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Book research and a poll.

Hi folks -

So I have a book coming out in late October or early November, so it's time to start thinking about how to prepare. I plan to give away the book electronically via my website, plus it'll be available as a Kindle book among other formats. When it hits the shelves, I plan to partake in a book tour or two, with readings and signings and more, and give away signed copies and so forth... but I'm unsure how much of this would actually be useful without knowing more. So: A poll!

Poll #1600753 Book Research.

How do you like to read books by a new author?

Kindle.
4(7.7%)
Other ebook format (I'll explain in comments).
7(13.5%)
Print book.
38(73.1%)
Audio book.
3(5.8%)
Other (I'll explain in comments).
0(0.0%)

If you like an ebook *you paid for*, how often do you buy the print version?

Always.
1(2.6%)
Usually.
2(5.1%)
Sometimes.
6(15.4%)
Seldom.
5(12.8%)
Never.
3(7.7%)
I don't read ebooks.
22(56.4%)

If you like an ebook *you got free*, how often do you buy the print version?

Always.
0(0.0%)
Usually.
4(10.5%)
Sometimes.
8(21.1%)
Seldom.
3(7.9%)
Never.
1(2.6%)
I don't read ebooks.
22(57.9%)

If you download a free ebook or audiobook and like it, do you donate to the author?

Always.
1(2.6%)
Usually.
3(7.7%)
Sometimes.
9(23.1%)
Seldom.
5(12.8%)
Never.
3(7.7%)
Did I mention that I don't read ebooks?
18(46.2%)

If you donate for free ebook or audiobook downloads, how much do you give?

Mean: 4.82 Median: 5 Std. Dev 1.34
1
0(0.0%)
2
1(9.1%)
3
0(0.0%)
4
2(18.2%)
5
7(63.6%)
6
0(0.0%)
7
0(0.0%)
8
1(9.1%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
0(0.0%)

How cool is a custom, illustrated flash drive containing many e-formats of a book, plus art and other cool stuff?

Awesome. I want one and would pay paperback prices for it!
5(12.2%)
Cool, and I'd pay enough to cover the cost of making it.
4(9.8%)
I'd like it but wouldn't pay more than the cost of the drive.
1(2.4%)
Meh.
19(46.3%)
Seriously? I want my electrons in pure electron format.
3(7.3%)
What is this technology of which you speak? And didn't I mention I hate ebooks?
9(22.0%)

Which of the following book-promo things interest you?

Video book trailer.
10(9.2%)
Live readings and signings.
27(24.8%)
YouTube readings.
7(6.4%)
Book parties at a friend's place.
17(15.6%)
Contests to win free stuff.
17(15.6%)
Interactive author websites and blogs.
26(23.9%)
Other (I'll explain in comments).
5(4.6%)

How do you discover and buy new books?

Amazon.
21(12.1%)
Barnes & Noble brick and mortar store.
15(8.7%)
Barnes & Noble online.
4(2.3%)
Powell's Books brick and mortar store.
4(2.3%)
Powell's Books online.
7(4.0%)
Borders brick and mortar store.
13(7.5%)
Borders online.
1(0.6%)
Independent store (I'll tell everyone the store's name in comments).
12(6.9%)
Used bookstores.
22(12.7%)
Library (I buy if I like it).
15(8.7%)
Reviews from critics I trust (I'll note who that is in comments).
16(9.2%)
Recommendation from friends.
34(19.7%)
Other (I'll explain in comments).
9(5.2%)

I wish to complain about this poll.

Because one always needs this option.
13(81.2%)
Let me explain....
3(18.8%)

Last question for today: I'm planning a book tour! If you attend author readings and would like me to visit your town, where do you live?



Thanks!
Chris

Comments

( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
Re: ebooks
And .pdfs are readable on most of the dedicated readers, I hear.
queenmomcat
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
I suppose I could download ebooks to my computer, but since the chief attraction of books is their portability and their ability to be dropped in messy, sticky and/or wet substances or on hard surfaces from a great height while still retaining their readability, ebooks generally hold little interest for me.

I work at a public library and am one of the people responsible for finding new books, so that's how I find out about a lot of things which might interest me. I'll tend to order stuff for my library, then decide if I want it.
queenmomcat
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, the local independent book store (at which my Espoused Person now works) is Forever books. Although it is convenient to an Amtrak station and hotels...not a clue if you'd manage to come to a town as weeny as ours, though.
(no title) - mckitterick - Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
geekmom
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
Ebooks have only very recently reached the point where I can comfortably read them, so I can't really say how I'd behave toward free eBooks written by live authors. I have, however, purchased eBooks to read on my phone, and I'll probably continue to do so. It's ironically the portability of eBooks that I personally enjoy, since I now keep a library in the cloud that I can access on just about any device with an Internet connection. It would make a very heavy backpack.

If I'm honest, the book will have to be out of this world fantastic to prompt me to spend money on it after having read it for free, though. I've purchased very few books after reading them in the library.
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
The "library-in-the-cloud" plus portability (of entire libraries, that is) nature of ebooks is what's most interesting to me. I still prefer paper (and cover art for my DVDs and CDs, too).
silverfae
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
my complaint
I've donated up to $20 to an author I really like and knew the print version would have cost me more than that.
Perhaps a range of $$ options would be more telling?

And until I realized that I really didn't care for audiobooks, I used to download new to me titles from Audible. I had a monthly download fee, but I never donated to an author I discovered from there.

I, too, use .pdf format most of all.

ETA: Oh, and I learn about new books through Goodreads.com also.






Edited at 2010-08-02 07:00 pm (UTC)
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
Re: my complaint
Cool, thanks!
zitronenhai
Aug. 2nd, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
I love Audible.com. I think Amazon owns them now, though.
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
Of course. *sigh*
zitronenhai
Aug. 2nd, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I am still resisting ebooks and readers, because when I read a book book, I like to lie in bed and hold it, and I am not sure how I would hold one of those things. I am usually not such a luddite --in fact, I love technology-- but, for some reason, I just can't warm up to the idea of an electronic reader.
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
The ebook readers are now getting really nice to hold; one of the summer workshoppers has a lovely leather binding for his ultra-thin Kindle, and he's only had to recharge it once since June. Got me thinking....
(no title) - zitronenhai - Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - zitronenhai - Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
m_danson
Aug. 2nd, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
I don't read ebooks either online, pdf, or kindle/etc. I like the idea but it doesn't work for me right now. I spend so much of my working day reading (large) documents on my computer screen that my eyes get tired and that form of reading has been divorced from pleasure. I do enjoy reading shorter stuff online. Blogs, articles, short stories, serials, etc are a perfect length for my usual style of online pleasure reading. Longer stuff gets sliced and diced by my checking the 14 other things I'm doing at the time. When I read novels I like to focus on them. I can't do that when I'm on my computer.

The custom flash drive however lit up with a big flashing sign that said: "GIFT IDEA". I have a friend who is attached physically to her kindle. If she could transfer the book into her kindle (I'm not sure if it has a usb port) then that is a very sweet format. One of the things I'm miffed at kindle for is how difficult it is to share/lend books.

I buy almost exclusively from Chapters (Online and in store) since I am in Canada.

Reviews by people I know/follow are my primary means of finding new books. Reviews in magazines (ie Spectrum) or articles I read for other reasons are secondary. Also I am likely to look for new books by authors I've had positive experiences with (whether or not I've read their books).

If I really like a book that I've gotten for free (borrowed) I will buy it.
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Like you, long ago I realized that I can't use the same computer for computer-ey stuff _and_ reading pleasure. Somehow, lying down with a book propped on my chest is really the only way I can get into a novel.

Thanks for the feedback! The flash drive would include a Kindle edition, I'm sure, though one of the summer workshoppers says that one can send all kinds of files (such as .pdfs) to his Kindle email and use that as a sort of library cloud.
scarlettina
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
Book schmook, I haven't seen you in years. Come to Seattle.

Oh, also, I'd not only come to a reading you did here, I'd pimp the hell out of it all over town.:-)
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
I miss Seattle! Half the fun of doing events there would be seeing friends I haven't seen for far too long. (Let's be honest: MOST of the fun would be that part.)
(Anonymous)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
"Invalid form submission."

For the record, I'll pay for what the ebook costs, and not donate anything if it is legally free. I'll pay more not to have a physical copy of the book.

B
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
(Looks like you weren't logged in to LJ - stupid LJ used to allow non-LJers to respond to polls. *sigh)

Interesting about your take on ebooks. I suspect most people think this way (as opposed to, say, roya_spirit, above).
cmt2779
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
I have read electronic versions of books, but I don't have a reader, just my laptop, so it's not terribly comfortable. I still definitely prefer old-fashioned paper books.

And I get tons of book recommendations through Goodreads (both through the friends I've made there and through ads and author pages).
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I need to spend more time looking at recommendations over there (goes to Goodreads...).
weaselmom
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Although I was given a Kindle as a gift, I never use it and don't like e-books. Why are you going to give your book away for free on your Web site? Capitalism, let me show you it.

I find out about interesting new f/sf books from two sources: Walking around my local Barnes & Noble and reading about them on Scalzi's blog.

Yes! Come to Seattle! Read to us!
mckitterick
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Why give it away? Ah, yes, that's the question! I'm doing this as an experimental follow-up to Cory Doctorow's experiment. His was successful right off the bat, of course, with major funding from a wealthy fan, but I wanted to see how a much simpler plan by a new novelist would stand up to the giving-it-away theory. Because my publisher is newish and a small press, I should be able to compare results pretty clearly against prior books they've published....

And it would be SO NICE to visit. I miss you!
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Aug. 3rd, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
"Too many books" - what is this strange language you speak?
graydown
Aug. 2nd, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
I bought _The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms_ because it was being advertised on all my podcasts.
mckitterick
Aug. 3rd, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
Interesting - which podcasts do you listen to?
(no title) - graydown - Aug. 4th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Aug. 4th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
drpaisley
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
I have only begun reading things on my computer with the advent of the Hugo packet (a wonderful thing, it is, it is!). I must say that it has been a much more reasonable process than I had expected. But I still prefer real books. All of them. My precioussssssssssss!

As for complaints, well, no cats, obviously.

I'm sure I'll be within range of at least one of your readings. Maybe we can get you and Eric to do a presentation to KaCSFFS at some point.
mckitterick
Aug. 3rd, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Everything's better with cats. As long as they're not old and infirm and peeing on everything, that is.

Oooh, good idea about presenting to KaCSFFS!
jjschwabach
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
I like to buy books at The Book Den in Dansville, NY. Right across the street from the torture cham.... er... orthodontist. It's that incredibly rare endangered species, an independent bookstore.
mckitterick
Aug. 3rd, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
It should be a law that no B&N, Borders, etc. can exist in a town unless there's an independent bookstore. Except... er, not sure how that'd work.
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