Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who filled in and shared the post regarding the lesbian and bi women fiction survey. In the end, we had over 600 replies which is incredible and double what we had last year.
When looking at this data, I urge people to keep in mind that this is still a relatively small dataset and was predominantly gathered through social media outlets. This will, of course, skew some of the data and it cannot be taken as an overall market snapshot. That said, there is still a lot of interesting data and trends to be reviewed.
Please also be aware when comparing this year to last year, that some questions were removed from this year’s survey and some questions were reworded to make them easier to understand following user feedback. Also, the respondents from this year are more diverse, there are more people who don’t identify as female and more people who don’t identify as lesbian and this gives us a more accurate picture of our marketplace and how it will hopefully grow in the future.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon still dominates our marketplace and is clearly the main distributor for us. Also, the number of Kindle Unlimited subscribers has increased from 30% last year to over 41% this year.
Something that came up again and again in the results, and didn’t come as much of a surprise to me, was pricing. Last year the majority of people said they thought that a standard eBook should be priced at $10, this year this has fallen to $2.99-$5.99.
On this theme, more people are visiting websites when sales are running, up from 48% to 58% and more people are encouraged to try a new author or book they weren’t certain about when that book was on sale.
Social media posts and groups are still the number one source of people hearing about sales, but interestingly author newsletters have overtaken publisher newsletters as the secondary source. Three-quarters of respondents continue to think that books are not marketed enough, though many people complain about repetitive social media marketing. In fact, only 76% of people connect with authors on social media, down from 94% last year. But those who sign up for author newsletters has gone up from 50% to 63%.
Blurb and editing were highlighted as particularly important to readers, more important than in the previous year’s survey. While people feel that the blurbs are of a good standard the quality of editing was brought up many times.
Check out all the results for yourself, I would like to particularly draw your attention to the freeform boxes where people have typed in responses, as per last year this is a very interesting glimpse at the market.