It’s All About the Data!

As authors experiencing the wild world of both Indie and Traditional publishing, as well as working with authors in the capacity of Bemis Promotions, we (Liz Bemis and Jenn Stark [aka Jennifer McGowan/Jennifer Chance]) find ourselves consumed with idea of needing more data. Quick chats online or at conferences lead to more confusion than clarity, with questions from street teams to virtual assistants, freelance editors to formatters, marketing to metadata. No sooner do we learn about a cool new social media platform then another one pops up—and another. But is anyone really using those consistently to promote their books? Or is it really just about writing the next book and getting it out there?

There’s also the question of “who are we, really?” Are the majority of authors in our networks Indie authors? Hybrid authors? Traditional-only? Are they authors who have published two books or twenty? Are they making a reasonable living at this game, or is it something that’s very much a supplemental venture? And has that changed over time?

Rather than wonder, we decided to ask, creating the 2015 Author Experience Survey, containing questions to which we most wanted to know the answers (bearing in mind that we knew we couldn’t ask for the cure of cancer, or the sure-fired, absolutely iron-clad way to sell a million books… though we wanted to do so!).

The 2015 Author Experience Survey is 74 questions, and should take around ten minutes to complete. You can answer the questions using your phone or tablet, but it’s easiest on your laptop we’ve found.

You’ll notice we’re not asking for a lot of demographic data. We are not statisticians, and this survey is not intended to dig into your race, gender, age, or sexual preference. We do ask about things like costs and revenue, but all data is completely anonymous, and no author names will be shared.

Click here to take part!

Want to share the survey? Here’s a sample Tweet/FB Post, which will link back to this post:
What was your Author Experience like over the past year? Take the 10-minute survey!

If we receive a robust response (and the more robust the better!) we will post results on this blog within two weeks of the survey’s end. The survey will be live from Thursday, April 16 – Friday, April 25.

We’re hoping for at least 100 responses, so tell your friends! In fact, tell a LOT of friends—we will have a drawing for a $50 gift card to your favorite e-tailer for whoever is mentioned the most in question 74. “How did you hear about this survey? Who recommended it to you?”

In the meantime, a question for all those authors out there:

What is your biggest need as an author? Answer in the comments below!

48 responses to “It’s All About the Data!”

  1. Jenn Stark says:

    ~Waves~ Thanks so much for hosting today, all! I share a few other GH classes with some of you. 🙂

    Honestly, when Liz and I started kicking around the idea of an author experience survey, my biggest need as an author was to know “do I REALLY need to engage in social media?? Seriously?”. 🙂 But the more we dug into the idea, and the more we asked other people to weigh in, the more questions we had!

    So please note that the survey *will* take every bit of ten minutes to complete! It’s mostly multiple choice, and I think the data will be interesting to share once we have it, but again… ten minutes!

  2. Liz Talley says:

    I did the survey and I would love to see the data. I suspect that the biggest need for every author is visibility. Or maybe that’s me. I feel like I’m standing in a ditch waving my hands waiting for someone to look over and say, “Oh, yeah, I remember you. What in the hell happened?”

    But we all know what happens in this business. It’s business. So all niceties aside, we have to act like business people to a degree. No longer can we be the brooding writer who turns her masterpiece manuscript in after a year on the desolate coast for 50K and a book launch in NYC. It’s a wild and wooly rodeo to see who can hang on the longest. And the whole rodeo is really confusing.

    Good luck with the survey 🙂

  3. Addison Fox says:

    Great Survey!!!!!

  4. I took the survey and I can’t wait to see the data. I’ll go and plug the survey on my other writer sites.

    Thanks for putting this together.

  5. Just took it. I look forward to the results! Great topic. 🙂

  6. Done! Excited to see results!

  7. Tracey Rogers says:

    Interesting survey. Look forward to the results.
    If the author Godmother should visit I’d be asking for more reviews and greater visibility 🙂

  8. Jenn Stark says:

    Thanks to everyone who has commented and taken the survey! I was teaching a class today (and my hat goes off to all teachers–I don’t know how you do that every day! I’m exhausted, and my students were adults!) so I’m just now catching up. 🙂

  9. Lisa Hughey says:

    I took the survey. I’m always fascinated to see results. 🙂 The biggest need today is (as everyone has said) to increase discoverability.

  10. Sarah Andre says:

    Link just took me back to your post. I clicked on others who’d tweeted the link and the same thing happened.

  11. jbrayweber says:

    Done! Can’t wait for the results!

  12. Very thorough survey. Can’t wait to see the results!

  13. Kate Parker says:

    I took the survey, and now I want to see where I fell compared to my fellow writers. I wonder if we all have the same questions about this business – questions that never really go away no matter what the experience level.

  14. Great survey, Liz. I hope my answers are helpful. Love your new author photo!


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