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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Do You Read?

Are you ready for some graphs?

These are the preliminary data. I haven't done any correlations (like everyone who buys ebooks also buys only novels), but I have some interesting things to share from the reading survey. The sample size was 106 people, which is very small, but not bad considering the limited run.

Who publishes the books you read?
70% of the respondents said they bought mostly Traditionally Published (ie Big 6) books.

What format do you read in? 57% said they read mostly e-books. 34% said the preferred paperback. Do you know what that means? People are buying traditionally published books in e-book format. Look at the overlap!

What length do you prefer? The respondents overwhelmingly prefer novels. 85% said they read mostly or exclusively novels. That's slightly disheartening to those of us with novellas out there waiting for readers, but it isn't surprising when you consider most Big 6 publishers only publish novel-length works (novels or anthologies).

Where do you get your books? It's no surprise that 65% of the respondents said they buy their books online. First, the people taking the survey were internet savvy and comfortable enough to take the survey, second, e-books are almost exclusively online purchases. I think this survey skewed in favor of online shoppers, but probably not by much. A larger sample size would even out the discrepancies.

The take away message from this sample size? E-books are amazing, everyone loves them, novels are still the preferred length, and the Big 6 still have some clout in the market.

I'd be interested in doing a more in-depth survey and hosting it on multiple sites so we can get a larger sample size. One hundred readers is a drop in the proverbial bucket, and there are some questions that could be phrased better. If you're interested in participating by hosting a second survey and sharing the data, please let me know.

In the meantime, what do you think of this data? Does it reflect your reading habits? Does it surprise you at all?


  1. Yeah, pretty well matches my habits. Although I read more novellas these days than novels - not always deliberately. The description doesn't always discriminate between novels and novellas, or list how many pages it is.I'd be happy to host a second survey.

  2. Happy to host a survey. I'm still not a big ebook consume & prefer paper, but I can see me trending eventually towards testing things out in ebook and buying the print if I like the series/author. Mostly I'm still working through a massive backlog of owned-but-unread print books, so there's that, too...