Thursday, June 02, 2005

Survey Said ...

Here are the Writers' Blog Survey results through May 31. The number in red is the number of respondents who chose that answer. The percentages in blue are the responses to that answer as a percentage of total responses. This is just the raw data. If you want to see pretty colored charts and read my inane opinions, you can download them here. This is a PDF document, so you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader, if you don't already have it. I apologize in advance for any mistakes or broken links. Consider this a preliminary draft.

On the todo list: Compile and organize the comments into a usable form and publish them in whole or in part for everyone's edification; I would like to get enough responses from professional writers and non-writers to be able to cross-tabulate the results by type of respondent.

I'm going to leave the survey live for now, probably through June. If there's enough interest, I'll leave it longer.

Comments are always welcome, either as comments on this post, as e-mail (usual spam avoidance measures apply), or using the Feedback form on my Web site.

Date 5/31/05
Number of responses to date 164

1.) Are you a writer?
Full-time Professional 10 6.10%
Part-time Professional 13 7.93%
Aspiring 117 71.34%
Hobbyist 15 9.15%
Not a writer 9 5.49%\
Not answered 0 0.00%

2.) Do you keep a blog?
Yes 115 70.12%
No 49 29.88%
Not answered 1 0.61%

3.) Why do you read writers' blogs?
To get to know them as people 117 71.34%
To get writing and publishing tips 125 76.22%
To get a feel for their writing styles 42 25.61%
To see how they cope with the writing life 139 84.76%
To get/give inspiration/encouragement 112 68.29%
Because they are well-written, thoughtful, witty, and entertaining 118 71.95%
To get their opinions on current events 34 20.73%
To get current or insider publishing news 61 37.20%
Other 7 4.27%
To scope out the competition 5 3.05%
Not answered 0 0.00%

4.) Do you make book publishing decisions based on what you read on a writer's blog?
Yes 118 71.95%
No 49 29.88%
Not answered 1 0.61%

5.) If so, how important is the blog in influencing your decision to buy or not buy that writer's book(s)?
Very important 8 4.88%
Somewhat important 82 50.00%
Neither important nor unimportant 46 28.05%
Somewhat unimportant 17 10.37%
Very unimportant 12 7.32%
Not answered 10 6.10%

6.) As a reader, how important is it to you for writers to blog?
Very important 13 7.93%
Somewhat important 51 31.10%
Neither important nor unimportant 61 37.20%
Somewhat unimportant 37 22.56%
Very unimportant 45 27.44%
Not answered 2 1.22%

7.) As a reader, how important is it to you for writers to blog about:
Their writing process 143 87.20%
Their opinions of other writers' books 43 26.22%
Their personal lives 57 34.76%
Current events 34 20.73%
Publishing news 61 37.20%
Their successes and failures as a writer 123 75.00%
Other 12 7.32%
Not answered 3 1.83%

8.) How important is it for you to feel that the writer is being candid and honest?
Very important 125 76.22%
Somewhat important 31 18.90%
Neither important nor unimportant 4 2.44%
Somewhat unimportant 1 0.61%
Very unimportant 2 1.22%
Not answered 1 0.61%

9.) How important is it for the writer to allow comments or provide a contact e-mail address?
Very important 21 12.80%
Somewhat important 49 29.88%
Neither important nor unimportant 55 33.54%
Somewhat unimportant 16 9.76%
Very unimportant 21 12.80%
Not answered 2 1.22%


At 8:05 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Thanks, Carter. Interesting results.

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Lelia Katherine Thomas said...

The results of this are interesting to me, but not all that surprising. It comes as no surprise to me that with 71% of those who took the poll being "aspiring writers" that 87% want to know about writing processes and 75% about the successes and failures as a writer.

One thing I did take note of, however, was #9's results. I find it interesting that the majority believes means of discussion is "neither important nor unimportant."

For those who chose this answer, it might be wise to consider the effects of such a method of reading. Without commenting and contacting the author of a blog, it can easily discourage him or her to not continue sharing personal writing stories. Without feedback, the writer may lose interest or feel no one cares about his experiences; you may discourage the very thing you are seeking. Feedback is good!

Moreover, to not engage in discussion [most likely] severely limits what you might learn from the blog author's experiences. Engaging in conversation about a blog entry may help you learn a few other things.

Not caring about giving feedback also limits the marketing of your own blog, considering so many who took this survey apparently are writing them. No feedback to others also equals no spreading of your own name, information, and blog URL. It's karma of sorts!

Just a thought or two.


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