Results of My Unscientific Reader Poll

Indie authors don’t always have access to data. There are lots of questions we would love to know about how readers read. I figured the best way to find the answers was to go straight to the source: the readers.

We’ve had 2353 responses to my very unscientific reader poll.

The first burning question:

Of the 2353 respondents, the vast majority do not currently subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

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20 thoughts on “Results of My Unscientific Reader Poll

  1. Thank you for conducting the poll and posting the results. I particularly am interested in how KU is affecting my business. This is great. 🙂

  2. This poll confirmed what I suspected. The erotic books are widely read. They are head to toes with the contemporary. I appreciate people honesty in taking the poll. I wonder if the people reading the erotic books are hiding, because of society stigma. EL James sold Millions of book and the comments were “I read all 3 of them, but I did not like it”. Really. If I don’t like a book, I am not spending my time reading till the end of that book, but reading all three of them??? I have only 2 words for these people. “Puritanical hypocrites”…. For me, good plot with a lot of sex is my kind of read. Keep them coming.

  3. Also confirms my hypothesis: KU appeals to heavy readers and heavy readers, particularly in romance, drive the category. This has to have a major impact on sales.

  4. It’s an interesting survey. May I ask where you found the 2,353 sample readers who took the survey? Did any of them have something in common, or was the sample completely random?

  5. I seen the post online and did the Survey. I know a lot of us shared her post it in book groups and such. I am shocked at how many do not use KU, I would have thought the results would have been reversed.

  6. Nicely done, Susan. Gosh! Where did you get the time? In answer to Neli, I checked the 77% erotica statistic against the one reported by Here is what reports: “Erotica titles represent only 1.2% of gross Kindle sales.”
    AUTHOREARNINGS.COM. The lovely thing for erotic authors is their books are always priced and seldom free. We sweet romance authors have to slog to gain a readership. Romance is the 3rd most expensive genre to promote on Bookbub. Fact is we are all wondering how KU will affect our royalties in July. It will be interesting. I’m staying out of it. I’m taking July off! And not promoting at all. Great post, Susan. Lots of traffic. Love your historicals.
    No Perfect Destiny

  7. Jackie: I think the reason you see such a high number for erotica is that a lot of my author friends write in that genre and they shared the poll with their readers 😀

    I LOVE sweet romance!! Lots of readers do.
    Thank you for your kind words on my books. I’ll check yours out now!


  8. Thank you, Suzan. I have colleagues who write erotica and spicy, too. I had to laugh though at Neli’s comment: “I wonder if the people reading the erotic books are hiding, because of society stigma.” I can tell you the answer is a resounding NO. Telling on myself here, but I love Bingo…well, I’m old. We Bingo fans bring our books and ereaders to pass the time while waiting for the games to start… and they are full of spice. No shame at all. Fifty Shades of Grey got passed around by seniors in their 70’s until it was in tatters. They loved it. They were entertained. In our discussions, though, we all agreed that if some guy, rich or poor, tried that on OUR daughters, we’d shoot him. But that is real life… not fictional entertainment. I have heard prolly a 1000 comments about how badly written. No it wasn’t. Grey is simply written and it tells a Cinderella-like story that appealed to a mass readership. I’m not taking that away from the author. She nailed it. Happy Fourth everybody and wishing you all many sales.
    Jackie Weger
    Setting Up House

  9. I think a lot of people don’t use it because they might not understand it. Many of the responses I received when asked “Why don’t you belong to KU” were very similar. The readers want to own their books. They also believe we’re not paid for the books that are in the KU program. We are paid. Granted, it varies from month to month, but we are paid. Just think of Kindle Unlimted as Netflix. You rent the book, you don’t own it. In all honesty, when I started looking at it like that, I realized it is a good plan. Readers get to try authors they’ve never read before. And if a reader really loves a book, they might consider buying it. I’ll get off my soap box now!


  10. Florence: I simply shared the form with my readers on FB and twitter. Then my author friends also shared it. Again, very unscientific poll, but it did help us get some insight. 😀


  11. Thanks for the clarification, Suzan. That probably explains why the high percentage of erotica given who was given the poll.

    Happy 4th to you!

  12. Susan! I just thought I’d stop in and mention something about Kindle Unlimited and the new pay-by-pages read, Amazon’s KENP that went into effect July 1. I have not promoted a title since May. But since July 1, Amazon reports show KENP stats on my titles as 53,275 pages read by KU borrowers. That is is awesome. I set a goal to earn $500 a month. I’ve been managing to do that all of 2104 and now 2015. But! Here it is, only the 10th of July and with KENP + units sold, I’ve already reached my goal without spending so much as 5 cents on promotion. It is author’s choice about sales venues. I do not have a single indie colleague who sells on B&N or Kobo unless their books are in promotion. Others may see units sold across all venues sans promotion, but I guess I don’t travel in their circles.
    Take care.

  13. Hi, Jackie! Awesome news on your KU numbers! I sell more books and B&N than I do at Kobo or iBooks. I’m hoping the other platforms improve over the next 6 months. (I did put 3 of my older books back into KU on July 1 and they did very well. Over 800,000 pages read. lol I tend to write big books.)
    I agree, it’s all about an author’s choice and what works best for them.
    Wishing you a GREAT rest of 2015!! 😀

  14. Susan! That is super # pages read. Fabulous passive income. While I stay exclusive to Amazon, I do keep any ear out on Kobo and iBooks because I support colleagues who have titles on those venues. I’m told neither Kobo or iBooks has managed inroads into the largest emerging markets i.e. India. I have a very good contact in India. She tells me while the natives love their cells phones, readers prefer print books. but! Markets change and build, wax and wane. Just keep writing those big books. I love ’em.
    Best, Jackie Weger

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