Should Indie Authors Survey Their Readers?

Surveyor
Surveys Can Point Out Better Ways to Go.

Taking a page out of business school (please, bear with me, I like to think the effort to get that MBA years ago was good for something), in my post last week, in addition to a “teaser” from my next book, I included a link to a brief, 5-question survey.

Why? More to the point, why would I use this blog to recommend it to you as an idea?

Well, there are compelling reasons to survey your readers … and the best one is exactly what you might think … to find out where you are.

Understand the Magic
If you’re an indie writer, I’m sure you already know the uphill battle you face to attract readers. One of the best ways to attract them is to write spectacular books.

Another way starts when you use your author platform to discover what they like about you (or, better yet, what they dislike).

Then do something about it.

Author Platform?
You may not have a separate blog started about your writing, but you should at least have a web site. There are numerous good web-site builders, like Site Builder, Web Site Builder, or the one I use … iPage.

There are others, to be sure, but whichever one you choose, make sure you include a way to talk to your readers. Knowing what keeps those readers coming back is one of the secrets to success.

Customer Satisfaction
Satisfied readers are those who don’t have any outstanding negative issues with you. That’s usually because (1) you either write really good stories, or (2) you give them a chance to find out who you are.

Not just as a writer, but as a person.

Your communication needs to let them know what you’re all about. Don’t constantly scream “buy my book” at them. Oh, you can say it, of course. Just don’t let it be the sole reason you say anything.

Let them find out who you really are.

Like admitting you really didn’t watch much of the Super Bowl this past weekend … just looked at the highlights so you could converse with your friends that did.

Oh … and sympathetic listening is essential.

Why the Survey?
The magic that happens when readers start talking about your work and referring it to others is called loyalty. But it must be earned.

You wouldn’t rely on mere “gut feelings” to make important business decisions, would you? You need to base your decisions on objective information. Hence the survey.

If you’re trying to interest someone with your writing (whether it’s a blog like this or a novel), how you go about it is a business decision.

Make it wisely.

So, What Did I Learn?
Unfortunately, only a small portion of readers (a little more than 1%) took the time to visit (and take) the survey but, from those who did, I got some interesting feedback. Most think this blog meets their needs. That, in itself is nice to know.

Things were pretty evenly divided between “leave it alone”“add more podcasts” and “add more writing samples.” I can work on that without changing too much.

However, in my opinion, the most significant response was to the question about trust. One hundred percent of the answers I received said they trust the information they find here.

All I can say to that is … thanks. I’ll try to keep on earning it.

jan2016 survey
 

 

**********

My books have all garnered some terrific reviews, and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can also follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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