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Reader Survey

SB and DA iconI’m privileged to be able to give a presentation at this month’s Tools of Change conference along with Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches Trashy Books and Editor Angela James from Carina Press.

Our presentation is what readers want and it is based on conversations we’ve had with ebook readers for over four years on our blogs, in email and on message boards. But folks like hard numbers along with anecdotes so we’ve put together a survey and would love for you to fill it out. If you do fill it out, you’ll be entered to win $250.00 toward books or an ebook reader of your choice.

Survey Link Here

It’s an opportunity for your voice to be heard.

Please feel to repost this entire thing anywhere you think it would be useful. I can provide you with the html code if you like.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Martins
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 11:40:32

    Just filled out the survey. Not too long, and some thought-provoking questions. Thanks for the opportunity to say something and feel like someone is listening! Good luck with the presentation.

  2. Ros
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 12:04:15

    I filled it in, but I wanted to make one extra addition to my answers. I think I said I wouldn’t pay more than $9.99 for an ebook. I hesitated about that because the reality is that many of the books I buy for my studies cost over $100. If electronic versions of those were available, I’d happily pay significantly more than $9.99, especially if they were cut-and-pastable into my note-taking files. For a novel, however, I haven’t paid more than $9.99 and I don’t think I would be likely to.

    Actually, I think the specialist academic market really ought to consider ebooks. Many of those texts are published in very short runs, and have very high cover prices, making them accessible only to libraries and institutions. A cheaper ebook edition would, I think, generate quite a lot more sales among individual students and scholars.

  3. Eve Paludan
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 12:51:41

    I filled it out, as well. I look forward to seeing the survey results.

  4. rebyj
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 13:10:48

    I filled it out as well. It didn’t take long at all and I hope you get some useful information from everyone.

    I really enjoyed the TOC conference tweets last year. I hope you all are going to use twitter updates again this year.

  5. TKF
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 13:16:38

    Am I the only one who can’t get through the full thing? When I linked through on SB it crapped out after page one then told me I couldn’t start over or go back. When I linked through over here, I got to start over, but it crapped out again after page five. *grumble*

    At this point I give up.

  6. Ros
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 13:22:32

    I filled in the survey, but I wanted to add something to the question about pricing. I answered $9.99 which is what I’d be prepared to pay for a novel, I think. But a lot of the academic books I use for my research have price tags over $100 for hardcopies and I would be prepared to pay considerably more than $9.99 for a digital copy of some of those. Actually, I think publishers are missing a trick here. These books have tiny print runs and are generally only bought by libraries and institutions and just a handful of rich scholars. I think that cheap digital versions would have a much bigger market among students and scholars.

  7. Jane
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 13:43:32

    @TKF If you email me, I’ll send you your survey and you can email me back the remainder of the survey which I will fill in for you. jane at or I can delete your survey and you can try again.

  8. kaigou
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 13:44:05

    Just a note: on the final page (I think it is), the spacing is funky, putting two options on one line, instead of a line for each. That might throw off some of your answers, if folks don’t realize that the pattern’s changed.

  9. joanne
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 14:26:08

    Like this day didn’t already suck, now I have to go around feeling badly because I admitted in the survey that I don’t share books with friends — and that I was also thinking Are You Crazy?! Share my books?

    I would give someone a book or buy someone a book but I don’t share my books.
    I really, really feel despicable.
    But I’m not sharing my books.

  10. RStewie
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 14:37:00

    I filled it out. I wished the Agree/Disagree part had an option for Don’t Really Care, because a lot of those options I don’t care about. Also, I wanted another price point. I cap my ebooks at $7. Because I wouldn’t pay more than that for the MMP version.

    @joanne: Im also not a sharer. I barely suggest books anymore… then again, my sister’s favorite book is Shanna, so that might be why. We diverge a little too much.

  11. Booklover1335
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 14:44:08

    there were a few items that I wish would have had additional options, but I’ve finished the survey and can’t remember exactly what they were. Since it only allows one user I wasn’t able to take a look at the questions again. I didn’t even think to write them down at the time.

    I would be willing to share this post if you send me the HTML I will post it this weekend if it is not too late.

    you can email at cldivineATyahooDOTcom

  12. Kerry
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 15:17:33

    There was one question where I really wanted to add an extra option, so I made a comment in the comment box further up the page. I hope I haven’t confused things too much.

  13. Ella Drake
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 15:20:56

    Filled out the survey & like Kerry, there was one question that I wanted another option for, so I commented in the last comment box.

  14. Jane
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 15:26:15

    @Ella Drake No problem. Thanks for helping us out.

  15. Jane
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 15:26:35

    @Kerry No problem! Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

  16. library addict
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 17:10:04

    I filled it out. I answered yes did you buy your ebook reader as there wasn’t a “I don’t have one” option and it wouldn’t let me not answer.

    Also, the what is the most you’d pay for an ebook I said $19.99, but only for a beloved book and that’s not what I would ever normally pay on a regular basis so I probably should have answered that with a lesser number. I was looking at the question from a what’s the most you would ever pay scenario not what would you normally pay.

    Also, I wasn’t sure what you meant by adding personal content. I took it mean tags, series #, etc, so answered it was important.

  17. Susan Reader
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 17:38:00

    I wish there had been an intermediate option for some of the yes/no questions, especially the last one: “do you think publishers care about you as an ebook reader”. I clicked “no” but a more accurate answer would have been “a few do, most don’t”.

    I agree with Ros (#6) on the question of academic ebook pricing.

  18. ???
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 20:36:50

    Nowhere on the survey did I see an option that allowed me to answer that I didn’t read e-books. I did not complete the survey.

  19. Jane
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 20:38:53

    @??? The first question on page 3 is “Do you read ebooks: Yes/No”

  20. SAO
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 02:55:57

    I think the survey should have asked how many people live in your household and how often do you share print books or magazines?

    There’s a huge difference between sharing with friends and sharing with members of your household. If I couldn’t pass a book along to a friend, I guess that would be okay, if the price reflected that.

    But if I couldn’t read my husband’s books or share books with my kids or they couldn’t read each other’s books, that would be absolutely deadly for me.

  21. Ros
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 03:59:54

    @Ros: Oh, I have just had another thought which could work really well for academic ebooks but might also have wider potential. What if the books came with single-user licenses (cheap) or multi-user licenses (much more expensive)?

  22. Roxie
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 11:42:02

    I filled out the survey as well. There were a couple of questions I wished had been phrased more clearly (and now I wish I had written them down), but other than that I thought it was pretty thorough. I’m guessing you’ll share the results of the survey with us?

  23. Estara
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 13:07:51

    @joanne: Don’t worry, same here!
    In addition, my friends don’t read what I read, which is why I talk about books on the internet so often, heh.

  24. LVLM
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 16:02:30

    I think you guys should have put some options for a lower cap on ebook prices than $9.99.

    While $9.99 is preferable to $15, which by the way I will NEVER pay, my personal cap is no more than what an mmp costs. Even then, I think very hard before paying more than $6 for an ebook and often choose to go with books that are cheaper. If I do pay more, it’s because I want a book from a specialty publisher whose books are already Trade prices in paper and there are no other options but to pay a higher ebook price.

  25. Joy
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 15:28:08

    I did the survey earlier this week but have an additional comment.

    It’s uber-annoying to not have complete series available in one format at the same store. I got the first Jaz Parks as a freebie ages ago and finally read it this week. I would like to read the whole series now but book 3 (of 6) is not availble in ePub at my preferred stores (which means I can’t use my coupon/discounts). Going to buy it anyway from Sony…but annoyed (and breaking my own price point rule).

    On a positive, this shows I’m a textbook example of why free works. I would have never read the Jaz Parks series if not for the free book. I also have spent lots of money on Samhain books due to how much I loved one freebie.

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