13 percent said RT Book Reviews

Influence of Starred Ratings

43 percent will not buy a book with a low rating – unless they hear something good about it

38 percent will try a book if they like the cover and sample, despite a low rating

11 percent responded that starred reviews do not influence them

9 percent choose based on stared reviews and will only purchase books with high ratings

Free Books

85 percent were more likely to buy another book from the author if they liked a free book

35 percent have been discovered new authors via free books more than 20 times.

21 percent have found new authors through free books more than 10 times.

What Readers Like in a Story

75 percent of readers chose all these qualities:

outstanding characters, setting, storytelling and

Typographical Errors

33-three percent said typos don’t bother them

27 percent said they’d give an author a second chance if there were lots of typos in the first

24 percent said typos ruin their reading experience

8 percent said they would never buy another book from an author whose book was full of mistakes

Bestseller Effect

72% said the presence of banners like NY Times bestseller do not influence them

60 percent of those surveyed never look at a bestseller lists

28 percent said such banners do influence them

Influential Newsletters

84 percent subscribe to the newsletters of their favorite authors,

5 percent subscribe to the blogs of their favorite authors.

50 percent subscribe to BookBub to find out about free and reduced-price books

31 percent subscribe to Kindle Fire Department.

Social Media

60 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter whereas

87 percent of those surveyed do follow their favorite authors on Facebook.

85 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Pinterest, and

86 percent do not look for authors on any other social media platform besides those already listed

Pricing and Length

52 percent said if they want a book badly they don’t care what it costs.

22 percent said they will not pay more than $4.99 for a book.

68 percent are looking for novellas (20-25,000 words) in the $0.99 to $1.99 range

21 percent said they would pay up to $2.99 for a novella

26 percent said they would pay $4.99 for a full-length novel

19 percent said they would pay $5.99 for a novel

13 percent said $7.99

12 percent said $6.99.

Bonus Material (interviews, short stories)

34 percent won’t pay extra for a book with bonus material

26 percent will pay extra for “bonus” material, such as a short story

Favorite Author Endorsement

60 percent say author blurbs or endorsements do not influence what they buy

40 percent say an endorsement by a favorite author does influence what they buy

Audio Books

70 percent replied that they do not buy audio books

15 percent had bought audio books via Audible

11 percent at Amazon

7 percent iTunes

Of those Who Buy Audio Books…

18 percent bought between one and 10 audio books per year

4 percent bought more than 20 audio books in the last year.

Book Trailers

54 percent of those surveyed have never watched a video trailer for a book

8 percent have bought a book because of a trailer

Book Covers

53 percent are influenced by a well-designed, attractive book cover

32 percent are not influenced by covers

Mar 202013

We had a bit of a snafu with the original site and while that sucks we lost, (we may try to buy it back in the future) the WriteSEX site still lives on, continuing our mission of providing you with quality information on the business of erotica, publishing, writing or otherwise.

This site will be fully up to date before next week, as I leave for Frolicon.  We have a panel there first and foremost, plus a lot of ground to cover by our talented authors in their absence.

Topics I plan to cover when my slot is up:

  • The Agent/Author relationship
  • Deeper POV in sex
  • Knowing your story and THE story – The key difference in writing the synopsis and blurb
  • Crafting the Synopsis that Sells (and that editors like)
  • Leveling up (or when it’s time to take your career to the next level)
  • And many more.

I’m pondering adding the RSS feeds from Chris and Thomas, will definitely add the one from Deborah Riley Magnus to help you all.  She’s presenting some exciting opportunities for serious authors.

The audio from DragonCONs past will be throw back up too.

Rotation will start next Thursday, March 28th.  I’ll be in Atlanta, but the post will be up by then along with some of the site features restored!

On behalf of the WriteSEX team, welcome back!