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Reader Behavior Survey -- The Results Are In!


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The Reader Behavior Survey was done to give authors insight into how readers think, what they like, what makes them act, and how to interact with them. Understand readers psychologically and boost your career.

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Reader Behavior Survey -- The Results Are In!

  1. 1. The Reader Behavior Survey Stats that will help you as an author (A lot)
  2. 2. Hi! I’m Daeus, a published novelist and a guy who wants to help you learn how to connect well with readers. A while ago, I put together a survey called The Reader Behavior Survey, asking readers a set of questions to delve into, well--their behavior. I wanted to find out what readers want from authors, what makes them act, and the basics of how they process things psychologically. I knew this info would be hugely helpful to authors as they build their careers and try to provide the best for their readers. Now that the stats are in, I wanted to share them with you. Enjoy!
  3. 3. Quick thing first. The respondents for this survey weren't as many or as well mixed as I would have liked, so these stats may be slightly off due to that. If they are though, it shouldn’t be by much. I had 229 people take this survey. Two important factors to note about the demographics of those who took this survey are that they were disproportionately (1) young and (2) conservative as compared with the normal population.
  4. 4. And another thing. There’s a lot of conclusions we can draw from this data, but I’m not able to put them all in this slide show. If you have any questions about the data or how to apply it, simply put that in the comments below and I’ll try to interact with you. (Daeuses like interacting with people. Yes, precious.) Now, on to the results!
  5. 5. Note: the following graphic has the same options for people to pick as in the previous one and they are listed in the same order.
  6. 6. Did you see that! All of these avenues are good ways to sell book, but it looks like word of mouth marketing blows all other avenues out of the water! Since word of mouth marketing is so big, we want to know as much as we can about how it works. That’s what much of this survey is about. On a lesser note, but still an important one, I’d like you to notice how much potential there is in selling books through physical venues. The internet hasn’t taken over completely yet.
  7. 7. Booo Yeah! We’re on to a new section all about word of mouth marketing. Buckle your seat belts people. This is going to be real good.
  8. 8. Oh, yeah. Note: for all questions with answers ranging from a 1 to a 10, 1 is a very strong no and 10 a very strong yes.
  9. 9. No big surprise there. I just wanted to make sure.
  10. 10. With the two factors that for most people it wasn’t that important, but for about a quarter of people it was, I’d say this means that covers aren’t “the big issue”, but if your cover isn’t good that might influence people against referring your book to others.
  11. 11. Wow! Shocker. I would have expected more positive votes. Now, of course, you can’t just forget about characters because everything in writing is so interrelated and you need to write a great story all around in order to really get the word of mouth ramped up, but the stats are the stats. If (and this is a big if) you could only focus one area of writing to really make your book stand out, characters would not be that area. You’ll see what that area is in our next slide… Cliff hanger!!!
  12. 12. This is perhaps the biggest revelation in this whole survey. For ⅖ of readers, they voted a 10 for this question, meaning a book's thematic quality is the decision making factor in whether they share a book. Many others gave this an 8 or 9. Obviously, if you want word of mouth marketing to work in your favor, you need to really know how to write a good theme.
  13. 13. Ok, this is REALLY huge
  14. 14. It’s so huge in fact, that I need to stop right now and tell you about how we here at Kingdom Pen have been going all out and overboard to provide you with everything you need to know to write themes as good as the greatest of the classical masters. We’ve put together and advanced course titled, “Theme Mastery: Writing Christian Literature That Captivates”* This course will walk you step by step to become a theme ninja. *(Live, as of May 22, 2017)
  15. 15. After May 22, 2017, you can find the course by going to
  16. 16. Because I can’t shut up about it, let me tell you what some of our students have said about the course. (And yes, I am sparing you the all-caps-screaming-reviews because I don’t want to seem too crazy here. I’m only a writer after all! I can’t be that weird.) “There's so much to say, I can’t say it. I literally feel like I can take on the world.” “This is seriously the best writing course I’ve taken. All my theme work before was pretty much instinctive, without any solid planning besides a confused mix of message and some foils, but this course laid everything out so well.”
  17. 17. ‘Nuff said. Back to business.
  18. 18. Wow! Plot wins big points! Although it’s not quite as big of a factor as theme, it does come very close. So what action points should you take to make sure your plot meets what readers are hoping for? Glad you asked!
  19. 19. Here’s what you can do. 1.) Study story structure. (*cough* *cough* Read K.M.Weiland, people.) 2.) Share your outline with others to get feedback on it before you start writing. 3.) Wield relational complexity to its fullest as this is the stuff from which stellar plots come arise. 4.) Use plot twists. 5.) Use cliffhangers. 6.) Twist clichés.
  20. 20. As you can see, prosaic quality isn’t the issue, but it’s still pretty important. There are many ways to improve your prose, but one of the best is to master descriptions. Check out these three great articles on KP to see how you can write descriptions like a master: 1. 2. descriptions/ 3.
  21. 21. The following slide is pretty self explanatory.
  22. 22. This is huge. If you have a free book that a reader has read and loves so much they want to tell others about it, it’s very likely they’ll get a few of their friends to read it. As we’ll see later, if you have a good free offer to incentivize subscribers, at least one of those friends will probably subscribe to your newsletter. Pretty cool, huh? :D
  23. 23. Hey, not bad. If a reader loves your book and tells several of their friends about it, there’s a fairly good chance one of those friends could buy a copy.
  24. 24. YES! This is what I’m talking about. If you have an ebook, it is very easy to put a social media sharing link in there. This makes it very convenient for readers to share your book. #freemarketing #boohyeah
  25. 25. Ok, so this isn’t quite as cool. Some people would still share, but it’s a small number and you have to ask yourself, “are these people who would be sharing my book on social media anyway?” I’m not saying this isn’t worth doing, but personally, for my paperbacks, I don’t think I’ll do this. Instead, I’ll probably include a call to action asking readers to lend my book to a friend if they liked it. That’s something a lot of people already do with their print books, but they need reminders.
  26. 26. That concludes our section about word of mouth marketing. Now we’re on to questions on email opt-ins, incentives, and email engagement.
  27. 27. The question here is whether that 9.3% is worth it to add an audiobook option to your free incentive. Even if you’re recording it yourself, that takes time and dedication. Personally, I think this is a great idea for authors who are adding ~1,000 subscribers or more to their list a year, but not so much for small, starting off authors.
  28. 28. Based on the results of these past two questions, I would like to draw three principles.
  29. 29. Principle #1 Involve your readers in your upcoming book. Not only does this get them excited about it, but it’s what they want from you.
  30. 30. Principle #2 The goal of sending emails to your subscribers should be to turn fans into friends. The fact that promotionals were the thing readers least wanted to be notified about shows us readers don’t like being treated like statistics. The fact that ⅖ of respondents specifically stated they want to be treated like friends reinforces this bold fact. Now thou knowest the truth. Live by it. *severe stare*
  31. 31. So should you still do promotionals? Of course. The same number of people want promotionals as don’t, and you need to remember you’re running a business. Just don’t do too many though. Also, what about those people who didn’t want to receive emails about the author’s personal life? Well, obviously you shouldn’t offend them too much, but occasional offenses are well worth it. Why? Because a fan who thinks of you as a friend is worth several normal fans. Plus, they’re friends. Have I made myself clear?
  32. 32. Principle #3 Writing emails should be just as much an artistic practice as writing a novel. I’m basing this in part off my intuition, but mainly off the fact that so many readers want funny content--even if there’s not a big point to it! So what if all your emails were funny (or really creative) no matter what the content was? Wouldn’t readers devour your emails? When you write emails, don’t treat it like a chore. Let your creative juices flow!
  33. 33. For a bonus, here are some things a few respondents voluntarily listed as email content they like to receive. 1.) Q&As either between the author and his readers or the author and one of his characters. 2.) Fan art and fanfiction. 3.) Some readers want to see you fan out about the same fandoms they’re crazy over.
  34. 34. What we can glean from this? First, as you can see, the top three winners are all things that show your friendship to the reader. #friendshipwillconquer. So how could you get readers’ addresses to mail something to them? It’s up to your creativity, but you might ask them directly. It would cost you some money to mail them, but the loyalty it would build would probably be worth it. I also like to see that people would be interested in printable art and posters. It wouldn’t cost you anything, but it might prompt some word of mouth sharing.
  35. 35. And we’re on to our last section about libraries and lending books.
  36. 36. Boom! Hunk of wisdom there for you. If you can get your book into a library, it can be a good marketing opportunity for you.
  37. 37. Embarassing story. There were two questions in the survey that I’m not listing here. The questions were about if readers would donate books to libraries (and almost unanimously, they wouldn’t). Well, it turns out that many (if not most or all) libraries do not accept donations. Live and learn. However, I did find out that you can suggest a book to most libraries, which means… (next slide, please)
  38. 38. Which means that if you have a substantial email list, you can share with them how to recommend a book to their library and then suggest that they try it out with your book. Will they do it? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try, don’t you think?
  39. 39. What a nice note to end on. Aren’t there some great friendships out there? *sniffle* *sniffle* *tissues* The great thing for us here is that if we can get these people to lend our books, that equals a lot of free marketing. Well, thanks for reading all the way through this huuuuggee slideshow. I hope you’ll be a better writer for it! Again, if you have any questions, please just chat with me in the comments section below. Till then!
  40. 40. Tricked you. This is actually the last slide. What’s it for? To send you over to Kingdom Pen, of course, where you can find more great content like this. Somebody told me I should also self promote, so I guess I’d better do that. Check out my books below. Edwin Brook Treachery Against The House Of Fairwin (Pst. It’s free.)