Last week we posted a survey designed not only to help promote independent authors and publishers but to gather a little data. True we will be sharing the information with a few unnamed sources but we would like to share some of the things we learned with you as well.
Presenting our summation, not necessarily in order with the questions:
More authors than I imagined write under a pen name and are not willing to reveal their true identity. Live and learn, huh? The reasons varied from concerns for privacy and feeling vulnerable to self-satisfaction and legal purposes. One writer confessed it is the ultimate thrill for him to write under an assumed name, comparing it to a costume party with a peep show. To each his own I say. Two independent authors admitted using pseudonyms’ for legal purposes, meaning they are under contract and are using an alias to avoid violating said contract. I am not sure how that works but your secrets are safe with me. Several thought their pen was much more appealing than their real name.
On interacting with readers we received a mixed bag of answers. Many authors stated they answer most emails but would never reply in a public forum. A few said they didn’t have time and a rarer few admitted going so far as to confront readers who wrote a negative review.
Regarding the question ‘what outlet brings you the most sales’ the top three answers were Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, in that order.
We asked, “What is important to you as an author? Example: gaining fans or making significant profits?” The majority said gaining fans.
The survey continued with “If ten readers told you they enjoyed reading your books but couldn’t afford them would you lower your prices? Why? Elaborate.” Though the majority said gaining fans was more important than significant profits they also felt lowering their prices was not an option. The most frequent explanation was the need to recoup the time and cost put into creating the title. Many authors added that the profits from print editions are already very slim and most of them offer certain e book titles free.
Lastly, nearly all believed their country was struggling financially (including US, UK and Canada) though they did not see the significance of the question and 100% of responders have their own website.
We would like to thank all who took part in our survey. We look forward to hearing more about the independent experience and sharing those findings.